SPCA

Caring for dogs like this one, which was among more than two dozen rescued in 2017, is creating challenges for the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham.

STRATHAM — The New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched the public phase of a campaign Thursday that will expand and improve its Stratham facility to meet its changing needs and increase its endowment to ensure a stable financial future.

“The Campaign for Changing Times” is an effort that began with initial planning in 2014 and took off in 2017 with a $1 million gift.

Approximately 95% of the funding needed has been raised privately in recent years, but on Thursday representatives opened up fundraising efforts to the public to fill the gap.

To help reach its goal, a $100,000 grant from Jane’s Trust will match campaign contributions through July 31.

Construction is estimated to cost $6.2 million, which also includes the purchase of two neighboring properties that will expand the SPCA’s acreage from 6 to 15.

The SPCA is also planning to build a $3 million endowment to provide income stability in perpetuity.

“It’s really an exciting time here,” said Lisa Dennison, the SPCA’s executive director.

The project, which is expected to begin in November and open in spring 2021, will include the construction of an equine training facility with more stalls and turnouts.

Dennison said the facility is taking in more horses and farm animals and needs additional space for them. She said there are as many as 12 to 16 horses in its care at any given time.

The additional land will also provide better dog play space and walking trails.

Other planned improvements include a new multipurpose classroom; a reorganization of the adoption center space; an area for improved housing, quarantine, intake and laundry; and the building of a subsidized veterinary wellness clinic to care for animals in the community that aren’t under a veterinarian’s care.

Joshua Scott, president of the SPCA’s board of directors, said the campaign has involved strategic planning and surveys to identify and address the changing needs and challenges of the facility, the community and the animals in its care.

On average, the SPCA cares for nearly 200 animals daily at its facility or through foster homes.

In some cases, rescued animals remain in its care for extended periods, which officials said poses significant challenges.

The shelter is still caring for 28 German shepherds that are in protective custody after they were rescued in December 2017 in a criminal case out of Alexandria and Bristol.

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