Nearly two years after the Grande Prairie SPCA shuttered, the organization’s former facility has been sold. President James Kostuk has confirmed the building in the Brochu Industrial Park has been bought by an organization that will be reopening the shelter.
“We are extremely happy that the burden has been lifted. It’s going to be fantastic to get the shelter up and running again, to have a proven organization taking in animals and helping out the city of Grande Prairie.”
The doors of the SPCA closed at the end of May 2016 with $250,000 in debt. Kostuk says the sale has covered everything owed to the Canada Revenue Agency and 25 different organizations in the region. That means the new board of directors created in the wake of the closure will be able to dissolve.
“Because our facility is now officially sold and all our assets and debt is taken care of, we can move forward with our dissolvement. The Grande Prairie and District SPCA is not going to be functioning anymore, but we are going to have a similar organization that’s going to be stepping in to fill the void.”
The name of the organization is not yet public, but it will be offering shelter and adoption services once operational. When the SPCA closed, the City and County jointly opened the Grande Prairie Regional Animal Care Facility.
It offers pound, adoption, and shelter services in partnership with the Edmonton Humane Society. It was meant to be for a six months, which was later extended to an indefinite period.
“The City and County both have a firm commitment to carrying on the temporary project until a permanent provider is in place,” says Regional Enforcement Services Manager Stuart Rempel. “It could be two to three months, realistically, because they’ve still got to put staff in place.”
The County will still offer animal control and pound services, as it did when the SPCA was running. It’s located in the same building.
“The city and county’s pretty proud of the fact that throughout the region it’s one-stop shopping,” says Rempel. “If an animal is picked up anywhere, or lost, found, turned in, you’ve got one phone number to call and we’re going to continue that service.”
Details on who is taking over the shelter are expected within two to three weeks.
“We are very grateful for such a strong community and we thank everyone who’s been involved with this long process,” adds Kostuk.