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Richmond animal shelter will change hands from RAPS to BC SPCA

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:20 PST, Mon November 30, 2020

Operation of Richmond’s animal shelter will transfer from RAPS to the BC SPCA as of Feb. 1.

The city says its new agreement with the BC SPCA coincides with the start of construction of the new Richmond Animal Shelter, which will replace the existing facility at 12071 No. 5 Rd. The new facility will be built on the same site, so the existing shelter will close from next spring until construction is complete in two years.

“Continuity of care and service for stray, abandoned and in-need animals in our community is important, especially during this construction phase,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The BC SPCA brings considerable experience, expertise and resources to the city in the area of humane and respectful animal welfare and the city looks forward to working with them.”

In a statement Friday, RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann and president Fearn Edmonds said they are grateful that the BC SPCA can accommodate animals requiring relocation during the two-year interim period. The city says animals will be relocated to the BC SPCA’s Vancouver facility on East 7th Avenue. 

“We look forward to collaborating with our friends at the BC SPCA to ensure the smoothest transition and seamless delivery of care to the animals,” added RAPS representatives.

Along with shelter services, the city agreement will see the BC SPCA take over animal control services in Richmond. Starting Feb. 1, BC SPCA officers will provide animal control from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily, maintaining current hours of service.

Meanwhile, the RAPS team expressed gratitude to the people of Richmond and the city for their 13 years operating the city animal shelter. After their current contract ends on Jan. 31, RAPS says its priorities include opening a new dog sanctuary and a standalone RAPS animal shelter, as well as opening more thrift stores and “franchising” their animal hospital model.

“We are excited to enter our second quarter-century by broadening our reach and saving and improving the lives of even more animals. Everything we do is possible because of the generosity of animal-loving people in the community. Thank you for your continued devotion to our mission and we look forward to continuing this lifesaving journey with your support,” said RAPS representatives.

Contact information for animal services in the city remains unchanged at this time. Anyone wishing to find a lost pet, report a dog off-leash or running at large, or injured or dead animals should continue to call RAPS at 604-275-2036. For enquiries related to animal regulations, dog licensing and fees, contact community bylaws at 604-276-4345.

Under the new agreement, the BC SPCA will also continue to operate its Richmond Education and Adoption Centre at 7791 Steveston Hwy. RAPS will continue to operate its animal hospital, cat shelter and thrift stores, which are operated directly by the society and not a part of its contract with the city.

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