Construction is expected to start next week on a $300,000, 2,500-square-foot barn at the Kelowna B.C. SPCA facility to house recused horses and other large animals, such as cattle, apprehended by the society’s cruelty investigation officers.
The facility, one of the first under the provincial animal rescue organizations new $50-million, eight-year capital plan to replace and/or refurbish 10 of its facilities across the province, is expected to be complete by late summer.
B.C. SPCA CEO Craig Daniell said the Kelowna branch currently spends $200,000 per year boarding, hauling and covering other costs for horses, cattle and other large animals it takes in.
Last year, it rescued a total of 117 horses and 143 cattle following cruelty investigations throughout the Interior.
The new six-stall facility will allow the SPCA to save those costs and have the animals on hand at the existing SPCA centre on Casorso Road in Kelowna.
On Friday, aided by two of the three local MLAs, Steve Thomson and Norm Letnick, and the executive director of the Central Okanagan Foundation—which contributed $20,000 to the project, Daniell turned the first shovel of dirt on construction.
He said the province’s contribution of $5 million towards the entire $50 million capital plan has enabled the BC SPCA to move ahead faster then originally thought on several of the plan’s projects in other areas of B.C.
The Kelonwa project,which already has all the money it requires raised through government, COF and private donations, will the the addition of a second BC SPCA barn added to the society’s facilities. The first bard is located at the Surrey BC SPCA.
The new Kelowna bard is being built adjacent to the existing SPCA facilities on land the SPCA already owns.