Calgary Humane Society breaks ground on $12.5M renovation
New shelter space will provide better living conditions for the animals
The Calgary Humane Society will soon be housing its animals in a larger, fully renovated facility.
The society has broken ground on a $12.5 million facility enhancement project, and has raised nearly two-thirds of the budget. On Thursday, they not only started construction, they announced a major new donation.
Today we were overjoyed to announce a $500,000 gift from long time supporter, Heather Bala-Edwards. Launching the ‘For Them’ Campaign, we will be working with the community to secure the rest to ensure we offer the best care to the animals who need us. 😊 <a href="https://t.co/JtEPh7MJwf">pic.twitter.com/JtEPh7MJwf</a>—@CalgaryHumane
Executive Director Carrie Fritz says this plan has taken years to complete because they want to create a perfect habitat for the animals.
"In areas where we were failing, it was due to the design of our building," she said. "We have animals of different species that are housed in very close proximity right next to each other, so we have predators right next to their prey animal — it's very distressing for them, as you can imagine."
Frtiz went on to say that the kennels and housing units don't meet size requirements, there is not enough outdoor space, and not enough natural light, and that the shelter's veterinary clinic is inefficient for the level of medical care they need to provide.
Today we excitedly held a socially distant Groundbreaking Ceremony for our Facility Enhancement Project! A scheduled completion, Spring 2022. This project is budgeted at $12.5 million, which CHS has already fundraised and saved $8 million. <a href="https://t.co/NGd09MmL0q">pic.twitter.com/NGd09MmL0q</a>—@CalgaryHumane
"After we are renovated, we will have species segregation," she said. "We will have properly sized enclosures that are modifiable and adaptable, we'll have better acoustics for our animals. We'll have natural lighting for the animals that need it for their health — and we will get rid of that fluorescent lighting that is so terribly irritating for our cats."
"It has taken many years for us to get here today," Board Chair Lisa Kindree told CBC.
"There has been a great deal of research and planning, consultation and preparation and many, many drafts to finally arrive at the building design that will help us achieve our mission to help as many animals as we can."
The expanded and renovated animal shelter will have properly sized animal enclosures, better acoustics, more adaptability and improved lighting, in the existing location at 4455 110 Ave. S.E.
The shelter expansion is expected to be ready in the Spring of 2022, just in time for the Humane Society's Centennial celebration.
With files from Justin Pennell