Shovels hit the ground in Regina for a new animal care centre in February of this year. Executive director Lisa Koch says it’s not just another animal shelter but an animal community centre.
It will be located at 4900 Parliament Ave. in the Harbour Landing community and spread across 38000 square feet.
“It will be a place not just to adopt but to learn, engage and celebrate animals,” Koch said.
It is expected to open by June 2023. The society says the existing building does not meet current standards in animal welfare.
The new building has been planned, keeping in mind fully-accessible places for pets and people. The centre will have an adoption gallery, outdoor catio — a patio for cats — dog parks and green spaces for animals to run, play and be comfortable.
Multi-purpose classrooms will be available for the community after use. There will be pet-assisted therapy and a brand new, fully-equipped vet clinic to provide critical medical care to vulnerable pets in the community.
It is a $28 million project that has been supported by fundraising; $11.4 million has been raised so far and $4.4 million are left. There is a capital campaign website where people can learn about the journey over the last 58 years and what the society means for animals and the community.
There are opportunities to donate, honour a person or pet in the facility and help in the naming of the facility.
One of the key donors is Sylvia Aumuller, who donated $1.4 million and was represented by Paula Douguid and Ken Karwandy. They said Sylvia always loved animals particularly her cats. Throughout her life she had three cats that were part of the family.
“We are very happy that humane society will be recognizing her in the future in the facility as part of the cat adoption centre,” Douguid said.
Karwandy added that Sylvia became aware of the humane society through her own animals and taking care of other animals. It was the society’s work that she thought was outstanding and important for the life of all animals, to have places were they can be kept, helped and taken care of.
She passed in 2009 but Douguid and Karwandy held on to the donation for the new building.
“We’re very happy to see this come together finally, hoping to see (the) rest of the donations come through to see this new place up and running,” Douguid said.
“She’d be thrilled and very happy that this day has come. Itt would’ve been nice for her to see the facility, and how it’s gonna look,” Karwandy added.
“It would give her a lot of comfort to know how the humane society will be taking care of the animals.”
The facility will have education, literacy and outreach programs to keep pets and people together. Currently they are on the outskirts, making it not easy to access and the new location has bus service which will keep them connected.
It will be bright and open, with lots of natural light, no cages, and all animals will have their own suits, dogs and cats will have separate spaces.
The vet clinic will have two surgery theatres, a pharmacy, X-ray and everything else needed to give quality care. Currently there are three vets and registered vet technologists. They are hoping to expand those services through grants for financially disadvantaged pet owners.
There will also be space for smaller animals like guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits.
Koch said they believe in capacity for care and prevention programs to reduce the number of animals. They will not be increasing the capacity limit and will continue to maintain care for 230 animals.
The City of Regina is providing municipal animal services and will contribute 46 per cent of service delivery cost in new building.