Kerry Belton of Wallah Signs in Red Deer installs new signage outside the Central Alberta Humane Society on Thursday. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

SPCA takes on new name

Central Alberta Humane Society

Red Deer & District SPCA is changing its name to truly encompass the large area it serves and to prepare for future growth.

Its new name — Central Alberta Humane Society — will officially be launched on Friday with an updated website and Facebook page.

Executive director Tara Hellewell said there have been times when the organization has run fundraising campaigns in communities outside Red Deer and people will ask why.

“When they hear Red Deer, we get put in that Red Deer box,” Hellewell said on Thursday.

“It’s time to have a name that truly shows and reflects the entire region that we serve and that’s Central Alberta.”

The organization started out as Parkland Humane SPCA in 1976 before switching to Red Deer & District SPCA in 2000.

The work of Central Alberta Human Society (that will be abbreviated to CA Humane) stretches west to the Rocky Mountain House area, east to about Stettler, south to the Drumheller area, and north to about Camrose.

She said about 50 per cent of animals at the shelter, located at 4505 77th St., come from outside Red Deer.

The new name will also eliminate the public’s ongoing confusion between Red Deer & District SPCA and Alberta SPCA.

“Alberta SPCA is doing different work than us. They are upholding animal welfare laws. They are catching the animal welfare criminals. They’re not sheltering.”

Sometimes people will donate to Alberta SPCA thinking Red Deer & District SPCA gets some of the money and it doesn’t, she said.

While the name is changing the shelter is not, she said.

“We are a no-kill shelter and promoting the humane treatment of animals is absolutely the core of what we do.”

Humane education programs are part of the services provided.

She said both Edmonton and Calgary have large Humane Societies and the soon-to-be CA Humane has a lot in common with them and good partnerships have been formed.

“We do transfers of animals between each organization. We do a lot of networking and brainstorming to provide better services in general to the animals and animal lovers in our communities.”

The change was first discussed at the March 2016 annual general meeting. A few months later membership voted in favour of the new name. Members got a preview of the new logo at the 2017 AGM held on Wednesday.

An open house will be held at the shelter on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the name change. Treats and refreshments will be available along with 20 per cent off the cost of dog adoptions, an adoption by donation campaign for cats, and 10 per cent off retail sales.

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