After many years of dreaming of a building dedicated to housing animals, Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue (SAAR) is excited to announce that their dream is becoming a reality.
The building will be located at 39 Keating Road. It will have a grooming and medical room, four dog kennels, and three cat rooms.
President of SAAR, Michelle Neufeld, says the kennels will be connected to a fenced-in area outside so the dogs will be able to run around outside, and each cat room will likely be able to hold 6 to 8 cats depending on their size.
“We really still want to rely on foster homes. For cats, it (the building) will be like an adoption center where you can come and check out our cats,” she says. “But for dogs, it'll mostly be a holding facility until we can find suitable foster homes because animals do better in foster homes.”
She says this building will help them take in more animals, as they currently have to say no a lot of the time.
“Right now we have to turn so many away because we don't have foster homes. So this building will be a nice holding facility until we have foster homes available,” she says. “Or even if they're healthy enough to stay at the building and be in one of our cat adoption rooms, then they can be there.”
The building will also have a grooming/medical room, reception, and a full basement for board meetings that can be used for other things if extra space is needed.
Neufeld says they already had the mortgage on the building set up before they received the $225,000 grant from the provincial government through the Building Sustainable Communities Grant, but the extra money will be an amazing help.
“we actually got the full amount that we were asking for. It's a game changer in our organization, it will lower our mortgage payments significantly, and it will just help in the long run because we won't have as many operational costs.”
The funding they received will be a tremendous help, as it is approximately 50% of their building cost.
She adds that the support and funding they have received from the community has been absolutely amazing.
“We had to have a significant down deposit in order to get a mortgage, so there's no way we could have done it without the support of the community,” she says. “We've had multiple people give us large amounts of money, and even the people that give us small amounts of money multiple times a year, that makes a huge difference too.”
After years of dreaming about this day, she says it feels really exciting to be so close to shovels in the ground.
“It’s pretty surreal, a lot of tears happening because it's just right at our doorstep.”
Neufeld is hopeful the building will be completed by late fall or early winter.
With files from Dave Anthony