The BC SPCA Quesnel Branch has temporarily suspended its dog and puppy intake after a roof leak resulted in substantial damage.
Staff had noticed water dripping from the ceiling late Sunday, July 3, after heavy rainfall.
“It started as one small localized leak, and it appears to have spread throughout about 50 per cent of the building,” said branch manager Colby O’Flynn.
“Our entire dog housing section has suffered water damage and a partial ceiling collapse.”
The five canines were moved to another area by staff before the ceiling collapse was discovered the following morning, Monday, July 4.
They were hastily relocated to the Lower Mainland or foster homes for potential adoption as contractors and a restoration company arrived to assess the damage.
“Our cat rooms are not affected, but there are other parts of the shelter that were part of this, so we aren’t going to close down the cat intake, but we do need to reduce our numbers,” O’Flynn said.
Also impacted were the branch’s intake and laundry rooms, and washroom.
The areas are currently sealed off until asbestos-containing material is safely disposed of.
Additions were added to the branch over the years, and O’Flynn believes the area containing the dog and puppy kennels is likely the oldest, possibly even part of the original building from the late 1960s or the mid-1970s.
While there is some fenced outdoor space for canines, it is not covered from the elements, and they would still need to spend the night indoors where there is currently no available space.
“Every time I get a phone call from the contractor, I get a little bit of an update, but as of the timeline right now, it’s unknown, and it’s not sounding short-term,” O’Flynn said of the immediate need for a new roof followed by repairs to the damaged interior.
“I haven’t seen any numbers yet, but everyone knows that the cost of everything is high right now, so definitely not a good time, but it is what it is—there’s no way around it at this point, it’s an old building, and it needs to be done.”
A few weeks before the roof leak, 17 dogs and puppies were at the branch.
O’Flynn is thankful there were not nearly that many on Monday when staff had to scramble for them to be transported outside the Cariboo or foster homes, and that no person or animal was injured.
She is also grateful for the response from those who have stepped up to help.
“There’s so many moving parts and things we don’t know. Right now we’re just trying to make a plan for the dogs to make sure they have somewhere safe to go, and then as things start to settle down and plans are put in place, we will use our Facebook page to communicate,” O’Flynn said.
“I could foresee there being a recruitment for foster homes for dogs,” she added.
Dogs and puppies in need of immediate care at the BC SPCA Quesnel Branch will likely be transported to shelters in Prince George or Williams Lake.
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