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Quinte Humane Society seeks $250,000 from County toward new shelter

A concept of what the new Quinte Humane Society could look like.

The Quinte Humane Society wants Prince Edward County to grant $250,000 toward its campaign to build a new shelter on Loyalist Wallbridge Road in Belleville.

“We are in urgent need to secure a new shelter for our animals,” Frank Rockett, the QHS executive director told council at Committee of the Whole Thursday. The existing Avonlough Road site acquired in the 70s was never meant to be an animal shelter, he said.

“It’s coming to the end of its usable capacity,” he said adding caring staff are making the best of the situation because of their compassion for the animals.

The current shelter can hold about 80 cats and 40 dogs but is often above capacity. Last fall, it had 237 animals – mostly cats with another 200 on the waiting list.

The society has already purchased 6.3 acres on the east side of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road just north of Dundas Street West. The land acquisition was $535,000 and, ranging in about 10,000 square feet, the building is expected to cost roughly $6 million.

The building fund was created following two major bequest gifts, for a total of $1.45 million. It has since received a gift of $100,000 and 59 other gifts for a total of $123,487.

Adoption fees, he said, do not cover the full cost of caring for the animals at the shelter.

On average, he noted it costs $485 per cat and an adoption fee is $140. That $485 includes costs like spay and neutering, vaccinations, de-worming and de-fleaing the animals.

The QHS is now attempting to secure civic, provincial and federal funding, assemble its fundraising and advisory committees, then begin rallying private and public support in Hastings and Prince Edward County.

Caring for about 2,200 animals a year, Rockett states approximately two-thirds are from Belleville and one-third from the townships in the Hasting and Prince Edward Counties.

Councillor Bill Roberts sought clarification on the society’s relationship with the Loyalist Humane Society in Prince Edward County which regularly houses 200-300 cats; and on QHS not being a no-kill facility.

Rockett stated the QHS works with Loyalist, but the main difference being QHS offers more canine services. He said Loyalist would also have access to the new building’s services if required.

The QHS euthanasia rate, he stated, has been reduced to just over 100 annually now; down significantly from about 600-700 about seven years ago.

“We don’t euthanize for space. The only time we euthanize is for an animal that presents a danger to the other animals in the shelter or the community; through aggression, or if its quality of life is so diminished; or cost of care is so great it is not feasible to take care of the animal.

“We’re comprised of a staff that loves animals. The last thing we want to do is euthanize, but sometimes that’s the humane treatment, as recommended by a veterinarian.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Adam Bramburger says:

    Agreed with Argyle, the Loyalist Humane Society does a great job. If there’s any public money to be spent, I’m sure they’d appreciate it and it would be put to good use.

  2. Paul Cole says:

    In light of a recent court ruling saying Ontario needs to find a new way to enforce animal cruelty laws and the Judge said that the OSPCA has been operating unconstitutionally maybe The County needs to see how that plays out before committing $250k

  3. Argyle says:

    Just another example of the drain of services to Belleville. The County needs to support its own Loyalist humane society that does an excellent job. That 250 grand would go a long way to supporting their facility for animal welfare and programming.

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