The Valley Oak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will celebrate 25 years of making a difference in the lives of pets and their owners this year. It is only fitting this will also be the year we are able to transition to a no-kill animal shelter.
Building our own no-kill animal shelter has been a dream for many years. When the city of Visalia completed the new Visalia Animal Care Center last year, many people assumed the building belonged to us; it does not. This was a natural assumption since we worked out of the old shelter for 24 years. We operated under a contract with the City of Visalia over those years.
That contract came to an end, effective April 23, 2016. The city hired many Valley Oak SPCA employees and for that we are thankful. The building is comfortable for animals, employees and the public; and for that we are grateful.
Several years ago, we began fundraising and we launched a capital campaign. Those efforts have us halfway to our goal of $1 million. We are in the process of purchasing nearly 2 acres near Plaza Drive and Goshen Avenuein Visalia, near our low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
We intend to build the Charles E. Hoey Adoption Center in phase one and the Marjorie Whitendale Education Center in phase two. We plan to add a pet boarding facility as phase three when we have funds to do so.
So now we ramp up our capital campaign to reach our goal. We invite everyone to join in the adventure and become part of the Valley Oak SPCA team. There are multiple opportunities available to assist in our efforts: volunteer, serve as a board director, join the capital campaign committee, make a donation, share our social-media messages and more.
Valley Oak SPCA has saved thousands of lives over the years through our pet-adoption and pet-rescue work. We have spayed and neutered over 100,000 pets and vaccinated many more. We work with various agencies including the Visalia Feral Cat Coalition and Homeless Connect.
We are members of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We serve customers in Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties. Our pet adoption outreach is in multiple cities; we’ve even put pets on planes and driven pets to Oregon to get them adopted.
And our Critter Camp and volunteer programs touch the lives of many children and citizens in our communities. We have expanded our relationships with local businesses and various rescue organizations. We are saving the lives of animals that would otherwise be euthanized.
But we need a home, a place to call our own, a place where we can do even more for you and your pets, a place where we can offer classes, provide enrichment activities, train volunteers, bring in speakers and showcase pets available for adoption. We need your help to save lives and build bright futures for pets and the people who love them.
Valley Oak SPCA Adoption and Education Center is operating out of modular buildings just south of the Visalia Animal Care Center on the frontage road next to Highway 99 near the Visalia airport. We are changing our hours and will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting in May. New hours will be posted on our Facebook page and on our website.
Tami Crawford is capital campaign manager for Valley Oak SPCA.