The Central Alberta Humane Society has kittens at the shelter and in foster care who will need to be neutered and spayed. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Diagnositic equipment needed at humane society in Red Deer

Fundraising campaign to be launched

The Central Alberta Humane Society wants to provide its animals with quicker access to treatment by having diagnostic equipment on site.

Executive director Tara Hellewell said right now, staff must take animals to veterinary clinics in the community for X-rays and must send blood tests away for analysis.

“That’s at a cost to our organization. In-house diagnostics will reduce our veterinary costs, so in the long run, even though there is an investment in equipment needed, we do believe we’re going to save overall,” Hellewell said.

The society is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $70,000 to pay for the equipment.

She said taking the animals elsewhere is stressful on them, time consuming, and takes staff away from the shelter.

“With only two techs in shelter taking care of over 200 animals, you can imagine how their time is very precious and valuable, so with everything they do, we need to streamline to give them the best opportunity to make good decisions for the animals.”

She said people will often bring injured animals that they find straight to the shelter. Diagnostic equipment will reduce euthanizations in emergency situations.

“We are dealing with a lot more animals, and a lot more complications, and a lot more medical challenges.

“We still aren’t on top of the cat overpopulation issue. We seem to have a never-ending kitten season, so we’re continuously under pressure to do a lot of spay/neuter surgeries.”


Watch: Central Alberta Humane Society prepares for kittens

Cosmetic surgeries are on the way out for pets in Alberta

Hellewell said animals turned over to shelter usually do not come with a medical history. Older animals often come with health problems, and some animals spend a long time in shelter before they get adopted.

“We are dealing with more medical cases than the average shelter, so it’s really important to have our veterinary team given the tools and resources, and for our medical facility to have everything it requires equipment-wise.”

Lowe’s Canada will cover the cost of renovations to make way for the new equipment through its Lowe’s Heroes program.

Hellewell said renovations are scheduled for October. The society is still waiting to hear if it will receive a grant from the province to help pay for the equipment, so community donations may be needed to cover the entire cost.

A link will be added to the society’s website — — to donate to the diagnostics campaign. Information is also available by emailing

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