ROANOKE, Va. – Walking through Roanoke Valley SPCA, you’ll see lots of cat and dogs. You’ll also see deep cracks in the floors and walls.
“It’s terrifying when you look at it," said Suzanne Cresswell, the shelter’s director of philanthropy and community engagement.
Shelter employees started noticing the cracks a couple of years ago and they kept growing.
“A little bit of settling is normal for a building. This is a little more than normal,” Cresswell said.
It turns out that the soil and bedrock underneath the shelter aren’t compact or sturdy enough to support the building and it’s causing serious damage to the foundation.
“This is really concerning stuff," said Denise Hayes, the shelter’s CEO.
The problem can be fixed, but the repairs will be noisy and invasive.
Crews will need to dig 23 holes throughout the building -- three feet wide and up to 12 feet deep -- and insert helical piers to shore up the foundation.
“It’s pretty dangerous for both the people here and the animals," Hayes said.
After the foundation is secured, crews will fill the holes with cement, replace the epoxy flooring and the kennels. That’s why the SPCA needs people to adopt or foster all 40 animals in the shelter by December 18.
“If you’re looking for a kitten, a puppy, a full-grown cat or a dog, we will have all available," Cresswell said.
The total cost of the repairs is about $280,000. Thanks to private donations, including a $135,000 grant from the Roanoke Women’s Foundation, the shelter only needs to raise about $50,000.
However, those are not the only expenses. The shelter also needs to replace one of its HVAC systems and crews will also check all the plumbing during the construction.
“We are really in need of donations to cover the costs," Cresswell said.
If that money has to come out of the shelter’s operating budget, that means they won’t be able to house as many animals or help with their medical expenses.
The repairs may be daunting, but Cresswell and Hayes said they’ll be worth the wait.
“This should be a long-term solution, but if we don’t address it now, it will get to the point where we cannot occupy the building," Cresswell said.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that we are here as a stable organization for years to come to be able to help pets in the future," Hayes said.
To learn how to donate, foster or adopt, contact the Roanoke Valley SPCA or visit the shelter’s website.