OAKHURST — With the beautiful new EMC SPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center nearing completion, it’s animal lovers will want to know that there are three more days to make the most of your donation to the EMC SPCA during the nonprofit’s Matchmaker event.
That means, if you donate $1,000, then another donor — who prefers to remain anonymous — will double your donation and the EMC SPCA will receive $2,000. The last day to participate in the double-your-money Matchmaker event is Thursday, Feb. 28.
The EMC SPCA was organized in 1990 with the goal of building a much needed shelter. With Madera County Animal Control being the only facility in the area and having what local experts consider a very high euthanasia rate, the founders wanted something better for the community. Organizers soon decided that the key was educating themselves and building relationships with well-run shelters.
Over the years, a group of dedicated volunteers refined their goals, established programs to prevent more pet over-population, and began fundraising for the shelter. When finished, the sprawling EMC SPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center will be about 8,000 square feet with state of the art design and finishes, all built with local donations and grants.
In the 27 years since volunteers have been working toward this goal, animal shelters have changed considerably, and animals in the foothills will benefit for decades as a result. Meanwhile, in order to cut down on the needs of the shelter before it was even built, the EMC SPCA-assisted spay and neuter program and the feral cat program have together, over the years, assisted more than one million felines.
It rises proudly above the highway on Road 49 in Ahwahnee, across from Wasuma Elementary School. The building is painted a shade of blue “the color of a cloudy sky,” says Sharon Fitzgerald, just one of hundreds of decisions that have been made as the long-awaited building comes to fruition. Local company R. Papike Construction was chosen for the shelter job and Sharon says they could not be more pleased with the work that Randy and his crew are doing.
The finished shelter will house 30 dogs and 50 cats and include a surgical suite for low-cost spay and neuter clinics, as well as care for animals on-site. Cats will have four community rooms with modular condo-like cubbies designed by a company called Catswall, and a “get-acquainted room” with a large window for easy viewing. In addition to community rooms, cats will have an enclosed, chain-link outdoor area.
Dogs will have transfer doors between their indoor and outdoor kennels, and a communal outdoor play area where they will co-mingle. They EMC SPCA folks are building 16 regular kennels, four additional isolation kennels, and four puppies-and-mom-rooms.
Eventually, Sharon says, there will be a dog park built adjacent to the shelter property. She estimates that the shelter will create jobs for five to seven paid positions, along with volunteers. The shelter also includes a spacious community education room — an all-purpose space, for volunteers and community meetings.
If you have questions about the new shelter, any EMC SPCA program, or want to volunteer and contribute — please contact Sharon Fitzgerald at (559) 642-6611 or visit the EMC SPCA website and Facebook page.