Our View: SPCA needs all our support to build new shelter

The Daily Advance

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At its essence, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is in the business of saving dogs and cats and other animals from harm. But that description seriously sells short the work of the staff and volunteers of the Elizabeth City shelter and its operations.

Recent events illustrate the scope and magnitude of the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina’s responsibilities. Over several months this year, the SPCA staff had to find shelter and care for 80 pit bulls seized from a dogfighting ring, 72 cats taken from a rescue operation gone awry, 31 cats saved from a hoarding situation, and 11 dogs and one guinea pig seized in a cruelty case.

Just over a week ago, 25 cats and kittens were turned in at the shelter on one day, Kim Parrish, SPCA board chair said.

Daunting does not begin to describe the task of sheltering, feeding and finding permanent or even temporary homes for these animals. It also does not capture the emotional toll on the staff and volunteers who care for the animals knowing many will have to be euthanized due to temperament, age and/or sickness.

Yet the staff and volunteers attacked these challenges with their typical commitment and passion. The pit bulls ended up at the abandoned Pasquotank County Jail, the cats were housed at the building the SPCA hopes to renovate into a new shelter. The other animals were squeezed into the confines of the current building, where on any given day, there are crates of cats in the cramped lobby and dogs sharing the front office with the staff.

Most of the animals seized have now found safe harbor either in the regular shelter, with foster homes, other shelters, rescue operations and in a few cases, permanent “forever’’ homes. The last of the pit bulls left the jail earlier this month.

Providing a temporary, clean, healthy and loving environment for lost, stray or unwanted animals and attempting to reunite them with their families or adopt them to good homes is just part of the SPCA of NENC’s mission. The organization also promotes public health and safety by working with Animal Control to confine feral, stray and dangerous cats and dogs that are unvaccinated.

The SPCA also promotes and facilitates with free clinics the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs to improve their health and curb the overpopulation. In addition, they try to educate the community about animal welfare issues and how to care for pets.

Pasquotank County once operated the shelter but turned over operations to the SPCA of NENC, which was able to improve the shelter and to keep it open seven days a week. The shelter receives some of its funding from Pasquotank and Camden counties and in turn steps in to house and care for animals seized by the local law enforcement agencies, such as the nearly 200 dogs and cats from earlier this year.

About 18 months ago, the SPCA of NENC launched a campaign to raise more than $350,000 to renovate the building on property the organization had purchased on Enterprise Drive in Pasquotank County.

Today, they need just over $100,000 to reach their goal and to begin soliciting bids for the new shelter project.

The 6,000-square-foot building would allow the shelter staff to separate sick and injured animals from the rest of the population, would provide separate space for intake and for adoption, would allow for educational programs and the surrounding land gives workers a place to safely exercise dogs.

Now’s the time for the community to step up and close the gap, complete the campaign, so the shelter can get on with its work.

Comments

Good job you guys! There are

Good job you guys! There are many ways somebody can donate to charities, most of which do not even involve giving away money, if you are concerned about this issue. For instance, I like the services from https://singforhope.org/ because they accept different musical instruments besides money.

Where are all of the people who have a big heart for animals ?

I have been to the SPCA in Elizabeth City several times and to say they are cramped for space is an unstatement !!! During my visits there it was nothing to see 4 or 5 cats in 1 crate and most of the time at least 2 dogs in each fenced area. If individuals would do as the SPCA tells everyone to do by spaying or neutering their animals it just may make this issue a lesser burden on the county, the employees of the shelter and and last but not least the volunteers !!! A family member of mine once was the manager of this facility and at that time, (about 5 years ago),the SPCA was searching for a new larger building then, but was unsuccessful at that time. Now they found that building which they were searching for 5 years ago, but there aren't enough people interested in this crisis to fulfil their needs !!! When I say "crisis" this is my way of thinking,visualizing, and voicing this situation and if any of you would visit this local facility at 100 Wilson Street, (off of North Road Street, behind the business of Mr. Auto),you just may see/feel the same way. Also, whenever this family member worked there they were always in need of dog food, cat food, blankets, towels, etc. . Often, I have carried items their to donate because I know all about their needs. If you are not able to donate money then maybe you have some items around your home which they can use. If your not sure about the items they need call them at (252)338-5222. They will let you know if these items are something they can use !!! Other scenario is this, a lot of people have yard/garage sales this time of the year and often what they don't sell goes to the dump. Instead of taking it to the dump call the SPCA and find out if it is something they can use. By my last comment something else entered my mind. Being people are having so many yard/garage sales now, why don't we all organize a sale and allow all proceeds to go to the SPCA !!! My 9 year old child is watching me type this comment and she is already willing to make desserts and beverages for this sale if we can all pull together to make it happen !!! Now, you tell me, if a 9 year old thought of this idea instantly, can't we as adults make it come to life ? "SURE WE CAN"!!! If each person in Pasquotank County and surrounding areas, (which do not have yard/garage sales or does not have anything to donate), could donate just $5.00 each, what a tremendous outcome this would be !!! For those of you that might be wondering, "YES" I have volunteered, gave items and money to our local SPCA !!! Also, not to long ago, the SPCA had an opening for a Manager listed in TDA. I applied for the position, but by the time they called me for an interview I had to much time on my hands to really think about the responsibilities of an office manger there. I didn't accept the interview because of one, responsibility which was euthanization!!! I couldn't bare the thought of having to euthanize one of those animals !!! This was the only thing which held me back from the interview. So, you see, if the SPCA had a larger area/building this would most definitely put a stop to a lot of the euthanization going on. I know for a fact that if a pet comes in and there isn't any room for it, the personnel has to decide which animal has been there the longest and they have to euthanize one animal to take in the next animal !!! "THIS IS A VERY SAD AND DEVASTATING OPERATION FOR THESE EMPLOYEES TO DECIDE ON"!!! "THEY SHOULD NOT EVEN HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION SUCH AS THIS"!!! This comment is just my thoughts as to this situation and I know each and every one of us have our own thoughts. But, if we, (as a community), could pull together and make the idea about the yard/garage sale happen, this would be a tremendous help for our local SPCA !!! I wish that I could put my home and email address in this comment, but I don't feel safe by doing this !!! My name already appears on each comment I leave because when I set up my account I didn't know this would happen !!! If anyone is interested, you can find me on Facebook though. Just message me through Facebook, (if you want your information to remain private),or comment on the article from here. I will save the article and register for updates on it to be sent to my email address !!! "SO,COME ON PEOPLE, LETS MAKE THIS HAPPEN FOR A VERY GOOD CAUSE"!!! "AS THE COMMENT ABOVE MENTIONED, "WE THROW AWAY $5.00 EVERY DAY ON THINGS WHICH WE REALLY DO NOT NEED"!!! "REMEMBER TO HAVE YOUR ANIMAL SPAYED OR NEUTERED" !!!

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If people would give just $5, the new building would be up and running. I throw away $5 weekly on something not necessary.

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