In the dog house

Dear Ace: It’s been a year since the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA moved into the new building. How are things going over there? Is the new facility paid for?—Puppy Love

Pup: To respond to your question about the building’s financial status, Ace can offer you two answers. The first answer is: Yes, the $6 million building has been paid for since the facility was purchased in full last year. The second answer is: No, the building has not been paid for since the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had to take out a loan from the United States Dairy Administration to front the costs of the building upgrade. (USDA? Ace was unaware that the SPCA took care of foundling cows!)

   But the new facility on Berkmar Drive is not the biggest change at the SPCA. Bigger than the big new building is the new bigwig in charge, executive director Susanne Kogut. After leaving her job in the banking world, Kogut visited shelters around the United States to assess the new trends in the animal welfare world.

   Kogut’s shelter tour even-tually took her to the Thomp-kins facility in Ithaca, New York, a no-kill shelter that only euthanizes animals deemed behaviorally dangerous or medically un-treatable. (And no, peeing on the rug is not a medically untreatable ailment!) In a no-kill shelter, all other animals brought into the facility are either adopted immediately or fostered until a suitable household can be located. Kogut hopes to make our local SPCA a no-
kill shelter.

   While dog adoptions have been rising over the past six months, the new facility has not exactly translated into fewer animals at the shelter. Intake numbers, especially with the kitties, have actually increased in the last year. Regrettably, Kogut says, “People feel better about dropping animals off at the shelter knowing that they will be in a nice facility.”

   If you want to help the SPCA with its building and general fund needs, Ace reminds his generous readers that the Rummage Sale collection is going on every Tuesday, 3-6pm, at the Grand Home Furnishings Warehouse off Fifth Street Extended. Ace knows that one man’s trash (his) is another man’s treasure (everyone else’s!).

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