City approves funding for new SPCA location

Brant County SPCA SignPlans by the Brant SPCA to build a modern animal shelter have taken a big step forward.

City council on Monday approved a plan that will provide the SPCA with a one-time grant of a minimum of 10% of the total project to a limit of $600,000 for a new shelter. Plans also call for the selection of a parcel of city-owned land of about five acres with a list of potential sites to be presented to council by September.

Councillors endorsed the plan at a committee meeting earlier this month and gave its final stamp of approval Monday after hearing from representatives of both the Brant and Ontario SPCA.

The shelter now being used by the Brant SPCA is beside the city’s landfill site on Mohawk Street which has resulted in a couple of problems including rodents and odour. There are also problems with the underground piping which are difficult to fix and there is a lack of ventilation.

As well, the services provided by the shelter and demands for service have increased tremendously since the shelter was built in 1969.

“We’re not just the pound beside the landfill anymore,” Robin Kuchma, executive director of the Brant County SPCA told council on Monday. “We’ve rescued a lot of animals in recent years and we’re also involved in humane education.

“We’re doing a lot more these days.”

She and Robin McNaughton, chair of the Brant County SCPA, both spoke to councillors and they were followed by Kate McDonald of the Ontario SPCA.

McDonald applauded council’s interest in contributing to a new shelter which she said would help both local and regional programs that would serve the community for years to come.

The new building is slated to cost between $3 million and $5 million. A building fund for the project currently includes $1 million, and a fundraising campaign is being contemplated and would likely begin once a site has been selected.

SPCA officials are looking for a five-acre site and would prefer to remain in the city.

They said Monday they are willing to go anywhere where they can be good neighbours.

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