ACF15393

"Fix Our House" - Fort Mcmurray SPCA

  • Submitted by:

    Gerry Murphy

    Organization:

    Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

    Location:

    Fort McMurray, Alberta

  • Idea Created:

    October 15, 2012

    Budget:

    Large ($100K - 150K)

Overview:

Idea “Fix Our House” - Provide the Fort McMurray SPCA with a functional and attractive outdoor area for visitors, volunteers, employees, dogs and cats to enjoy.   Project Outline   Fix Our House is a facility enhancement and refurbishment project for the Fort McMurray SPCA located at 155 MacAlpine Crescent. The Fix Our House Project has been developed by identifying, addressing and accommodating the expressed interests and needs of the community. This project is not only imperative to the continued work and success of the shelter but also necessary in order to accommodate the needs of growing population in the region. Improved facilities will also benefit our existing programs and allow the organization to develop and provide in house education and training initiatives for the Wood Buffalo community as well as foster the bond between man and animal Investment in the Fix Our House project will have a positive impact on the community allowing the SPCA the ability to cater to the specific needs of the people and animals residing within the municipality.   The Fort McMurray SPCA co-occupies a building with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Parks Branch Operations facility. Both entities have separate entrances and separate operations and storage yards. However, the SPCA yard used to be a Parks operations paved parking lot. The present layout does not meet the operational needs or the aesthetics that a facility of this kind deserves.   The current SPCA yard is in need of repair and redesign. The intent of this project is to introduce a functional and aesthetically pleasing “park” where once a storage yard stood, and provide additional amenities, such as paths and furniture within the current compound. New landscaped areas would surround a paved plaza, buffering the industrial parcels next door. This plaza would accommodate outdoor events and provide tree shaded seating areas. Half of the existing asphalt will be removed and replaced with planted areas and the remaining pavement, presently in poor condition, will be resurfaced. A new shade structure over existing outdoor kennels and additional yard fencing for dog runs will enable the SPCA to house more dogs outdoors during the summer months when animal in-take is at a high. Also, new paths are proposed through the currant lawn that will connect to the adjacent street sidewalk, which in turn will connect to a proposed off-leash dog park across the street.   Outdoor facility changes will result in the ability to provide the level of exercise and canine-to-canine interaction necessary to ensure needed daily mental and physical activities. These improvements will also provide an inviting and open environment for both the public and animals, such as welcoming human to animal introduction and play, and promoting of proper care, education, adoption and foster placement.   Outdoor Programs   Refurbished facilities will result in a positive experience for the individual as well as improve civic satisfaction. Providing facilities specific to the needs of both the animal and the individual will result in a safe and effective environment. Accommodations conducive to such activities as introduction and play, one on one council as well as humane education and proper care inform the public. In addition non kennel housing will give resident animals the opportunity to show case full potential, as less confined space results in fewer acts of aggression, conflict and other undesired behaviours because physical and mental needs are able to be met daily.   The SPCA runs a bottle recycling program which provides supplemental income. Residents and businesses are encouraged to bring used bottles to the yard, where they are sorted and bundled on pallets for pick-up by the regional recycler. However, thefts of these bottles have occurred, causing losses of thousands of dollars. Currently this operation has no secure storage area. A more secure area for this operation has been planned, and it includes a dedicated space with sea-cans for safe storage of bottles.   Community Involvement and accessibility   With these proposed plans, the Fort McMurray SPCA will have more opportunities for community engagements and programming within their own facility. An attractive and useful yard will leave a lasting impression with visitors, provide an opportunity to promote awareness and contribute to the caring community of Fort McMurray.