Craig Daniell, Chief Executive Officer of the BC SPCA recently sent out a letter to dispel some misunderstandings and update the public on future plans for a West Kootenay facility.
The BC SPCA has operated its Trail Regional animal shelter for many years. The letter states, “While the life-saving work undertaken by the Branch has been exceptional, the same cannot be said about the facility itself. The shelter, which is approximately 33 years old, is in extremely poor condition and is too small to serve the needs of the community. We simply cannot continue to house animals or expect staff and volunteers to work in such conditions. In addition, the building cannot be upgraded.”
For these reasons, they plan to close the facility no later than the end of 2016. However, the BC SPCA is committed to an uninterrupted physical presence in the West Kootenay. The plan is to coordinate the closing of the Trail facility with the opening of a new one.
The BC SPCA has funding set aside for the project and has also secured funding from the provincial government. The letter also states, “In addition, a few days ago, a significant funding partner has expressed interest in the project as well. The one component that is lacking to date has been the financial support of local and/or regional government.”
The estimated cost of the project is $1.6 million and the SPCA says it cannot move forward without a significant contribution from a local government. A $550,000 funding request to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was recently turned down. Daniell stated, “Unfortunately, the RDKB declined to participate in any way to the project. We were obviously disappointed by the decision of the RDKB, especially in light of the fact that animal control services will be required on an ongoing basis by the Regional District.”
The City of Castlegar has recently expressed an interest in the project. “We have now had an opportunity to meet with Castlegar mayor and council and staff to discuss this project further. While nothing has been finalized to date, we are cautiously optimistic that there may be a local government partner in the region for this critical project.” said Daniell.
It appears a firm decision to open a new facility has been made and all that is left is to decide where that facility will be, what the facility will look like and where the rest of the funding will come from.