Since 1992, RSPCA South Australia has called the facility at 7 Cook Street Whyalla home. Surrounded by barbed wire and built out of concrete besser blocks, the building has resembled more a fortress than an animal shelter (in fact, it actually was a bikies fortress in a former life).
Thankfully, the old eyesore is about to get a long-overdue facelift, with Chief Executive Officer Paul Stevenson announcing plans to upgrade the facility within the next 12 months.
“It’s well and truly beyond its use-by date, and we would like to get the ball rolling on this as soon as possible,” explained Paul.
Out with the old, in with the new
“At first we were asking ourselves the question ‘can we renovate what’s already there’, and unfortunately the answer is no,” said Paul.
“Last week I took a building designer up to survey the property and he confirmed what we already knew, so now we are going to bulldoze a section of the dog shed and the office space there.”
A win for animal welfare
The new structures will significantly improve animal welfare on the site, creating a less stressful environment for the dogs within our care.
“New kennels for stray and boarding dogs should really bring us up to the standards required in a modern animal care centre,” said Paul.
“We hope to provide a more comfortable living experience for the dogs, who currently cop the cold in winter and the heat in summer.
“The new building will be environmentally controlled, which will ensure our animals remain comfortable all year round. This will, of course, also be beneficial to the staff and volunteers who care for these animals.”
Building a future in the Spencer Gulf
The upgrades signify RSPCA South Australia’s commitment to servicing the Spencer Gulf going into the future. Paul hopes the new facility will encourage more community engagement with the organisation and its work for animals in the region.
“We hope this new and more attractive facility will be visited by more members of the Whyalla community and help us boost adoption rates in the region.”
Staff and volunteers are also set to benefit from a new training, volunteer and adoption building, which will be modelled on the current volunteer hub at RSPCA SA’s main shelter at Lonsdale.
“We want it to be a much nicer environment for our staff and vollies to work in. Whyalla is fundamental to our regional operations, and we want the people within our organisation to be looked after,” Paul said.