‘Over the moon’
Southwest Coast SPCA to start new shelter in spring
Diane Simon says she’s “over the moon” with the thought the Southwest Coast SPCA she is president of will be breaking ground this spring for the construction of a new animal shelter.
The organization had hoped to build the permanent shelter last year after it became a registered charity but that didn’t occur.
Now bolstered by a grant from the Town of Stephenville of $50,000 this year and another grant of the same amount promised for 2020, along with more than $102,000 a sub-committee has in a building fund, a spring start is anticipated.
Simon said they have been saving for the construction of the new shelter since a fire in March of 2015, where more than 20 of their cats perished.
Since that time, they had a temporary shelter on Churchill Street in Stephenville and the one they are currently operating out of at 49 Main Street in Stephenville.
Simon said between their building fund, the contribution from the town and a loan they were able to secure, they should be able to get the new shelter up. It’s believed the cost will be about $300,000, so there’s more fundraising to do.
The sub-committee will be reaching out to contractors and building suppliers to help with trying to keep the costs down.
Simon said the location of the building is right next to the current animal pound located behind the Stephenville town hall and that building will be used for storage.
She said it will fit in quite well with the current building.
Simon said this is going to be a big venture for their organization and they will need continued community support because even after they get the building up they will still have costs associated with utility bills, veterinary bills, cleaning and office supplies.
She said they are expected a seven- to eight-month construction period for the new building, which she said would be ideal. A positive once they get in their own building is that they won’t have a rent bill.
Simon said Laurie Flynn, a local architectural drafter, has been very generous in providing her time to do up the drawings for the building at no cost to their organization. She said the design was done in conjunction with veterinarian Dr. Leslie Jean McGregor of the West Coast Veterinary Clinic.
The 1,972-square-foot building will have office space, along with six separate rooms for animals and a separate quarantine intake area for animals.
Coun. Mark Felix, chair of the town’s finance committee, said the town council was proud to support this organization and that it was a good investment to have this facility in the town.
Simon said the area they service includes all Bay St. George, George’s Lake to Port aux Basques and along the coast to Francois and hopes people in the communities will help.
She said donations can be made through email transfers to swc[email protected]mail.com or through Canada Post to the mailing address P.O. Box 81, Stephenville, NL A2N 2Y7.
Laurie Flynn, left, architectural drafter, and Diane Simon, president of the Southwest Coast SPCA, pose for a photo near the location of a new animal shelter expected to start this spring.
An artist rendering done by Laurie Flynn, an architectural drafter, of the new Southwest Coast SPCA new animal shelter expected to start this spring in Stephenville is seen here.