The Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue shelter will soon have a new home.
After nearly 50 years at its current location on Taylor Avenue in the city's north end, the operation is moving to a bigger, more modern location on Bayside Drive on the east side.
"It's time that we move on," said Terry Goodwin, who has worked at the pound for about 29 years.
The shelter has been at its current location since 1963 and is showing its age, he said. "It's old, not many repairs have been done to it."
'It's just going to give us so many more opportunities to get these animals into good homes.' —Kari Poore, executive director
Problems have included mould, water damage and ventilation issues, said executive director Kari Poore.
She's looking forward to a fresh start at the new location at 295 Bayside Dr., almost across from the old dry docks.
"It's really hard on the heart to see, kind of the condition of the building, the kennels, things like that — so it's just going to give us so many more opportunities to get these animals into good homes," said Poore.
She expects to move into the new location by the end of the month, once the old building, which used to belong to Hickey Brothers Disaster Cleanup, is retrofitted.
It will provide up to an extra 4,000 square feet, which will allow for larger indoor kennels. There will also be big outdoor runs as well as additional parking.
Meanwhile, Poore hopes to see many of the 20 dogs and an estimated 100 cats housed at the shelter adopted before then.
"The stress on animals when you move them is really high, so if we can get the majority of animals out of the building before we move, that would be the best case scenario for us for sure," Poore said.
Then Poore plans to launch a capital campaign to pay down the mortgage as soon as possible.
The SPCAAR is supported entirely by the donations of volunteers and members.
The shelter deals with about 3,000 animals each year. Some are found roaming, some are brought in by their owners because they can no longer care for them, while others are rescued by people who see an animal in need.