Donation gives SPCA home
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 12:08 pm
One man’s generous donation will help provide a home for dozens of abandoned and feral pets across the foothills.
Longview resident Campbell Wilkinson is donating two acres from his 15-acre parcel along the Sheep River between Black Diamond and Turner Valley to the High Country SPCA so the non-profit organization can finally build a facility to house their rescued animals.
“I’m a huge dog lover,” said Wilkinson. “It’s clear that it’s needed there.”
Wilkinson, who has lived in both Black Diamond and Turner Valley, said he has been mulling over what to do with the 15 acres of land and felt the High Country SPCA could use it more than he could.
With a background in construction, Wilkinson said he has the right connections when it comes to everything involved with getting the land in the hands of the High Country SPCA.
“What they said is you need to have a flood plan,” he said. “I’ve come up with several that would work like a dream. To me it’s a perfect place to develop on.”
Wilkinson said he is eager to see the project get off the ground.
“It would be great if we could get it done in a year,” he said. “Hopefully no more than a year and a half.”
High Country SPCA president Buryl Poittris said the donation of land is like a dream come true for the non-profit society.
“I cried when I first heard it,” she said. “This is something we desperately need around here. There are people that toss animals away and people don’t have the right to do that.”
Since word got out about the donation of land the five-member High Country SPCA board had electricians, plumbers and people of various professions offer to help in any way they can to get a facility up and running, said Poittris. Some even offered to donate kennels and kennel runs.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “Things have just been escalating.”
The four-year-old High Country SPCA has never had a facility so rescued cats and dogs remain under the care of the Diamond Valley Veterinary Clinic, Poittris said. “We’ve been very fortunate that Diamond Valley Vet has been able to bring them there and take their own time and take care of their needs,” she said. “You don’t want an animal put down, you want to take care of business to the best of your ability.”
Poittris said every animal rescued through the High Country SPCA found a home.
Once a facility is in place, the High Country SPCA will expand its service area to include Priddis, Millarville, Longview and Okotoks.
“We need to take care of the ones that cannot be taken care of and treated with kindness,” she said. “It takes a community to raise a child. It’s the same way with animals.”
Education is also on the agenda once the facility is in place, said Poittris.
“It’s not just going to be a place to house animals and take care of their medical needs; we will be doing educational classes in regards to animals to the public,” she said. “Down the road, if all goes well, I would love to have a junior SPCA where younger people become involved.”
Poittris said the board plans to partner with other animal rescue agencies in the area including Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue Foundation in High River.
The High Country SPCA is also reaching out to the Calgary SPCA for help in getting the facility up and running, including learning what kind of funding and grants are available.
Money to get the facility operating will also come from community fundraisers, said Poittris. Money raised in the past covered the cost of spaying, neutering and health care for the rescued animals, she said.
The High Country SPCA is also looking to the community for support whether its fostering animals, donating money or materials or offering their expertise to build and operate the facility. She added volunteers are also needed to sit on the board.
For more information or to volunteer contact High Country SPCA president Buryl Poittris at 403-933-3649.