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Province kicks in $3 million for new SPCA facility in Prince George

More pets will receive the care and attention they need in new state-of-the art facilities serving four B.C. communities including Prince George.

The province is providing $12 million to help build BC SPCA shelter replacements in Vancouver, Duncan, Prince George and Fort St. John. Currently, the shelters in these communities are either closed or outdated, and are neither designed nor equipped to provide modern care for animals.

Prince George will receive $3 million to develop a new facility that will also provide regional services for the Cariboo and northern B.C. The city has designated land off 18th Avenue near Foothills Boulevard for a new SPCA facility, however it was not immediately clear whether that land would be used.

“Our new Prince George facility will become an important regional hub,” said Colby O’Flynn, senior manager, North Cariboo Animal Care Service, BC SPACE. “It will be our primary regional emergency response centre and a transfer hub for moving animals in our care to get veterinary treatment and specialized behaviour rehabilitation when not locally available.”

In 2017 the provincial government, under the Liberals, committed $1.5 million to a new SPCA facility in Prince George.

In addition to Prince George the new funding will support projects in:

  • Duncan – $1 million to replace a 27-year-old facility. The redevelopment plan is for a 697-square metre (7,500-square foot) Vancouver Island Animal Behaviour Centre on the existing site. This will be the first animal behaviour centre of its kind in Canada.
  • Fort St. John – $1 million to develop a new permanent shelter after structural issues were identified, which made it unsafe for humans and animals to continue to use the existing building.
  • Vancouver – $7 million to develop a replacement shelter with a 1,858 square-metre (20,000-square foot) animal centre, 836-square metre (9,000-square foot) veterinary hospital and 465-square metre (5,000-square foot) education centre.

It is estimated the four facilities will offer care to thousands of companion pets per year in B.C., ranging from cats and dogs, to birds, rabbits and rodents.

“We greatly appreciate this significant support from the Province for these four communities where our aging facilities are making the care and protection of vulnerable animals increasingly difficult,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief of protection and outreach services, BC SPCA. “Our day-to-day animal care and protection services are primarily funded by generous individual donors across B.C., so having the Province step forward to help with these extraordinary costs will make a tremendous difference.”

Ensuring pets are raised and treated ethically with care is a priority for people in B.C. To support the protection of puppies and kittens, government is resuming work on a new licensing framework with respect to cat and dog pet breeders. That framework had been paused because of external factors such as the pandemic, the 2021 flood and the avian influenza outbreak.

This work will protect pets from unethical breeders by strengthening the regulation of the industry. The intention is to raise the standard of care, management and the humane treatment of dogs and cats in commercial breeding establishments.

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