Building Our Future
I've worked at the Gander and Area SPCA for over 20 years and during that time thousands of animals have passed through our doors. Our organization has witnessed everything from severely abused animals, to abandoned strays found all over our area of service in central NL, to pets that owners can no longer care for or no longer want to. Our shelter staff and volunteers strive to make every animals stay in our shelter a good experience - some animals are lucky to have a brief stay, while others call our shelter home for months or even years.
Our current shelter was built in 1993, through dedicated fundraising and help from the Town of Gander. It was a huge step up from the tiny wooden shack we started out with, however as time has changed, so have our needs. We have outgrown and outlived our shelter, lacking in space and functionality. We are a true working shelter open daily to the public, seeing a high volume of traffic. Last year alone we had hundreds of animals, both big and small go through our shelter. As I'm sure you can imagine, our operating costs are phenomenal, therefore maintaining upkeep and repairs of our old building structure is a burden on our finances. A new shelter is something our board, employees, volunteers (and the animals too I'm sure if they could talk) have dreamed of.
After receiving the sad news that two of our long time supporters had passed, our dream started to become a reality. The late Ron and Sonya Lyttle, of Traytown NL, bequeathed to our shelter a sum of $562,000, an amount that would have taken us a decade or more to fundraise. Wanting to make sure the donation honors the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Lyttle, we have decided building a new shelter in their name would be the perfect way.
Our goal with this new shelter is to provide a welcoming environment to animals, adopters and visitors alike, providing the same great level of care in a more spacious, inviting and convenient building. With new features like an indoor dog exercise area, that will not only help our animals receive more exercise in the winter months, it will also serve as a training area and will be useful for potential adopters to meet and get to know an animal one on one.
With the added space, we are hoping to invite schools and children's organizations to our shelter, for opportunities to interact with our shelter animals and to learn about humane treatment under our new humane education program called, The BOND Project.
After years of set backs, we are finally able to clear our new land and are hoping to commence construction this year. We have been constantly fundraising and appreciate all funds we have received from donors thus far to meet our estimated goal of $800,000 to build and furnish our new shelter. The Lyttle's major contribution has helped us considerably, but unfortunately with the ever increasing cost of building materials and contracting, we anticipate our budget to increase.
We would be truly grateful for any donation you might consider making, no matter how big or small - it would make a tremendous difference in the lives of the homeless animals that call our shelter home.
We are within $200,000 of our goal!
A huge thank you to all who have donated, and helped out at our fundraisers! We couldn't do this without your support!