Westchester SPCA raising funds to transform animal care campus

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The Westchester SPCA is working hard to find permanent homes for its sheltered animals as it also works to update its shelter facility.

The shelter is about $1 million short of its $9.1 million goal to completely transform its animal care campus.

"The SPCA in Westchester is one of the oldest humane societies in the United States, we've been here on our original site since 1883," says Westchester SPCA Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf.

The 1960s was the last time the shelter had any type of face lift. Workers say they've tried their best to keep the buildings in shape by patching cracks and shoring up crumbling corners.

"We've gotten really creative with using zip ties, bungee cords and tarps to sort of fix our roofs and things like that, but we really can't go on like this, we're crumbling and our animals deserve better and our public and our adopters deserve better too," says Laukhuf.

The SPCA currently cares for about 70 dogs and 70 cats. With the new animal care facility, they plan on doubling the number of animals they care for.

That's why they've been working to raise millions over the past two years to build a larger, indoor shelter and a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic.

"The doors won't fall on you, things peeling and chipping and trying to patchwork stuff, but change is always good, and rebuilding is even better," says head kennel worker Elizabeth Tavares.

The 27,000-square-foot building will replicate home-like environments for the four-legged friends.

When the shelter can reach its goal to break ground on the new building, the animals will be brought to a temporary shelter in Cortlandt Manor.

Until then, officials say their primary goal is raising the money needed for the project. But through the end of February the campaign has a $50,000 matching gift.

This will help the shelter reach its goal of restoring the temporary home of the animals as they wait comfortably to find their forever homes.

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