It’s an exciting day for the board, staff and volunteers of the Humboldt and District SPCA as it takes possession of its soon-to-be home. The organization has been fundraising for a necessary new facility, and fortune has smiled on the pups and kittens of the shelter with a perfect location and set-up to house their existing operations and some exciting new possibilities.  

The new facilities are on 17 acres just a few hundred yards south of Highway 5 near their current location. The parcel of land sits just to the south of the CN tracks heading into Humboldt from the east. The land was sold to the organization by Jim and Lois Sawatsky. 

On site are several buildings including a horse barn with concrete stalls, an adjacent garage, a large quonset and numerous outbuildings, all of which can be repurposed for the operation.  

“The middle building is going to be the main SPCA building where we are going to house our animals and our main office,” explains SPCA President Janice Weber. “The garage building with the six doors is going to be our isolation unit for dogs and cats.” 

The isolation unit is required for animals who are new to the shelter through intake to ensure the health of the other established animals.  

The larger building will be slated to house a much-needed animal boarding service for pets in the Humboldt area. There has been significant demand for an animal boarding service in the region, and the group hopes they will establish a quality service and a permanent revenue stream for the organization.  

The 17-acre run allows for another exciting and desired prospect sure to delight pets and pet owners. 

“The back part of the 17 acres, there’s a nice little road going back there, and we want to develop that into a spectacular dog park for the city of Humboldt and surrounding area,” says Vice-President Leah Schlitz. “I think it will be great for people to come out here and let their dogs run.” 

The bonus is that some buildings require little work to ready them for their new tenants. The main building, with its cement floors and stall areas, already meets the specs for housing animals laid out by Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan. The provincial welfare organization has toured the site and the buildings, and it’s given a thumbs up to some facilities and upgrade parameters for other intended uses.  

As well as boarding services, there is opportunity to create facilities for in-house groomers to offer their services at the new site.  

The location in the RM of Humboldt and the serviced buildings mean that the SPCA will realize thousands of dollars in savings over building from scratch. New concrete needs to be poured into some buildings that currently have dirt floors. Interior partitions and exterior doorways may need to change. The hope is to provide an enclosure to connect the main building to the garage/iso unit, but the costs will be minimal compared to a ground up construction. 

“We have a business plan started for the boarding and kenneling,” Schlitz says. “But there will be expenses for the concrete and fencing. I’m thinking to get everything to where we want it will be another $500,000.” 

However, the pair is set to mobilize the board, volunteers and staff to begin undertaking cleaning and painting. Of course, there is still the need for contributions to help with the daily operations and vet fees, and for the renovations. Expect more great fundraisers coming up over the summer. 

Still, despite the tasks ahead, the pair is optimistic that the operation could be moving to its new location by this fall.  

A quick overview of the land and the facilities as they exist now are in the gallery below. Watch for upcoming updates and more news from the SPCA following this exciting announcement