The Vice President of Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue says their animal shelter could open later this month. 

Way back in 2020, SAAC purchased 39 Keating Road and got permission from Steinbach City Council to go forward with a proposed animal shelter on the lot. Since then, Graham Pollock says a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes and last summer, they finally purchased the ready-to-move building for the project.  

Pollock says the building itself was moved onto the site in early November of last year, but there was still lots that need to be done before the animal shelter could be fully functional. Fortunately, he adds things have been rolling along nicely.

“We're making great progress on the building. It's, I would say, 75 to 80 percent completed. We've got some finishing work still to do inside, but I think we're targeting or projecting that possibly, third week in April or thereabouts we'll be pretty close to opening her up. So yeah, it's been a long wait but it's going to be worthwhile once it gets done.” 

interior shots of the animal shelterThe interior of the new animal shelter is still a work in progress, but it is getting there. Photo credit: SAAR.

Pollock says the whole crew over at Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue has been going through the whole gamut of emotions.  

“I think everybody's experiencing the excitement of the newness of it and a little bit of uncertainty about what to expect. We've never run a shelter before so it's the organization of it, making sure we have volunteers there at the right time, that kind of thing. So, a little bit of apprehensiveness.” 

That said, Pollock notes they are up for the challenge. Certainly, for one of the founders of SAAR, President Michelle Neufeld, Pollock says the excitement is almost overwhelming. 

“For Michelle who's been doing this since the rescue began 10 or 12 years ago, maybe more than, it's been a dream come true for her. This has been her dream since she sat around her table with a couple other people way back when and said that they would start taking in animals.” 

Through the course of this project, Pollock says the community support has been incredible. 

“I think the Community as a whole is a giving and charitable community and I was not surprised by people always asking 'how's the building coming? When's it going to be open?' It's not surprising, but it certainly still makes your heart warm when you know there's that much interest in it from different people, from different walks of life all throughout the southeast.” 

Pollock says there will be lots of learning and growing to do over the next few months as they officially open Steinbach’s first animal shelter.