Hardhats, concrete, and construction trailers have revealed that work has begun on the Regina Humane Society’s new 38,000-square-foot multi-use facility.
Nearly two years after the initial project announcement, two sources have confirmed that construction on the $20-million facility is in progress.
“Our beloved animals deserve so much more than four walls and a roof,” the humane society said in its 2020 annual report. “They deserve a home where they can survive and thrive, and we are almost there.”
At time of publication, the Regina Humane Society was unavailable to comment on progress of the construction project.
The humane society is planning to offer a variety of amenities with this project. The animal community centre – the first of its type in Canada – will offer adoption services, a veterinarian clinic, pet washing stations, dog parks, training facilities, classrooms and a pet shop.
“Regina will become a model city with the first fully integrated Animal Community Centre of its kind in Canada,” according to the 2020 annual report.
The humane society’s 2021 annual report has yet to be released.
As a registered non-profit organization in Saskatchewan, the Regina Humane Society relies heavily on fundraisers, donations, grants and sponsorships to support their programming and services.
We are thrilled to announce that we were able to raise $80,136 thanks to the help of our donors, sponsors and volunteers.
The proceeds from the Telethon go directly to the care of homeless, abused and neglected animals. pic.twitter.com/GeqGlWPXvD
— Regina Humane Soc. (@reginahumane) April 6, 2022
The current facility, located just north of the city, is no longer suitable to meet the needs of RHS. It was built by volunteers with donated materials, and at over 55 years old, it’s showing its age.
In April 2020, the City of Regina approved RHS’s request for rezoning a parcel of land in Harbour Landing, located at 4900 Parliament Avenue. This rezoning increased the maximum square footage permitted for new structures, as well as authorized use of animals.
Construction crews are on site between the Harbour Landing SARCAN location and WBM Technologies. Concrete has been poured for the foundation of the building and some electrical wiring has been done.
The new building will allow the humane society to grow existing community programming. This includes pet-assisted therapy in long-term care facilities and educational programs for children and for people with disabilities.
In a CBC article from May 2020, executive director Lisa Koch explained that not only will the facility build relationships with the community, it will also improve the quality of life for the animals who use the shelter.
“We see ourselves as a temporary home for animals, and we certainly want to make the space be more like a home for the animals and certainly the spaces themselves are going to reflect that,” said Koch.
According to its website, the humane society received donated legal services to help with the real estate transaction:
“Thank you to McKercher LLP and senior partner, Patricia Warsaba, Q.C., for a donation of over $30,000 of in-kind legal services. This includes work on several projects including the land purchase for the new facility.”
Currently, the land parcel for the new facility in Harbour Landing is owned by the City of Regina.