A Peterborough family has donated $25,000 to the Peterborough Animal Care Centre.
Bob Leask says his family was inspired by staff and services at the current Peterborough Humane Society on Lansdowne despite the building’s limitations. His son Todd for the past five years has volunteered to walk dogs for the humane society.
“Even under these conditions they do a yeoman’s job of caring for the many animals they take in, care for and then rehome into suitable homes,” Leask said in a statement. “We were pleased they spay and neuter all animals prior to putting them up for adoption, thus controlling the pet overpopulation in our region. It is obvious the present quarters are overcrowded and proper animal care is a challenge.”
The humane society’s first-of-its kind animal care centre will be situated on 20 acres of land on Technology Drive. It says the $10-million project will set the standard for animal shelters in Canada with more space, natural light, the region’s only accessible spay/neuter clinic, a provincial dog rehab centre and an education centre.
The animal care centre will also serve as a community hub and allow for expansion of the humane society’s outreach, education and advocacy programs, including plans for youth programming and educational partnerships with both Trent University and Fleming College in Peterborough.
“Based on what we witnessed on tour, including a description and architects’ drawing of the new facilities, and feedback from our son Todd, we decided we needed to do something to help get this proposed new facility through to fruition, as soon as possible,” said Leask.
Leask said the family has committed to a monthly charitable donation that will amount to a total of $25,000.
Shawn Morey, executive director at the humane society, said fundraising for the animal care centre is now well over halfway toward the goal, with several families and businesses pledging contributions in the last couple of months. Notably, the City of Peterborough is contributing $1.68 million and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has pledged $2 million, while Community Futures Peterborough has contributed $50,000.
“We are excited to be one step closer to building our greatly needed new centre,” said Morey. “The philanthropic leadership of the Leask family and others will help us to reach our goal and make this vision to lead the way in animal welfare, a reality. I encourage people to join us and make this their Pet Project.”
Morey noted that the care centre’s spay/neuter clinic will serve more than 5,000 pets annually, reducing the number of unwanted pets. In August, the Peterborough Humane Society co-hosted a mobile spay/neuter clinic with the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society that saw 48 animals spayed and neutered, preventing an estimated 2,000 potentially unwanted kittens and puppies.
“We received over 300 inquiries for the spay/neuter weekend and saw people driving from as far as two hours away to make use of the animal wellness services offered,” said Morey. “The overwhelming response we received for this service reinforced the need for an accessible spay/neuter clinic in our region.”