Building the Regional SPCA St. John’s 1
Table of Contents
From the Honourary Patron
From the Campaign Chair
A New Chapter
The Inspiring Poppy Cecil
A Promise is a Promise
Who Rescued Who?
How You Can Help
They are friends, with unconditional love!
From the Honourary Patron How we treat animals says a lot about us as a society. So many of us consider the cats and dogs (and bunnies and birds) who live with us as family – and rightly so. We care for them as we would care for any other family member. But sometimes, through no fault of their own, animals end up homeless. For decades, the St. John’s SPCA has been there to pick up the slack – for abandoned animals, and for animals whose humans can no longer provide the care and attention they deserve. Each year, more than twelve hundred dogs and cats pass through the SPCA’s doors. They receive the care and attention they need. And 98% of them are adopted – making the St. John’s SPCA a star performer in Canada. But now, the SPCA itself needs to be rescued. Its facility, which houses those twelve hundred animals each year, has reached the end of its useful life. Even if that weren’t the case, it is no longer big enough to meet the needs of homeless animals from St. John’s and the surrounding communities. Those animals – and the 400 volunteers who help care for them – need a new home. So that fewer animals have to wait to get the care they need. The care they deserve. As someone whose entire life has been enriched by the unconditional love of animals, and as someone who is currently a proud mom to five rescued cats, I am delighted to provide my personal support to help build a new facility for the SPCA. Let’s work together to help more animals find The Way Home!
Renee Marquis–Antle Honourary Patron, The Way Home
Renee Marquis–Antle affectionately holds two Husky puppies that recently arrived at the SPCA St. John’s from Labrador.
“I support the SPCA St. John’s because they take animals with uncertain futures and invest in them.” Jim Hynes Campaign Chair, The Way Home
From the Campaign Chair Dear Friends, I am truly honoured to be chairing The Way Home Capital Campaign, an initiative that will build a new regional SPCA. The St. John’s metro area is growing and while much has been accomplished in public awareness, the need to take in, care for, and find forever homes for animals is expected to rise as our population grows and ages. This campaign is crucial to help us create the proper infrastructure we all know is needed to care for animals that, through no fault of their own, find themselves homeless. The planned, efficient and beautiful 1,000 m2 (10,800 ft2) facility has long been needed. Modern SPCAs are more than just bricks and mortar that provide care and temporary shelter—they are warm, welcoming centres with enough space, both inside and out, for people to enjoy a sense of community, to volunteer, and to become educated about responsible pet ownership. And they create a place where families are made whole with healthy, affordable and loving pets. In our new facility, hundreds of volunteers, with our support, can make positive change in the lives of many people and pets.
Honourary Patron Renee Marquis–Antle
Campaign Cabinet Jim Hynes, Chair Glenda Best Janis Byrne Kevin King Bob Noseworthy
The SPCA St. John’s, which was established in 1888, is in the heart of our province’s largest population base, and we have managed to support overflow care and adoptions from shelters as far away as Labrador.
As Chair of this important initiative, I am asking you to join me in making a contribution that will allow a remarkable organization to continue to succeed at its mission for many years to come.
Jim Hynes Campaign Chair, The Way Home
June Perry John Thompson
Essential Work The Regional SPCA St. John’s is an adoption focused non-profit organization—but the oldest and largest SPCA in the province does so much more than connect families with animals who need a loving home. For instance, while not an enforcement agency, it actively reports and advocates against cruelty to animals. Eight years ago, our region of 215,000 people—including St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South, Torbay and communities as far south as Witless Bay— was overwhelmed with cats and dogs needing homes. The numbers were as high as 1,700. Through persistence in public education, establishing a spay and neuter program and making pets affordable, the Regional SPCA St. John’s quarterbacked a gradual decline in animal intake to 1,000–1,200 animals. However, current numbers continue to strain aging facilities that have always been too small. And the region expects an 11.5% population growth over the next 20 years. Even with continued program success, conservative projections see future intake numbers that could reach as high as 1,500 animals. 6
Every animal’s journey to a new home is a complex one. Upon intake, each is isolated and examined for contagious disease and other health conditions. Every animal is given medical treatment as required, vaccinated, tested for hereditary conditions, microchipped and spayed or neutered. There is no timeframe for when an animal “must” be adopted. Proper medical treatment, patience, and a strong commitment to socialization ensures that each and every animal is ready to be matched to its “forever home”. This underscores the SPCA’s transitional role, based on the belief that every animal deserves the stability, safety, and companionship of a permanent home. To do all this, the Regional SPCA St. John’s relies on a committed core of over 400 volunteers! Adoption and service fees are kept low. Fees exist only to place a value on the service and to help screen for an appropriate commitment from prospective pet owners. This approach has resulted in some of the highest adoption rates in the country. In 2020, the Regional SPCA St. John’s ensured 1,068 animals (99.5% of its intake!) found The Way Home.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Community Benefits Spending time with an animal reduces stress, with proven benefits to a person’s physical and emotional health. A new facility will dramatically improve opportunity for this type of community engagement. A new facility will strengthen the leadership role of the Regional SPCA St. John’s and enable it to facilitate additional transfers from other shelters throughout the province. In the process of ensuring humane care and adoption, the SPCA provides other important tangible benefits.
AVOIDED COSTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES With a strong volunteer base and huge animal intake, the SPCA offers support to animal control officers in municipalities, providing humane services to homeless animals. The once-common practice of euthanizing animals due to limited space or high rehabilitation costs has been all but eliminated.
ACCESS TO GREAT PETS
The SPCA’s low-to-no cost education and awareness programs are respected internationally for their pragmatism. They help people understand, upfront, the responsibilities of pet care and ownership. All this results in increased spaying and neutering, fewer animals being given up or abandoned (resulting in less intake), increased adoptions, and a significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to find good homes for intake animals.
A pet can be an expensive luxury for lower income individuals and families who want companionship and would make great pet owners. The SPCA offers programs that enable lower income families to adopt healthy, well socialized animals. The SPCA even has a pet food bank and a fostering service to avoid unnecessary surrender in tough times.
RE-HOMING OF WELL-LOVED PETS
VOLUNTEER AND TEAM BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES
BROADER BUSINESS COMMUNITY BENEFITS
Not all intake animals are abandoned or abused. Did you ever wonder what happens when a senior citizen or a new mother realizes she can no longer care for their well-loved companion? It’s heart wrenching! Your SPCA is a trusted, non-judgmental organization that takes the matching process for re-homing as seriously as if these pets were their own.
The SPCA offers individuals, many of whom cannot permanently adopt a pet, the opportunity to experience affection and companionship. Volunteers engage in everything from fostering to facilitating rehabilitation through feeding and socialization—all much-appreciated services. In the process of doing good, these teams relieve a little stress and establish bonds that make for a great workplace.
An organization that cares for more than 1,200 animals each year has a significant supply chain. The Regional SPCA St. John’s directly benefits pet food and sanitization suppliers, veterinarians and veterinary suppliers. More broadly, everyone appreciates and patronizes businesses that support causes they care about, like the SPCA.
“Every year, your SPCA gives over 1,200 dogs and cats care, attention and a fresh start. It truly is the way these animals find The Way Home... a forever home!”
A New Chapter This Old Shelter Has to Go! The existing facility is well past the end of its useful life and presents serious risks related to animal isolation and air quality. It is cramped and requires far too much effort to maintain the necessary sanitation and cleaning standards. Maintenance costs have become unreasonable. Although air quality meets the minimum standard, the risk of airborne disease is high. Dog runs and exterior exercise areas are small and not nearly stimulating enough. Closet-sized rooms operate as medical exam spaces, and the cramped basement creates dark offices and bleak staff rooms. Every nook and cranny is used for storage. In short, this facility is busting at its seams! Furthermore, despite the educational strides the SPCA has made, today’s demand is simply too high, resulting in a reliance on too many offsite supports and services. A new facility will take the pressure off intake waiting lists and reduce the stress on our loyal fostering volunteers, who are stretched at times to accommodate the needs of animals.
THE WAY HOME
NEW VETERINARY CLINIC
The proposed new SPCA facility will be a modern 1,000 m2 (10,800 ft2) single story structure. Situated on a 1.5 acre lot with additional adjacent undeveloped land, the facility will have adequate space for the trails, training and exercise areas envisioned for shelter animals and to host the public. Located near the existing SPCA shelter on the north side of Torbay Airport, this once isolated area is seeing rapid re-development and will soon be connected to the Hebron Way extension and bus routes, maximizing the ability for volunteers and adopters to access the facility.
A play and socialization area where visitors can begin to bond with animals is central to the SPCA vision. The new facility will incorporate a spacious 84 m2 (900 ft2) adoption lobby. This welcoming and open space will mean more room for connection—and that can lead to more adoptions. In the off hours, the lobby will serve as a community room for public activities and engagement.
An in-house veterinarian and clinic with surgery, X-ray, and laboratory testing reduces treatment bottlenecks and costs in both our testing and spay and neuter programs, allowing the SPCA St. John’s to do more for animals and lower-income pet owners.
In With the New! Modern animal shelters have evolved to become facilities that do more than efficiently house intake animals. By emphasizing the value of public engagement and providing community spaces (inside and out) for education, training, and community events, these facilities become a more self-sustaining and integrated part of the community. Appropriate plans and equipment will provide the operational efficiencies needed to free up time for staff and volunteers to expand their efforts on direct animal care, on socialization, and on public education—including being able to accommodate more volunteers and visitors beyond the 400 they typically see each month. With greater emphasis on socialization and adoption areas, the high volume of adoptions the SPCA currently handles will be sustainable in the face of growing demand.
SEPARATED CAT AND DOG ADOPTION ROOMS
VOLUNTEER AND TRAINING ROOM
SAFE INTAKE AND ISOLATION AREAS
Separated cat and dog adoption areas reduce animal stress and have rooms that emulate a home environment. They also offer the pet and the prospective owner a more realistic sense of what living together will be like.
With a spacious 56 m2 (600 ft2) volunteer work and training room, more volunteers and team- building activities involving animal care and socialization can take place. This space will double as a much-needed boardroom.
These areas are essential because bringing a new animal into a shelter is stressful for them and not without risks to the existing animal population. To ease the intake process and win an animal’s trust, it is important to be able to properly isolate and transition them.
PROPER VENTILATION A modern, properly zoned ventilation and heating system will reduce costs. More importantly, it will allow for separate intake areas to isolate sick animals and minimize the risk of airborne disease outbreaks.
Community Programs “A great SPCA is never about the bricks and mortar. Its character is always shaped by the good that takes place inside!” SNAP Program
Cats can have up to three litters a year. Dogs can have up to two. This means thousands of unwanted, homeless young animals can end up suffering. That’s why the Regional SPCA St. John’s offers its Spay and Neuter Assistance Program to pet guardians in financial need.
Fostering is a wonderful way to help animals not ready for adoption. Foster parents give our animals the beautiful gift of a temporary home until they are ready to go to their forever home. Our program also provides the foster parent with all necessary supplies and support.
If a cat or dog has an unwanted litter of kittens or puppies, its owner can contact the Regional SPCA St. John’s, which has an open offer to take in these animals, vaccinate them, spay or neuter them, and find them loving forever homes. The SPCA will also spay the mother cat/dog to prevent more unwanted litters. This Prevent Unwanted Pets program comes with a no-cost and no-judgment guarantee.
Kayla Cooper Owner, Vanity Fur Grooming Supporter of SPCA St. John’s It was a cat hoarding situation, so no one expected a dog. But there was Cecil, alone in a box, his fur matted and covered in feces. The smell was almost unbearable. And Cecil was scared. When someone takes in more animals than they can properly care for, it is called animal hoarding. It is a complex issue, and there are usually underlying mental health issues. Most hoarders truly believe they are helping. They bring home animals in need, sometimes failing to realize the animal is pregnant or has health issues. Litters are born, more animals are brought home and the numbers climb quickly until the situation spirals out of control. Despite their good intentions, animal hoarders’ own troubles can blind them to the animals’ suffering. It’s a heartbreaking situation.
Cecil went to a foster home, but Kayla kept in contact with his fosterer through texts and photos. She would tell her husband about the dog who had a hold on her heart. And then, on her 29th birthday, Kayla’s husband surprised her with Cecil. “I cried happy tears—we could give Cecil the home and love he truly deserved.” Now Cecil is a mellow dog living his best retirement life. “If he could drink Tetley tea, he would,” Kayla laughs, adding they have nicknamed him “Unicorn” because he seems magical and can read her mood. “If I’m excited, he’s prancing around. If I’m sad or having a hard day, he’s right there, cuddled into me. He is the sunshine to my mornings. I thank the Regional SPCA St. John’s for allowing Cecil to be a part of our family.”
They provide unconditional love.
Kayla Cooper is a Seal Cove groomer who often donates her time to the SPCA. When Cecil was found three years ago, she provided services to the 11-year-old dog. She began to shave him and discovered chicken wire embedded in his fur. When she was done, it was obvious how emaciated the malnourished dog had become. A cat lover who already had two rescue cats, Kayla immediately fell for the dog. “When I met Cecil that day,” she says, “it was love at first sight.”
The Inspiring Poppy Cecil 15
A Promise is a Promise Bob Matchim passed away last May. Bringing Bud into a new home was tricky, the family already had a dog Maggie and an adopted cat Tish. The two cats loathe each other, getting into horrible fights. Bud asserted his dominance in many ways, including biting the dog. No matter how difficult this would prove to be; a promise is a promise. “At times it was stressful, but everyone just has to get along, once you’re here, you’re family,” recalls Donna, Kira’s mother.
Donna Matchim and Kira Matchim Supporters of SPCA St. John’s Some would call Bud a “difficult cat” - arriving at the SPCA St. John’s after being rehomed several times, his trust in people was low. Finding him a home would not be easy. Bob Matchim, the grandfather of Kira Matchim, walked into the shelter and instantly connected with Bud. Kira looked at her Pop and said “I think he is scared-mean not mean-mean.” Bob and Bud developed a great relationship. Bud always sensed when Bob was about to leave the house and would try to block the door by laying in front of it. One day, Bob asked Kira to promise that if anything happened to him, she would take Bud. Kira made that promise and has kept it. 16
Bud was very depressed and nervous in his new home. To help him feel comfortable, they let Bud go at his own pace. Kira slept on the couch to build his trust, eventually he started sleeping on her chest and then transitioned to sleeping in the bedroom. They have devised a schedule - each cat gets their time daily to free roam in the house. Bud lives in the basement with Kira, and Tish lives on the main floor. When Bud wanders upstairs, Tish moves to the dining room. They work very hard to keep everyone feeling some level of contentment. Donna jokes saying, “we got to survive here, we got to play the game”. The Matchim’s attribute giving Bud his space to his significant improvement. Bud’s favorite sleeping spot is the bathroom sink, when there, the family wash their hands in the kitchen, not to disrupt him. Recently Bud was seen asleep on the same couch as the dog, which would have never happened months ago. Bud has formed a connection with Kira, which emulates the relationship he had with Bob. When she leaves the house, Bud is often found crying at the door. He is family and a wonderful reminder of Mr. Matchem and the person he was.
for 30 minutes before he approached her and eventually sat on her lap. After she had left, the shelter called saying Sammy hadn’t stopped crying for her and how unusual that was because he hadn’t showed interest in anyone. Sammy required a lot of rehabilitation before he would be adoptable. He came from an abusive home, never had dog food - was fed scraps from neighbors and didn’t understand dog toys. Although Rebecca was wary of the commitment, she decided to foster Sammy.
Our support system. Rebecca Oxford Supporter of SPCA St. John’s Rebecca struggles with depression. When she moved to St. John’s to complete her nursing degree, she started volunteering at the SPCA St. John’s because “animals always have unconditional love and I needed it for self-care.” Rebecca volunteered with the dogs at the shelter and arrived for her shift one day to find all the dogs excited to get attention and be let out – except Sammy. He was in the back of his kennel; he didn’t come when called and was uninterested in everything. Rebecca knew Sammy needed help. She sat in the kennel with him
Who Rescued Who?
While in Rebecca’s care, Sammy progressed quickly. More surprisingly, Rebecca noticed she was improving too, getting out of bed earlier and even exercising. Before University she was hospitalized and now Sammy and the SPCA St. John’s helped her feel better. Sammy supported her during panic attacks – he would break through her arms to kiss her face. She adopted Sammy saying, “He has been my rock, just sitting next to me on my worst days has changed my life and gives me hope, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without him.” The St. John Ambulance posted an ad for a therapy dog and knowing how good Sammy was with her she signed him up. He passed the evaluation with flying colors. Sammy now visits seniors, children and individuals with disabilities. He is great around wheelchairs, bed visits, and even shaky hands - he sits on laps and allows people to pet him. Rebecca says that “Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you.” “SPCA St. John’s is so important because they legit save dogs lives from neglect and allow dogs a second or third chance to live their best lives,” added Rebecca. “I can’t imagine if they weren’t there to give Sammy a second chance and that he was still being abused.”
“Many people don’t realize what they are missing in life until they experience the unconditional love of a pet.” 18
How You Can Help Although the Regional SPCA St. John’s has a strong donor base working to support its programming and operations, it does not have the ability to carry the capital cost of this much-needed facility. We’re asking animal lovers like you to come together, corporately and individually, to help make a difference and build a facility that will enhance, educate and ensure The Way Home for the thousands of homeless animals who would have no future without the good work of the SPCA. There are so many ways to get involved in this important campaign—please do all that you can!
Giving You can support the campaign by making a direct cash gift to The Way Home campaign. Your donation can also take the form of a donation of stocks transferred to the campaign fund. There are also options for: • A matching gift (for example, an employer may match an employee gift) • A group gift from service club, workplace fundraiser, sports team
Employee Giving Programs You may wish to initiate an employee giving program in your workplace. The Way Home campaign office will help set up and support a campaign at your company.
Gift Plans With a gift of $1,000 or more, you or your company can benefit from a variety of recognition opportunities. The SPCA St. John’s is designated a charity by the Canada Revenue Agency. Charitable tax deduction receipts are issued for qualifying gifts.
Recognition Program Star Donor Level
• Significant naming rights/recognition to areas within the facility and grounds • Your logo added to plaque at main entrance of the building • Your name on site signage during construction • A press event announcing gift • A photo opportunity • Designated officials invited to speak at events • Listing on all campaign communications materials • Largest recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • 1st level recognition on SPCA’s campaign website • A preferred event for unveiling of your gift
• Significant naming rights to areas within the centre and grounds • Your logo added to plaque at main entrance of the building • Your name on site signage during construction • A press event announcing gift • A photo opportunity • Designated officials invited to speak at special events • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • 2nd level recognition on the SPCA’s campaign website • A preferred event for unveiling of your gift
Hero Donor Level
Master Donor Level
• Significant naming rights/recognition to areas within the facility and grounds • Your logo added to plaque at main entrance of the building • Your name on site signage during construction • A press event announcing gift • A photo opportunity • Designated officials invited to speak at events • Listing on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • 1st level recognition on SPCA’s campaign website • A preferred event for unveiling of your gift 20
Champion Donor Level
• Significant naming rights to areas within the centre and grounds • Your logo added to plaque at main entrance of the building • Your name on site signage during construction • Designated officials invited to speak at one special event • Photo opportunity • Listed on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • 2nd level recognition on SPCA’s campaign website
Guardian Donor Level
Animal Lover Level
• Branded signage opportunity on the site during construction • Your name added to plaque at main entrance of the building • A photo opportunity • A listing on all campaign communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • 3rd level recognition on the SPCA’s campaign website
• Your name added to plaque at main entrance of the building • A letter of appreciation • Recognition on the SPCA campaign website
Protector Donor Level
• Your name added to plaque at main entrance of the building • A letter of appreciation • Recognition on website
• Your name added to plaque at main entrance of the building • A listing on selected communications materials • Recognition in print, web, and social media promotions • Framed certificate of appreciation • 3rd level recognition on the SPCA’s campaign website
• Your name added to plaque at main entrance of the building • Recognition on the SPCA’s campaign website and social media • Framed certificate of appreciation 21
“Inside every animal is a remarkable capacity to love. They complete families and they create families.”
Honourary Patron Campaign Cabinet
Renee Marquis–Antle Jim Hynes, Chair Glenda Best Janis Byrne Kevin King Bob Noseworthy Gina Pecore
June Perry John Thompson Nick Whelan SPCA St. John’s Board of Directors
Kim Andrews, Treasurer Amanda Buis, Co-Chair Kevin Fleming Carolyn Hickey Glenda Howse Lisa Inder, Secretary Christopher Loomis Bob Noseworthy, Past Chair Heidi Peddle Ray Piercey Metzi Prince, Chair Karen Whittle
Campaign Planning, Marketing and Communications
Pilot° Communications 23
TheWayHomeSPCA.ca P.O. Box 23150 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J9 info@TheWayHomeSPCA.ca (709) 753-0794