RVSPCA celebrates 100th anniversary
ROANOKE (WSLS 10) –The Roanoke Valley SPCA hits a major milestone in 2016; its 100th year of operation.
Since opening their new facility in 2004, the RVSPCA has found homes for more than 18,000 animals.
In honor of their centennial anniversary, the RVSPCA has launched a new strategic plan to make an even bigger impact.
"It is a remarkable feat for any organization, most organizations, yet alone non-profits don't last that long," Denise Hayes, RVSPCA Chief Executive officer said.
Started by a handful of locals in 1916, it's been a long road for the RVSPCA.
In 1959, the non-profit moved into a converted farmhouse that was built in 1917 and located in a flood plain close to Tinker creek.
"We had to put out pleas frequently to have folks come out and rescue the animals from the shelter because it was about to flood," Hayes said.
WSLS 10 was there in 1999 when they launched a capital campaign to build a new shelter.
The current facility opened in 2004. Each year they save almost 2,000 animals. The RVSPCA euthanizes less than 12 animals each year, and only for health reasons.
"We feel very lucky to have such a group of folks in our community adopt from us and support our programs," Hayes said.
In 2007, the RVSPCA began the PET (Pets Eat Two) Program to feed the pets of homebound seniors receiving Meals-On-Wheels. That program has grown to include the pets of disadvantaged families receiving assistance from three good pantry partner agencies.
In 2009, the in-school humane education program was established which educates elementary aged school children to be respectful and compassionate toward all living things as well as teaches responsible pet ownership.
And they've got big plans moving forward.
A new strategic plan not only includes improvements to the current shelter such as sound-proofing dog kennel walls to reduce stress for dogs during their stay, Hayes says their prevention programs will continue to focus on spay and neutering at mountain view humane sites.
Mountain View Humane was started in 2010. It's a low-cost/high-quality spay neuter clinic. The first site opened in Christiansburg. The Roanoke location was opened in 2012.
The intent is to reduce the unwanted animal population, and prevent overcrowding in shelters.
Hayes says they hope to expand outreach programs to pet owners who may be struggling.
"We are trying to find other ways that people can keep their pet in their home and not enter the pet in the first place," Hayes said.
The RVSPCA has come a long way, and will continue to work toward another successful hundred years.
In celebration.of the milestone, the RVSPCA is holding a centennial ball fundraiser. The event is June 11th at the Roanoke Sheraton Inn.Tickets can be purchased online.
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