YARMOUTH - Walking down the hallway to the Dyke Family Animal Clinic at the newly renovated Yarmouth SPCA, one of the most dramatic improvements to the facility is apparent. Windows let natural light pour in where there was once a wall.
Karen DeWolfe, director of finance for the society and acting manager for the Yarmouth shelter, acknowledges the improvement.
“The windows make such a difference,” she said.
Visitors touring the shelter on Sept. 22 during the grand re-opening had lots of favourable comments. Many took advantage of the free roaming room to interact with cats.
“The cats are getting more attention, more pets, and love,” said DeWolfe.
In addition to the free roaming room there are three other rooms with cats in kennels as opposed to one large room, which was the case in the past. The smaller rooms are better for disease control.
Spays and neuters are now conducted twice weekly by veterinarian Carole Stemkowski in the Dyke Family Animal Clinic in addition to visits by the mobile spay clinic.
“We get them spayed and neutered quicker, they go up for adoption quicker, they go home to their new home faster. It all helps with the flow and the process of getting them out into their new homes. It’s a beautiful addition,” said DeWolfe.
There’s also a prepping area for pre-surgery and recovery and a separate intake room where new cats can be assessed, treated for fleas, weighed and vaccinated.
At the rear of the building, there’s a large fenced-in area with kennels along the east side.
Staff organize play groups in the open space with some dogs, play ball with them, and the area can also be used to provide basic training.
Frieda Perry, a former president of the Yarmouth SPCA and board member for close to two decades, says she used to be so familiar with the building in the past she could go through it blindfolded.
“Now I have to stop and think where I am. It’s so improved. They’ve made it efficient now,” she said.
The changes help to create a better work environment as well.
“Our staff love to be here and love to help animals. We’re dedicated to the animals. It’s nice that the building now reflects that,” said DeWolfe.