AHWAHNEE — Animal-lovers are rejoicing as the Eastern Madera County SPCA (EMC SPCA) is about to realize a long-awaited dream: after more than 25 years of saving dogs and cats through fostering and adoption, while also saving money for the project, they’re now breaking ground on the EMC SPCA no-kill shelter. The public is invited by the EMC SPCA Board of Directors to attend a special ceremony with District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler, starting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 12. The construction site is located on Road 49 in Ahwahnee, across from Wasuma Elementary School. Following the groundbreaking ceremony, the public is invited to attend a presentation in the multi-purpose room at Wasuma Elementary, and will be given an opportunity to view shelter renderings, and participate in question and answer sessions.
The EMC SPCA was established in 1990 with the goal of building a no-kill shelter. While raising construction funds, the EMC SPCA has spent $7000-10,000 every month on emergency animal care, foster care, spay & neuter and feral cat feeding, according to EMC SPCA President Sharon Fitzgerald. The organization is all-volunteer, with no paid staff. All funds raised go to the building fund or to animal care. Minimal expenses include technology, insurance, phone and public outreach. The EMC SPCA receives no government funds and relies entirely on community support. The planned no-kill shelter will feature separate cat and dog adoption centers, indoor/outdoor access in the cat community rooms, indoor/outdoor dog runs, a grooming facility, spay/neuter and vaccination clinic, humane education center, canine training and exercise park for the community, and facilities for evacuated pets due to fires and other natural disasters. With the groundbreaking, fundraising still continues, as the money raised to date will build the shelter, says Sharon. Additional funds of approximately $500,000 will be needed to furnish the no-kill shelter, organizers estimate, with items such as veterinary equipment, surgical equipment and supplies, washers and dryers, chairs, tables, office equipment and technology. On-going expenses will include pet food, an on-site manager and veterinarian, utilities and maintenance. EMC SPCA anticipates that monthly expenses would be $12,000 – $15,000. Donations are actively being sought, with some benefactors able to participate in naming opportunities. Monthly donations are accepted in any amount, along with bequests and donations for remembrance. The community is also encouraged to take part in outside events to support the EMC SPCA, such as school projects and service club fundraisers. For more information, come to the groundbreaking ceremony and presentation, or visit the website. EMC SPCA website