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SPCA Otago has launched a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to give its run-down Dunedin animal shelter a facelift.
SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said the charity had operated effectively from its Torridon St premises in Opoho for nearly 70 years but there was an urgent need to refurbish the dilapidated premises, as some of the areas were unusable.
"It's time to stop putting on the sticking plasters ... We don't want it gold-plated, it's just going to be concrete block and Colorsteel.''
The campaign would focus on the construction of a new building to house an education centre, laundry facility and two veterinary consultation rooms; the redevelopment of two existing animal facilities; and the addition of a small storage unit to the existing cat adoption area.
It was hoped the work would begin in February next year, at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.
The current education centre is an eyesore and some areas in the complex have been condemned.
Pet food has been stacked next to a presentation area since the downstairs storage area was condemned after a rat infestation, and a women's toilet and a ramp to the centre have also been ruled off limits.
An unpleasant stench radiates from the timber walls in a quarantine building where dogs are penned and assessed for illness in their first days at the centre.
The timber walls made it difficult to kill diseases such as parvovirus, Ms McSkimming said.
The dogs needed to be housed in a facility built of a non-porous material such as concrete.
"Concrete blocks will be able to be washed within an inch of their life.''
Ms McSkimming said the Otago SPCA Charitable Trust had committed $500,000 to the project and a black tie dinner at the Savoy on May 27 raised nearly $40,000.
Tomorrow, Dunedin community newspaper The Star will launch its "Help Rescue SPCA Otago'' fundraising campaign.
The campaign will support SPCA Otago in its efforts to raise the $1.5 million needed to rebuild its infrastructure.
In the coming months, the newspaper will highlight the issues, profile the people involved, celebrate milestones and track the fundraising campaign's progress towards its goal.
The SPCA Otago region extends to the Waitaki River in North Otago, Tautuku in the Catlins and Haast on the West Coast. It also includes Central Otago.
How SPCA Otago helped last year
●82 animal emergencies attended
●152 lost animals reunited with their owners
●314 animals in foster care
●370 animal welfare complaints investigated
●940 desexing operations organised
●1548 animals in care