New Centre Q&A
Q1. Why do we need a new facility and who is overseeing this?
The existing facility is over 70 years old and is in a state beyond repair where renovations would be a waste of efforts and valuable resources. As such, the QHS Building Committee led by a member of the Board of Directors, with participation by the Executive Director, Chair of the Board of Directors, Capital Campaign Manager and a Project Manager was established to oversee all activities relating to a new facility until turn key is achieved.
Q2. Why is the new facility costing $5M?
Three years ago, the Board of Directors commissioned Lett Architects to design and provide a class D estimate for a new facility that would encompass a shelter, community centre and veterinary clinic. That estimate came in at almost $10M. The current Board of Directors determined that a phased approach that used capacity for care as its driving principle would be a more effective and expedient strategy. Using a phased approach reduced the scope of the project and allowed for the first phase to be costed out at $5M.
An animal shelter is different from other much needed shelters for people. The materials required for the animal spaces must be durable and stand the test of time against cleaning solutions and frequent wash downs. Concrete and stainless steel are required to ensure sanitation standards are met on a daily basis. These harsh environments require sturdy materials that are far more expensive than materials for regular building construction. This is just one example of the regulations that must be met for animal care, which equates to increased costs of construction.
Q3. What is capacity for care?
In 2010, the US Association of Shelter Veterinarians came up with Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, which are based on the “Five Freedoms.” The Five Freedoms isn’t a new concept. It was developed in 1965 in the UK for livestock and has recently been adopted to animal care in shelters cross North America. The Five Freedoms are:
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst (ready access to fresh water and a diet that allows them to maintain full health and vigour)
- Freedom from Discomfort (an appropriate living environment, including protection from the elements and a comfortable resting area)
- Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease (care that prevents illness and injury, and that assures rapid diagnosis and treatment if illness/injury should occur)
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviours (sufficient space and proper facilities to move freely and fully, and to engage in the same types of activities as other animals of their species; ability to interact with – or avoid – others of their own kind, as normal)
- Freedom from Fear and Distress (both a general environment and treatment that avoids mental suffering and stress)
The new facility will utilize these freedoms to ensure all animals are given every chance to succeed and be more easily integrated into new forever homes as a result of their enhanced well-being. This equates to more adoptions and less animals staying for lengthy periods in the shelter. This is simply the right thing to do.
Q4. What are the phases?
- The “critical core” is what the QHS requires as the best alternative to the full scale LETT architectural design – the Animal Care and Adoption Centre. It will be approximately 12,500 sq. ft of space for all activities required to care for the animals using the capacity for care approach.
- It will include space for the Community Mobile Clinic.
- It will include some administrative space, reception and meeting rooms for potential adoptive families to meet the animals.
Phase 2 – West side expansion
- The Community and Education Centre facility includes a multi-purpose room and a kitchen to be used by the QHS for planned programs. These spaces will also be available for rent to facilitate corporate meetings and events.
- Additional offices and washrooms not included in phase 1.
- Retail Store for animal care supplies and merchandise.
Phase 3 – East side expansion
- Fully functional veterinary clinic.
Q5. What are the estimates for each phase?
At this time, the estimates are rough projections and will be further refined as the building design, sourcing and construction ensues.
Phase 1 - $5.0M
Phase 2 - $1.5M
Phase 3 - $2.5M
It is important to remember that materials and construction costs have increased significantly in the past year as a result of tariff issues with the United States as well as shortages in supply caused by the COVID pandemic.
Q6. What are the projected timelines for the completion of each phase?
If campaign funding and project projections remain at their current levels, we anticipate the following completion dates:
Phase 1 – July 2022
Phase 2 – July 2023
Phase 3 – July 2025
It should be noted that the phases and dates can be moved forward if construction costs are less than projected and/or building campaign revenues increase beyond current projections.
Q7. Why did the cities of Belleville and Quinte West need to provide a loan guarantee to the QHS with taxpayer dollars?
The need to move into a new facility is at critical levels given the unsafe conditions in the current building. The cost of maintenance and repair is very high and would be a waste of donor money. The community leaders recognize this and know it’s wise to invest in a new facility to support public health and wellbeing by having a well-functioning humane society and shelter. The loans are only to be utilized if building campaign fund raising isn’t sufficient to cover actual construction costs. These funds are allocated in both cities’ reserve funds and not their operations.
Q8. How does the QHS plan to repay the loans?
Loaned funds that are used will be repaid over a 5 year amortization period using donor funds allocated to the building campaign. Now more than ever is the time to give to the QHS.
Q9. Why was TaskForce Engineering chosen to complete the construction?
A request for proposal was launched in December 2020, with interested design build construction companies submitting their interest in the project. Presentations to the Building Committee and a few full time staff outlining their companies construction project proposals were completed. The Building Committee used a consistent assessment tool to evaluate the information presented and determined that TaskForce Engineering was best suited to lead the design and construction of the new QHS shelter and community centre. The Building Committee has adopted a “buy local” approach to all phases of the new facility.
Q10. Will the planned mobile clinic take business away from existing local veterinaries?
The objective of the mobile clinic is to provide low cost spay/neutering, vaccination and micro-chip services to those who live on low or fixed income. This protects the health and well-being of both the animals and the public. The QHS already utilizes various local veterinaries in this capacity. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unwanted animals from wandering the streets.
A committee consisting of a local veterinarian, QHS Executive Director, an experienced QHS Shelter staff member, a member of the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors’ Chair will convene to discuss the mobile clinic. Various aspects such as design, suite of procedures and community programming will be discussed and formalized with a focus on the best provision of services with minimal disruption to the existing veterinary community.
Q11. Do we need a humane society?
The QHS supports the community in many ways –
- Reduces stray and homeless animals in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties by providing shelter and adoption services through pound contracts with a number of municipalities.
- Provides lost and found services reuniting lost pets with their owners.
- Takes in animals seized by the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) responsible for animal cruelty investigations as well as by those seized by area police. We care for these neglected animals and bring them back to a healthy state in order for them to be adopted into a safe and caring home.
- Enhances the well-being of animals and the public by supporting a safe and healthy community.
- Provides family companionship by pairing animals eligible for adoption with their new forever homes.
- Provides seniors (65+) the opportunity to adopt a senior dog (8+) or senior cat (6+) into their home with the adoption fee waived. Special needs animals also have special adoption fees.
- Offers a wide range of opportunities to volunteers of all ages and abilities.
- Actively participates with secondary schools by offering co-op placement opportunities as well as learning opportunities for post-secondary students.
Q12. Why does the website seem out of date or not appear to have any animals available for adoption?
The QHS has partnered with They Integrated to enhance our digital platform and provide more sophisticated tools to facilitate more timely information resulting in a better adoption experience. It’s also simply a matter of timing. Sometimes there are several animals available for adoption and occasionally there are not too many animals available. Sometimes there are many animals in the shelter but they must wait to be cleared for adoption – general health, spay/neuter, vaccinations, etc. – and therefore will not be shown on our adoption page.
Q13. Does the QHS help all animals – not just cats and dogs?
The QHS is a temporary home to all animals ranging from domestic animals, exotic pets such as reptiles, small animals such as hamsters, fancy rats, bunnies and mice, guinea pigs as well as farm animals and fowl to tropical birds. We also have a successful feral program that, after spay/neutering, cats who cannot be socialized and not suitable to live indoors are transported to a number of partner farms in the area.
The QHS serves as a safe drop off spot for injured wildlife that are then transferred to rehabilitators throughout the province.
Q14. How can I contribute to the QHS?
Visit https://quintehumanesociety.com and click on the support tab to find a variety of ways you can support the #NewQHS.