In its effort to serve as many of the area's animals as possible, the Lycoming County SPCA, 2805 Reach Road, broke ground Friday on an addition that will give the facility three new rooms.
"One of the things we realized is we didn't have enough room for our cats. We didn't have enough room for our dog training," Director Victoria Stryker said on why the shelter needed the new spaces.
After receiving donations totaling more than $225,000 from family donors and the First Community Foundation Partnership, plans to add three rooms - one for incoming cat screenings, one to be used as a multipurpose room for dog and volunteer training and a third for surgery - were created.
JOSEPH STENDER/ Sun-Gazette
One of the three new spaces in the addition will give the SPCA an area to perform incoming cat processing and evaluations.
Joyce Hershberger, SPCA board president, said the donations came at the right time, "like a miracle from the sky."
Construction on the project is to begin this week and is expected be completed by the end of May. Stryker said the donations received will fund the construction but more donations are needed to furnish the addition.
The work will be the second addition on the facility since it opened in 1998. A small free-roaming cat area was completed last year.
The new spaces will allow the shelter to better serve animals that are looking for new homes, Stryker said.
Cats will be able to be processed, have health evaluations and records stored in the facility's database through the addition. Currently, these tasks are performed in a grooming room, Stryker said.
"We'll be able to help more cats find homes," she said.
Dog training, both for dogs in the shelter and the public, now is performed in the lobby. Stryker explained that in order to hold the training classes, furniture must be moved and then put back when finished. It also creates a disturbance for those visiting the facility as they must go around the training.
And with a new surgical area, the SPCA is hoping to have a veterinarian visit the shelter to spay and neuter the animals, instead of taking them to an outside facility.
"It'll be less stressful for the animals to do it here," Stryker explained.
Hershberger said the staff takes good care of the animals and the new addition, through the donations, will only enhance that.
"This is really a wonderful day for us and we are really looking forward (to the addition)," she said.