CONCORD — The Concord-Merrimack County SPCA kicked off its $2.5 million dollar capital campaign for a new headquarters Tuesday with a huge red dog dish for contributions at Banks Chevrolet on Manchester Street.
The huge red dog dish is the SPCA's way of drawing attention to the capital campaign. Opportunities to drop contributions in the giant dog dish will be found as the Build It Bowl will be on tour this summer and fall, stopping at community events as well as at Meadowbrook in Gilford on July 7, Concord's Market Days on July 19-20, and the Fisher Cats game July 21 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.
Donations can be made directly to the SPCA at the fundraising website: www.builditbowl.org. More information can also be found by calling the SPCA at 753-9801.
Founded in 1910 to prevent cruelty, to teach humane principles and to enforce New Hampshire statutes protecting animals, the SPCA focus has shifted from horses and livestock to primarily dogs, cats and other small animals.
But from the beginning, the SPCA has also focused on education and outreach, to strengthen the animal-human bond and prevent abuse and neglect.
The SPCA's need for shelter and education space required a move from the current location in Penacook, where since the early 1950s the SPCA offices have been in an old farmhouse. Animals are sheltered in a nearby detached chicken coop.
The SPCA has purchased land for a new building at 254 Silk Farm Road, next to the New Hampshire Audubon property. The new location, at the corner of Clinton Street and Silk Farm Road, is just west of Interstate 89 exit 2.
Executive Director Heather Faria said, “More than 1,500 pets come to us each year, from dogs and cats to rabbits and guinea pigs, and we work hard to care for them and find them loving homes.” Many animals have to wait for space, because the shelter does not euthanize.
Faria said the new building will provide space designed specifically for the purpose, with expanded space for animal care and programming.
The new shelter will more than double the current animal capacity and will provide a safe haven for large animals and livestock, taking the organization back to its original purpose.
There will be an on-site spay/neuter suite for pre-adoption sterilization, isolation rooms for sick and injured animals and maternity, right-sized kennels for dogs, and a multi-purpose space which will allow for on-site humane education programming as well as animal behavioral evaluation and training.
The SPCA is debt-free, so money donated will go toward the new 11,000-square-foot shelter building and operation. In order to reach the $2.5 million goal by the end of this year, donors are encouraged to subscribe to a pledge program of up to three years or to consider a planned gift. Contributions are tax deductible and can be in the form of cash, securities, real estate and other tangible property.