Saturday, May 18, 2024

First-of-its-kind SPCA facility will open in Duncan to help pets with behavioral issues


BC announced that the SPCA will open four new facilities to help them house and care for animals in need throughout the province with one such facility coming to Vancouver Island. 

On June 26th, Premier David Eby and BC’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Pam Alexis, held a conference alongside representatives from the BC SPCA to announce the new facilities and give some details on the roles they will play in caring for the province’s animal owners.

“For many British Columbians, pets are part of the family,” said Premier Eby. “Yet sadly, it’s still too common to hear about abandoned or mistreated animals.” 

“British Columbians care deeply about the welfare of all animals. That’s why we’re helping the BC SPCA build four new facilities where rescue animals will be able to get the high-quality care they need and deserve, before they find new homes,” he continued.

All in all, the province is contributing $12 million to help build the new facilities which will be located in Duncan, Prince George, Vancouver and Fort St. John.

In all of these municipalities, the new facilities are meant to replace SPCA operations that were either closed, outdated or ill-designed for modern animal care. 

Duncan’s new facility, the Vancouver Island Animal Behaviour Centre (VIABC), will be a state-of-the-art endeavour to aid animals who deal with behavioural difficulties — it will be the first of its kind in Canada. 

The VIABC will benefit from a $1 million contribution from the province which will go toward replacing the facility the SPCA has been operating out of for the past 27-years. 

“We’re seeing growing numbers of anxious, fearful and under-socialized animals coming into our care,” said Jamey Blair, senior manager, Interior/North Animal Care Services, BC SPCA. 

“On Vancouver Island, depending on the community, this can be as much as 18% of dogs and 30% of cats in our care. The new Vancouver Island Animal Behaviour Centre in Cowichan will give many animals a chance to go on to live happy lives with loving families.”

Fort St. John’s SPCA will get $1 million to replace a facility that is currently structurally unfit to house animals or people, Vancouver’s SPCA will be getting $7 million for an animal hospital and an education centre and lastly, the SPCA in Prince George will get a $3 million contribution from BC for a centre that will provide regional support to wild caribou populations. 

In addition to this large new contribution to the work done by the BC SPCA, Premier Eby spoke to the efforts the province is making to protect puppies and kittens from being products of unethical breeding practices. 

He says BC is working on strengthening regulations and the licensing framework that animal breeders are subject to. 

Curtis Blandy

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