Cash flows in for new SPCA facility

Community dollars for Red Deer and District SPCA’s new Animal Welfare and Humane Education Centre continue to flow in.

Phoenix Construction workers install roofing on the new SPCA building’s southwest corner on Thursday.

Community dollars for Red Deer and District SPCA’s new Animal Welfare and Humane Education Centre continue to flow in.

The goal is to raise $2.5 million from the community for the $4.2-million Building Pawsitive Futures capital campaign.

“Total community support to date is $1.69 million and once we throw in government support we’re at $3.16 million,” said SPCA development officer Heidi Arbeau-Wood on Thursday.

Construction is about $3.7 million, with the rest of the money needed for furnishings, fixtures and equipment.

“Construction costs are sort of coming down right now so it may be less than that and we may be able to cut some of the other costs.”

Last November construction crews broke ground on the building directly west of the current quarters at 4505 77th St.

The bigger centre will double the capacity for homeless pets and provide more educational programming so more animals will have a chance to find a loving family.

Right now, staff and animals are making due with the cramped site, which is poorly ventilated and operates with old furnaces. The new shelter will have room for storage, offices, a training area and animal exercise rooms. Construction is on schedule with completion still expected by October or November.

Arbeau-Wood said the recession was expected to put a damper on donations, but it’s been the exact opposite especially from children.

“I’m not sure what has started the trend, but in the last little while we’ve been getting a lot of children come in with donations. Instead of asking for birthday gifts, they’re asking for donations for us.

“It’s been phenomenal. I’m talking kids five years old, right up to 16.”

Many have been holding fundraising events too, she said.

Most children have put their donations towards general operations and care of the animals.

For more information or to donate to Building Pawsitive Futures capital campaign go to

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