If there is to be a desperately needed on-site veterinary clinic in the Humane Society London & Middlesex's (HSLM) new digs, the agency has to raise $367,000 by the end of the month.
HSLM issued an urgent plea for the six-figure donation on Wednesday.
The non-profit organization currently has more than 86 per cent of the funding needed for the $21 million new shelter, dubbed Old Oak Animal Campus. It is being built at 1414 Dundas St. with construction expected to be completed by next November. However, if the additional $367,000 isn't raised by the end of December, the onsite veterinary clinic, considered the most critical component of the new facility, won't be opening at that time.
"What people often don’t realize is that our animals wait three-to-six times longer to be cleared for adoption compared to animals at other humane societies. The primary reason for this delay is our lack of an on-site veterinary clinic," said Humane Society Executive Director Steve Ryall. "Each day our animals are being transported to veterinary clinics in London and as far as Sarnia and Stratford to receive veterinary care. With most animals requiring multiple vet visits, this transport system is not only stressful for the animals, but is inefficient and causes a huge delay in getting our animals into new homes."
Having an in-house clinic is an industry-standard for humane societies with London being one of the last cities of its size in Canada without one.
The shelter typically has roughly 200 animals in its care on a daily basis. Currently, 27 of them are listed as adoptable, while the other 147 are waiting for veterinary care before they can be eligible to find their forever home.
Ryall added that the way to end the long wait to even be put up for adoption for these animals is to make the on-site vet clinic a reality.
"You can do the math however you want, but one way to look at it is if 140 businesses stepped forward and each contributed $2,500 this month, we’d reach our goal,” said Ryall.
The humane society broke ground on its new facility in May 2022. It will comfortably hold up to 400 animals, double that of the current shelter on Clarke Road, and include a cafe, community rooms, a dog park, and walking trails.
Individuals and businesses interested in donating to the new facility can do so online at www.hslm.ca/vetclinicchallenge or by calling 519-451-0630 ext.301.