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Deteriorating building pushes BC SPCA to close Vernon branch

Animals being moved to Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops shelters
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The B.C. SPCA has made the difficult decision to close the Vernon branch. (Submitted)

The SPCA is moving out of town.

The Vernon community animal centre is permanently closing Friday, Nov. 17, due to a number of ongoing structural integrity issues.

“We have been aware of growing concerns related to the building’s foundation, walls, and ceiling, but a recent inspection by a structural engineer has also revealed significant issues with the roof that would put the safety of staff, volunteers, animals and members of the public at risk if we keep operating from the facility,” said Craig Daniell, BC SPCA CEO. “Simply repairing the roof would not be a viable solution for the long-term future of the building, as the more than 35-year-old building is located on a former landfill site which is causing the subsidence and cracking of the facility.”

Daniell stresses that the BC SPCA remains committed to serving the animal welfare needs for the City of Vernon and surrounding communities.

“Many of the programs and services in place in Vernon, such as animal protection, youth education and community support initiatives, are already regionally based and we are exploring opportunities to further support the community moving forward.”

Any animals remaining in the BC SPCA’s care at the time of the closure will be transferred to the surrounding community animal centres, whose capacities are each being increased to support sheltering activities for the community.

Two existing BC SPCA facilities - in Shuswap and Kelowna - exist within an hour and a half drive from Vernon.

“The decision to permanently close the Vernon community animal centre was very difficult and not one that was made lightly. At the end of the day, we needed to consider the welfare of our staff, volunteers, and, importantly, the animals in our care both in the short and long term.”

Construction of a new facility in Vernon is not in the works, but there are plans for a new replacement facility in Salmon Arm.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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