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Pet Valu delivers boost to new Humane Society adoption centre

By our count that's 250,001 reasons to smile — $250,000 from Pet Valu plus one puppy — for Executive Director Liam Cullin and the North Bay and District Humane Society

The North Bay and District Humane Society has received a much-needed fundraising boost for its new regional adoption, animal wellness, and education centre thanks to Pet Valu’s Companions for Change initiative.

Humane Society Executive Director Liam Cullin gratefully accepted a cheque for $250,000 from the local franchisees and members of the Pet Valu head office team who travelled to North Bay to tour the construction site. The funds will support the ongoing construction costs of the 3,200 square foot facility due to open in spring 2023.

See related: 'Pet project': Local Humane Society launches fundraising campaign

"Our facility welcomes anywhere from 1,500 to 1,700 animals every single year," Cullin says, "whether through stray animal intake or transfers from partner organizations or owners who have to re-home their animals because they are no longer able to care for them.

"This new building is going to have 12 new dog kennels and five new cat rooms and this will open up our capacity to be able to do more and to bring more animals into the organization. Right now we've got a wait list of people who are looking to re-home animals, unfortunately, and we're at capacity at this point. We're busting at the seams."

"Pet Valu is deeply committed to giving back and through our initiatives, we help animal rescues and charities across Canada achieve larger capital projects," says Tanbir Grover, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for Pet Valu. "The North Bay and District Humane Society serves as a critical hub for animal services in Northern Ontario and we are delighted to support construction of the new adoption centre with this sponsorship. I look forward to returning to North Bay in 2023 when it is open and serving the growing needs for animal rescue and care across the region."

"We really knew that we needed a boost," shares Cullin, as the registered charity saw costs for its new facility rise beyond the original $1.1 million estimate due to inflation.

Cullin says the project cost has more than doubled to $2.3 million since its pre-pandemic conception.

"Pet Valu's grant is helping making our dreams a reality," Cullin adds, Wednesday, as he speaks with the construction site visible over his shoulder. The new structure will take up what was once the Humane Society parking lot and vehicles will now park on the opposite side of the building. "Work is coming along quite well. It's so great to see. When I saw that first wall go up, I immediately ran out to take pictures to share."

The Humane Society’s existing building was originally designed as a municipal pound to house stray and abandoned animals from North Bay and surrounding communities. However, the Humane Society has evolved and grown, and today devoted pet lovers from across the province travel to the facility for a wide range of services including pet adoptions and its high volume spay and neuter clinic. The new adoption centre is designed to better meet the needs of animals and the community. It will be larger, more modern and more welcoming and will include a community centre where potential adopters can visit and spend time with the animals looking for forever homes, and a multi-purpose space for year-round educational programming.

See also: Vulnerable dogs and cats will benefit from locally shot film

"The support from Pet Valu has been a game changer for us," agrees Cullin. “Four years ago, Pet Valu provided us with our first Companions for Change sponsorship which helped fund our Animal Rescue Express. Since that time, our truck and trailer has travelled more than 100,000 kilometres, while impacting the lives of more than 1,800 pets. The Animal Rescue Express combined with the new adoption centre will enable us to better support even more pets in need."

Since 1954, the North Bay and District Humane Society has served local pet families through innovative and responsive programs including pet adoptions, low-cost spay and neuter services, outreach and educational programs, animal control services and companion animal transfers, all with one goal in mind — to find forever homes for every unwanted and abandoned animal in its care.

The Homeward Bound campaign continues and community members still have the opportunity to invest in the project by buying bricks around the facility. Donors can also choose to dedicate specially engraved bricks to pets, family members or loved ones. Individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more on the Homeward Bound fundraising campaign, click here.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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