'A game-changer for animals': Regina Humane Society breaks ground on new animal care centre

Since 1964, the Regina Humane Society (RHS) has made its home in north Regina. On Thursday, the RHS broke ground on a new and innovative animal community centre in Harbour Landing.

“We are not building a traditional animal centre,” executive director, Lisa Koch said. “You’ll be able to see the stark contrast and what it will mean for both animals and people.

“Our current facility is falling apart around us. We spend money just trying to keep the lights on and the doors open with the current conditions we have.”

The RHS Animal Community Centre will offer a safe refuge for homeless pets, a home-like adoption gallery and an education centre along with expanded veterinary services.

“This will be a game-changer for the health and welfare for the animals,” said Koch.

The total project cost is $28 million, with most of the bill being paid by donors. Sylvia Aumuller passed away in 2009. The welfare of animals, specifically cats, was her passion. RHS honoured her estate donation of $1.4 million by naming the adoption atrium in her name.

“She would be thrilled and so happy this day has finally come,” Sylvia’s niece Paula Duguid said. “It would have been nice for her to see the facility.”

“It would give her comfort to know how well the humane society is going to be able to treat and care for the animals,” nephew Ken Karwandy said.

The City of Regina also joined in the partnership, funding 46 per cent of the new facility. Mayor Sandra Masters called the relationship between the RHS and the city longstanding.

“For a very long time, the current facility has been somewhat inaccessible to the community,” she said. “So bringing the connection back into the community is worth the investment and we’re looking forward to more participation with the community and humane society and these animals.”

“It takes a village to bring a project of this size to life,” said Koch. “We were founded by our community and it’s always been there for us.”

To date, the project has secured just over $24 million in funding, leaving about $4 million left to raise. RHS hopes to have the centre open and operational by June of 2023.

The new facility will be located at 4900 Parliament Ave.