New Tri-City home for BC SPCA

The BC SPCA animal adoption and education centre will move in January from Westwood Street to a strip mall on Barnet Highway.

It has housed election campaign offices and retail stores.

And, now, puppies and kitties.

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A high-profile office space in Coquitlam will be turned into a new Tri-Cities adoption and education centre for the BC SPCA.

Today, the non-profit society announced it would move from its current site on Westwood Street in Port Coquitlam in January to a storefront in a strip mall at Barnet Highway and Falcon Drive.

The corner location at 1-2565 Barnet Hwy., which has been vacant for months, is the past home to campaigns for former MLA Jodie Wickens, MP Fin Donnelly and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.

Lorie Chortyk, the BC SPCA's general manager of community relations, told The Tri-City News Thursday the site is 600 sq. ft. bigger than the PoCo premises and is now being renovated at a cost of about $175,000.

"We're really excited about being able to expand our services," she said. "It's such a great central location and will be a place where the community can get involved and learn about the value of animals. We want to make this a destination for youth and for people who love animals."

Last year, the PoCo SPCA took in 285 animals to adopt out as pets to "forever homes." Many of those were abused and/or injured.

Chortyk said the society wants to change its animal welfare model "from the SPCA being sad with homeless animals to places that really celebrate animals."

The Coquitlam site will offer yoga with animals, workshops, summer camps and reading buddy sessions. There will also be enough space to host kids' birthday parties, she said.

The Tri-City expansion is part of an eight-year facilities development plan around the province. Many BC SPCA shelters are more than 50 years old and need to be rebuilt or updated.

Meanwhile, the PoCo SPCA hosts Wine & Whiskers on Nov. 22, a fundraiser for operational costs, at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam). Tickets cost $45 and include a drink and appetizers. Call 604-468-4044 or visit spca.bc.ca/events.

 

As well, donations for capital costs for the new Coquitlam site can be made online at spca.bc.ca/tricitycares.

“As a non-profit society, we rely on community donations to care for the animals and to provide our services and programs for the community,” said Craig Daniell, BC SPCA chief executive officer, in a news release. “We hope animal lovers in the region will support this new venture, both with their donations and through engagement as volunteers.” 

jcleugh@tricitynews.com

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