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Animal shelter to open by year-end

A NATIONAL animal welfare centre being built in Askar is expected to open before the end of the year.

The Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (BSPCA) Animal Welfare Centre (AWC) will replace the society's temporary sanctuary in Shakhura.

The purpose-built AWC will include 30 quarantine kennels, 95 dog kennels big enough for two large dogs or a family of dogs with puppies and 60 large catteries.

There will be a lecture hall to host visiting schools, a reception and waiting areas, an office, kitchen and store facilities, a clinic, surgery areas, recovery room and laboratory.

There will also be an accommodation block for eight staff and an electricity substation.

"We have made extra space so that if a vet wants to set up a practice he can have his own surgery room," BSPCA fundraising co-ordinator Joyce Hughes told the GDN.

Ms Hughes said after the main AWC had been constructed, the BSPCA planned to build a block of four stables that would be used for any large animals they receive, such as goats, camels, horses, sheep or baboons among others.

The block will be named Afua after a seven-month-old male lion cub the BSPCA rescued and tried to save earlier this year.

The AWC is being built on a plot of land that was granted to the society by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa in 2001.

The BSPCA, led by Ms Hughes, has worked hard over the last few years to raise money and to attract support in kind for the centre that is expected to cost around BD330,000.

The land was levelled free of charge by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company In 2008 with the assistance of Al Awadhi and Durrat Al Bahrain, which saved the BSPCA BD30,000.

Condor Technology donated a portacabin, which is currently being utilised as the site office.

Delmon PreCast built the concrete structures at cost price and they were officially handed over in January.

After receiving tenders from three companies for construction of the remaining buildings, the BSPCA signed a contract with High Tower Contracting in March to complete the final phase of the build.

The main building is expected to be completed by October and a soft opening is to be held in November.

The majority of materials required to complete the building are being provided free of charge by local construction companies, which will greatly reduce the original costing estimate of BD330,000, said Ms Hughes.

"We are delighted with the response from companies who have provided services and materials for free," she said.

"We still need to raise funds because the clinic alone will cost BD30,000 to fit out.

"We are raising money by getting a company or an individual to sponsor a kennel.

Plaque

"It is BD250 for a plaque in memory of a pet which will be put on the kennel and BD250 per year for a company to put a plaque in its name."

Aside from raising money for the centre, the BSPCA has to find upwards of BD60,000 a year to run the sanctuary in Shakhura.

The sanctuary relies solely on donations and funds collected from the BSPCA's Thrift Shop on Budaiya Road.

"We still need funds to continue our work, it's been a mountain to climb with the new building and thankfully the Bahraini companies have come through to help, but we operate solely on donations," said Ms Hughes.

"We are still a charity and never say no to an animal in need and unlike other rescue centres we never turn an animal away.

"We cannot survive without societies, schools, companies and the public's generosity - keep it coming."

To contact the sanctuary or make a donation call 17591231 or the thrift shop on 17593479.

becky@gdn.com.bh



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