The SPCA of Brazoria County Celebrates Progress on New Community Pet Center
Announcing New Community Pet Center Progress
Brazoria County, Texas—In a news conference today, the SPCA of Brazoria County announced progress on its Capital Campaign to build a new state-of-the art community pet center. “Nothing can match the unconditional love that we receive from our pets. Our slogan at the SPCA-BC is ‘Bring Love Home,’ because whether people are adding a new pet to their family or reuniting with a lost pet, when they leave our shelter with a wet-nosed buddy, they are bringing love home,” stated SPCA-BC Executive Director Stacey Suazo. “Now that we are raising money to build a new home for our homeless pets, we thought a fitting title for our campaign would be ‘Build Love a Home.’ We invite the entire community to join us as we create a Community Pet Center to serve the needs of our community’s homeless pets.”
“Build Love a Home” is the SPCA of Brazoria County’s fundraising campaign to replace the existing animal shelter facility at 141 Canna Lane in Lake Jackson, with a new, state-of-the-art community pet center. Campaign Steering Committee Member, Quinton Anderson stated, “To date, the campaign has received donations and pledges of $1,132,190 of the $6.5 million dollar fundraising goal. We encourage everyone who loves pets to step up and help us make this happen by donating or pledging your support today.”
About the need:
The existing shelter, which is approximately 7,000 square feet, was built in 2003 as a stray animal intake facility to serve Freeport, Clute and Lake Jackson. The intake facility was designed to hold animals for several days, and then, if unclaimed, euthanize them. On January 1, 2013, the SPCA of Brazoria County instituted a “No Kill” policy, meaning that they would only euthanize a pet animal if it was too ill or injured to be humanely treated or too aggressive to place it back out into the public. Since then, the kill-rate has gone from approximately 75% to a save-rate of 92%. Under the old policy, approximately 4,000 pets were killed each year simply for being homeless. The new no kill policy has resulted in saving thousands of animals and enriching the lives of many families with a loyal and loving pet.
Adopting a no-kill policy created a dramatic change in the management of animals arriving at the shelter. New arrivals must be vaccinated, cleaned, and evaluated for health problems or injuries. Sick or injured animals must be quarantined and treated before they become available for adoption. The existing building was designed to hold around 100-150 animals. Presently, the population sometimes exceeds 400 animals, resulting in cages in every available space; even offices, rest rooms, hallways and the lobby, compounding odor and noise issues.
The “Build Love a Home” plan calls for a modern, 20,000+ square foot facility that will meet the needs of a growing community for the next 25-30 years. The new Community Pet Center will showcase adoptable dogs and cats by providing a family-friendly environment, as well as a place for efficient and humane care of homeless pets. It will house up to 500 animals and include a modern veterinary clinic with spay/neuter services, a quarantine and isolation area, proper separation for dogs and cats, separation for puppies and kittens to protect them from adult animal diseases, areas for potential new owners to meet and get acquainted with their new pet, and a classroom for educational purposes. Laundry and storage will finally be adequate. It will feature an open and inviting atmosphere to encourage adoption, volunteering, and education for the community. The new facility, featuring modern design and construction, will increase adoptions and reduce the average length of stay for homeless pets because the experience will be more pleasant for the animals and their prospective owners.
The estimated turnkey cost including furniture, fixtures, computers, veterinary equipment, professional fees, fencing and landscaping is $6.5 million. The expense is driven by special construction requirements for shelters that address cleanliness, air conditioning/heat, sound control and work flow. Materials must be able to withstand daily cleaning with harsh chemicals. The drainage system must be designed to remove animal wastes and chemicals without fail and the HVAC system must maintain a clean environment despite pet hair and dander in the air. The new facility must control noise and odor to create a better environment for animals and people.
Plans call for the new pet center to be constructed on Lake Jackson city property adjacent to the existing building. The site will be leased from the city, saving the cost of purchasing land. A preliminary design has been completed by local architecture firm, Integrated Architecture & Design, LLC. An Angleton-based general contractor, Noble Building & Development, has been retained as Construction Manger.
The timing is right for the Build Love a Home project. The need is obvious and will only increase, the economy is strong, the existing staff and director are experienced and dedicated, and have the wherewithal to see such an ambitious project through. The wear-and-tear on the existing facility is in such a state that plans call for the existing building, owned by the City of Lake Jackson, to be demolished and a new intake facility built in its place. The only way for the no kill policy to continue is for those who support the no kill philosophy to build a new adoption center designed for that purpose. The only source of funds for such a project is through private donations and grants. The SPCA anticipates up to 18 months for fund raising followed by a one-year construction period. It is important to get this bold project started so that the transition to a new no-kill pet adoption center can be accomplished before the old building is demolished.
The SPCA of Southern Brazoria County has received $1,000,000 of the estimated $6,500,000 cost through the generous bequest of a single committed animal lover. Supporters of “Build Love a Home” will be working diligently to raise awareness and money through donations, special events and grants. There will be naming opportunities available as well as other recognition of donors.
Donations can be made to:
SPCA of Brazoria County, Build Love a Home
P.O. Box 485
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Speakers are available to clubs and organizations. Donors who have questions, or to schedule a speaker, please contact Stacey Suazo, 979-236-0324, firstname.lastname@example.org
If we don’t do it, who will?