CORNER BROOK — Judy Mahoney said the board of the NL West SPCA is re-invigorated and ready to go to the next challenge.
The board helds it annual general meeting Tuesday and for the most part the executive remains the same with Mahoney staying on as president.
Reflecting on the board’s past year Mahoney said “it was a major year.”
Along with running its Connors Road shelter and completing the purchase of a building on the north shore for a new shelter, the organization ended up taking the lead role in the rescue and care of the east side cats.
Mahoney said the organization purchased the former Expro Industries Inc. or Teleglobe building at a cost of $300,000.
Fundraising initiatives by the NL West SPCA and its predecessor the Bay of Islands SPCA had brought in that amount.
Of that total, $200,000 in cash went to the purchase of the building and the previous owners gave the SPCA an interest free mortage for seven years on the remaining $100,000.
With the purchase complete the group then started phase 2 of the shelter project, renovating the location.
Mahoney said the building needs a fire suppression system and some plumbing and electrical work and the SPCA is looking to raise about $350,000 to cover the cost of the work.
“We know this area has been tapped out,” said Mahoney. “People are so generous, but they only have so many dollars and so we’re reaching out, we’re looking for grants and we’re going across the country.”
The group has started a patrons club and is looking for 1,500 people or groups to pledge $350 each.
A tax receipt will be provided for all donations and patrons will get to have their name on a dog or cat tag that will be placed on a magnetic board in the foyer of the shelter.
Mahoney said “it’s a gift that will go on forever,” and she’s challenging working groups or families to become patrons.
As project manager on the shelter Mahoney said she also plans to look for some in-kind contributions from businesses or skilled professionals in terms of materials and labour.
The SPCA is also reaching out to Newfoundlanders living away, and has already targetted some efforts in Fort McMurray. She’s also developing a challenge for all the Newfoundland clubs across the country asking them to host a day for the NL West SPCA.
Mahoney said the group is calling 2013 Come Home Year for the animals on the west coast.
If everything goes well and the board hopes to be in the new shelter by June 2013.
“You know we’re going to do it,” she said. “We’re absolutely going to do it and that building will outlive all of us and our children and our grandchildren.”
Mahoney said the NL West SPCA’s audited financial statement for the last year hasn’t been completed yet, but it will be available online.
She said financially the organization is doing OK.
She said it costs the SPCA about $50,000 a year to run its Connors Road shelter, but with the east side cat rescue this past summer the group was running two shelters and had to use about $30,000 of its reserve.
Mahoney said staff had to be hired and cleaning product and food and other items purchased for the care of the cats.
She said there was a lot of support from people across the province with about $10,000 in donations.
But because of the enormity of the situation “that just evaporated.”
A portion of the $100,000 saved from the shelter purchase has also been used on the first part of the fire suppression system.
Anyone interested in helping out with the shelter renovations can contact Mahoney at email@example.com.