The Regina Humane Society will run the $20-million facility which is expected to open in two to three years.
“The most important part of the animal community centre concept is that we are a community,” said Lisa Koch, executive director of the Regina Humane Society.
“It’s not just about animals, but also about people and we want to make sure the spaces in the centre are mutually supported for animals and people.”
Located at 4900 Parliament Ave., the centre will be a first of its kind in Canada, says the humane society.
The complex will have classrooms, a catering kitchen, garden areas and two dog parks including a “pint-size park” for small breed dogs. The public will have access to these services after-hours.
The centre will also provide learning experiences including exhibits, educational activities and exploration stations for all ages. Some examples are summer camps, pet sitters with kids or yoga with cats.
A fully equipped veterinary clinic will support animal intake, rescue and adoption services. Additionally, there will be a healthy pet shop, a self-serve dog wash and indoor/outdoor recreation spaces.
“Animals love fresh air, and sunlight and open spaces and so do people,” Koch said. “The building design takes that into consideration to make it a welcoming environment for everyone — two-legged and four-legged.”
Koch said the project has been 10 years in the making, with the facility design and capital campaign plans nearing completion.
While the Regina Humane Society is eager to push the project further, the organization acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic might slow things down.
“We’re watching very carefully – provincially and elsewhere – how we’re going to proceed,” Koch said, who remains hopeful of opening the centre within three years.
One thing she does know for sure is that when it does open, it will be a centre for everyone.
“It’s going to be an efficient and effective humane care building with the health standards of a hospital, educational aspects of a school and the appeal of a community destination with visitors welcomed to participate in a wide variety of programs.”