It is the end of an era for the Vernon SPCA.
After decades of operating and assisting thousands of animals, the centre is officially closing its doors as of Friday, Nov. 17.
Chelsea Taylor, with the BC SPCA, worked in the Vernon shelter for 12 years and said the closing has been emotional for staff and volunteers.
“It's a big change. It's a little bit sad, of course, there are a lot of memories that are tied up in this place,” Taylor said. “This place has meant a lot to a lot of people over the years. It's a process. There is a lot of grief happening right now.”
The BC SPCA said ongoing issues with structural integrity of buildings at the facility prompted the decision to close the shelter.
Craig Daniell, chief executive officer for the BC SPCA, said the organization has been aware of growing building concerns, but a recent inspection discovered new issues regarding the building's roof.
“Without imminent repairs, we have been advised that we cannot be operating from this space through the winter. While repair is technically possible, it is important to note that repairing the roof will unfortunately not change the long-term outlook for the building and at some point, soon, the facility would no longer be fit for continued operation,” Daniell said in a press release.
Taylor said since news of the closure came out, they have heard from people telling personal stories of the facility that has been in operation for more than 35 years.
“People are sad and sharing a lot of their memories with us which has been really nice to see,” Taylor said.
“We've been getting quite a few happy adoptions stories, people telling us about the animal they adopted from the Vernon SPCA. We love hearing those.”
Taylor said the BC SPCA will continue to support the community.
“Our animal protection services will still be active in the area,” Taylor said, adding people can also access BC SPCA shelters in Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Kamloops and Penticton.
All of the animal feed and any items of value at the Vernon facility will be shipped to other BC SPCA centres.