"Fix Our House" - Fort Mcmurray SPCA
Created October 15, 2012 by Gerry Murphy
“Fix Our House” - Provide
the Fort McMurray SPCA with a functional and attractive outdoor area for
visitors, volunteers, employees, dogs and cats to enjoy.
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
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.