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Shedding burdensome property opens path for new SPCA shelter in Corner Brook

A crew of about a dozen people was busy working Thursday on the roof of the building purchased by the NL West SPCA with the hope of turning it into its new animal shelter, but which has now been sold by the organization.
A crew of about a dozen people was busy working Thursday on the roof of the building purchased by the NL West SPCA with the hope of turning it into its new animal shelter, but which has now been sold by the organization. - Gary Kean

The NL West SPCA has had a huge weight lifted off its shoulders.

With the sale of the ill-fated building it had purchased in Wild Cove, the organization is now looking forward to making plans to finally make its dream of a new animal shelter a reality.

The SPCA bought the vacant property in Wild Cove nearly six years ago with the hope of transforming it into a shelter that would replace the dilapidated one it currently occupies in the Curling area of Corner Brook.

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However, the Wild Cove building has proven to be more of a financial burden. After spending thousands of dollars on it to try to bring it up to the standard required to be an animal shelter, the SPCA realized it would require significantly more investment — particularly to enhance the water pressure required for a fire suppression system — before an occupancy permit could be approved.

Now that a buyer has been found for the building, the SPCA is hoping to build a new shelter in the Lundrigan Drive area, where the City of Corner Brook has made some land available to the group.

“We invested a bit of money over there across the bay (in Wild Cove), but we have been able to recoup a little bit of that and we are pretty pleased with the sale,” said Frances Drover, NL West SPCA’s president.

Drover said the organization was concerned it would have trouble selling the Wild Cove property, given the problems the SPCA had with developing it for its own use.

“We were delighted that it happened rather quickly,” she said of the sale. “We think it was a win-win situation because the people who bought it were looking for something along those lines and we just happened to have what they were looking for. So it was very fortunate for the SPCA.”

According to a social media post by realtor Pat Higgins, who facilitated the sale, the new owner is Turtle Technologies. The Ottawa-based business has an office in the R.A. Pollett Building in Corner Brook and touts itself as an Indigenous company that provides technology resources and solutions to private- and public-sector organizations.

The Western Star contacted Turtle Technologies about its plans for the Wild Cove building, but no one was made available for an interview as of deadline Thursday.

Drover said the SPCA has some things in mind for its new location, but hopes to roll out a more definitive plan in the new year and hopes to possibly break ground on its new animal shelter on Lundrigan Drive in the spring.

Despite the sale, she said, the organization will need to continue doing fundraising to ensure the project goes ahead.

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