About 700 people joined the SPCA for the unveiling Saturday of the Stanley James Walker Pet Care and Adoption Center.
Built with $5 million donated by the late Stanley James Walker, the SPCA upgraded to more space for the dogs and cats waiting to be adopted, providing them with a living environment that surpasses the expectations of their former facility.
“We will be able to house three times the animals we were able to handle at the old facility,” said Tom Jacobs, executive director of the SPCA of Northern Nevada. The ability to handle more animals will hopefully lower animal euthanasia rates and improve their habitat, Jacobs said. To further its ability to provide care for the animals, the clinic now houses an on-site veterinarian who conducts low-cost operations, vaccinations and general animal care.
Located at 4950 Spectrum Blvd., the new building features a highly ventilated kennel area, which uses fresh airflow and a cooling system that circulates 15 times each hour to lower the disease rate among the animals, Jacobs said. To lower costs of maintaining the new facility, the SPCA was awarded a $445,000 grant from NV Energy to equip the new facility with solar panels. The system is scheduled to be in place within two months and will manage one-third of the power for the building, Jacobs said.
“We’re hoping to keep animals healthier, happier and thus make them more adoptable,” Director of Development Allison Edwards said.
With all the extra space, the SPCA has many options to care for its animals.
“If we expand and hire another veterinarian we will be able to handle more operations and vaccinations for the community,” Edwards said.
A section of the new building will be dedicated to educational and behavioral pet training. The SPCA will hold classes for its volunteers and for the public to boost people’s knowledge about their pets and stimulate interaction in the community, Edwards said.
The community is not the only driving factor behind the SPCA. The organization relies heavily on volunteers, who help with day-to-day operations. Ken Damon is in his third week of volunteering with the SPCA and helped complete the move to the new facility.
“Their positivity toward volunteers keeps me coming back to them,” he said, adding that he likes “everything” about the new facility. “The size, the space, the cleanliness and the living environment for the animals have greatly improved.”
Part of that living environment is the outdoor play areas for the dogs and cats. Not only is the indoor living area of high quality, the playpen comes equipped with a unique, synthetic turf that doubles as a drainage system for the animals’ waste, Edwards said.
Though the physical move from the corner of Fourth and Vine streets to the new location is complete, the transition to the larger building has employees wandering through the clinic smiling at the amount of space that has been utilized in the new facility.
“Everyone is having a hard time finding their way around here,” Jacobs said with a laugh.
To become a volunteer call 324-7773 or visit spcanevada.org/help/volunteer.