Thursday, November 1, 2012

Localities to the Rescue of SPCA in Roanoke Area

The Roanoke Valley SPCA and area municipalities today jointly announced an agreement to create a new entity to operate the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection.

“In agreement with the City of Roanoke, counties of Roanoke and Botetourt, and the Town of Vinton, the Roanoke Valley SPCA board has decided that it’s in the best long-term interest of all parties to let the local jurisdictional owners assume operational responsibility of the regional center,” says Chris Morrill, Roanoke’s city manager.

Barbara Dalhouse, president of the RVSPCA’s board of directors, says: “Given the public confusion over the current arrangement, we and the municipalities felt it was important for the RVSPCA to focus exclusively on its unwavering mission to improve the quality of life for animals and the people they touch in the Roanoke Valley.”

“The current facility was an important step forward for care of abandoned animals when it opened,” Morrill says. “With changing needs in the Roanoke Valley, we see this as an opportunity to consider innovative methods of achieving success in all areas of animal control, including enforcement, increasing adoptions, the encouragement of spay/neuter programs and the provision of humane sheltering for the animals.”

The RVSPCA has operated its education and adoption facility to better coordinate animal adoptions. Since 2004, the organization has placed 14,585 animals into adoption. In the past year alone, more than 11,000 distinct medical services were provided to animals in the care of both the RVSPCA and the regional center.

Over the next several months, the participating localities will work with the RVSPCA to transition control and operations of the regional center to a new board appointed by the local governments. The RVSPCA will continue to support the regional center with adoption services.

In addition, Morrill says local governments are reviewing their animal control policies and procedures in conjunction with the anticipated transition of the regional center’s operation.

“We believe this agreement will provide a sound structure for the future of the RVSPCA, eliminating an issue that has taken the focus away from what's most important – finding loving homes for our animals and promoting spaying and neutering as the best way to reduce the amount of unwanted pets,” Dalhouse said. “We look forward to working with the municipalities to ensure a smooth transition for the regional center and will continue to be available as a leading choice for animal adoption.”

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