WEST SENECA, NY- For years Western New Yorkers have known Ensminger Road as the place to take sick, injured, lost or neglected animals. It was also the place to find a new best friend. Now the Erie County SPCA is officially moving to West Seneca Two On Your Side got a glimpse into its future.
To most, the plot of land looks like a desolate, old skatepark littered with debris on Harlem Road in West Seneca. But to the Executive Director of the Erie County SPCA, it looks like home.
After nearly a year of reviews, Thursday night the West Seneca planning board finally approved the SPCA's site plan, making the move from the Tonawanda facility a reality. The new shelter will be 42,000 square feet, compared to approximately 25,000 square feet at Ensminger Road.
It will include an outdoor wildlife area, pasture and barn. But the Carr says the West Seneca barn will be smaller than the current one. "When we have more animals, we'll just rent a space for them and limit the number of barn animals that we have on the property."
Compared to Tonawanda, the adoption area for dogs and cats will be state of the art. "It won't be so much larger as better. The housing that we have, particularly for cats, is housing that we used in the 1960s," said Carr.
But Carr says the biggest change will come to the infirmary - an area that treats 4000 animals each year. "It's impossible. I've got 14 veterinarian technicians and three veterinarians working in 140 square feet. Crazy! So this will really improve our ability to care for animals that are sick or injured."
She says the new infirmary will be 10 to 12 times larger. Space in general, Carr says, is always an issue at the SPCA.
"You never know what tomorrow might bring. In the last couple of months there were several hoarding cases. There were the 30 Pomeranian .and the 41 animals we took a couple weeks ago in Springville."
She says she assumes that not only will a newer, bigger, better facility help to manage capacity issues, but it will hopefully increase adoptions, too.
The SPCA is relying completely on fundraising for the $9 million project and Carr says they're about halfway to their goal. They hope to have the new facility completed sometime in 2014.