SPCA branch manager Rodney Weleschuk and Mickey the rabbit – one of the inhabitants of the new Cloverdale facility.

SPCA branch manager Rodney Weleschuk and Mickey the rabbit – one of the inhabitants of the new Cloverdale facility.

SPCA finds its ‘forever home’ in Surrey

New Cloverdale facility to focus on adoption and education

It didn’t take long for three cats to find ‘forever homes’ at the new BC SPCA Surrey Education and Adoption Centre.

The felines were all adopted by their new families the day the Cloverdale facility, located at 16748 50 Ave., opened its doors on March 1.

Branch manager Rodney Weleschuk hopes that the momentum will carry on as the facility grows into the sprawling 5½ acres of rural land purchased by the BC SPCA, following the end of the organization’s kenneling contract with the City of Surrey in April 2012, after being unable to match the lower bid made by the B.C. Commissionaires.

“So far, we are working in conjunction with the City of Surrey shelter. I’m building a good relationship with the manager of the shelter since I started here,” Weleschuk said.

He has been working on establishing a transfer program with the humane city shelter – located in the 17900-block of Colebrook Road – to bring adoptable cats to the SPCA in order to free up limited space and get homes for the animals as soon as possible.

“We’re complementing their service. The whole point is getting homes for the animals that need it the most as quickly as possible,” he said.

“The goal is to help the animals.”

The property will also house the SPCA’s cruelty-investigation staff from the region, as well as an education centre, which is expected to be up and running by July and will focus on the prevention of overpopulation.

Each adopted animal will be ready to go, spayed and neutered – barring any extreme circumstance, Weleschuk said.

“The City of Surrey has a huge problem with feral cats, so the less cats that are being released to the wild to become breeding feral cats, the better,” he said.

The innovative facility will also later include a chicken coop, a bunny patch, vegetable garden and cattle from cruelty seizures.

Weleschuk noted that having the space is also the perfect way to connect with the members of the community. Future plans are to be able to have birthday parties and other events on the property and for special-interests groups who can use the space for meetings and other events.