Merced County’s only no-kill animal shelter is due to close at the end of this month. Years of struggling to keep Merced’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) alive on donations alone has finally come to a somber defeat. The nonprofit has announced closure in late January and an article by the Merced Sun-Star was released February 1st, making the closure public. Lily, a volunteer at the SPCA, shared light on the main reason for the closure, “Financial situation is not good…mainly keeping with medical.” Another volunteer, who wished to not be named, adds, “Biggest expense [of the year] is the vet bills…PG&E was a lot [too].”
The question on everyone’s mind, however, is ‘what is going to happen to the dogs and cats?’ Well, majority of the cats and dogs are going to be relocated to foster homes or other no-kill shelters through New Beginnings rescue group. Lily explains, “A lot of them are going to rescues–Jack is going to Utah!” Other dogs, such as Diamond and Baby, are shelter dogs–meaning that they have been in the shelter for such a long time that the shelter has become their home. Shelter dogs are hard to adopt out as they are often frightened and shy when removed from the shelter.
Although the shelter is closing to the public, it may still be open for fostering for New Beginnings. The shelter will still accept volunteers and donations, but it will no longer be able to accept animals from the general public. Unfortunately, this schism from the public means strays and those seeking to surrender animals will have to go to Animal Control.
The next question some might be wondering is: ‘What can I do to help?’ Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to prevent the closure. It’s too little, too late. Most people on campus don’t even know that Merced had an SPCA, let alone that it was open to volunteers. There were many things we could have done to keep the SPCA: fundraisers, group volunteering, or having a campus spokesperson to raise awareness. That time has past, but as long as there are animals in need of rescue, there is always something we can do. We can still have fundraisers to support the animals at New Beginnings. We can still volunteer if the shelter becomes a foster home or even help them out during their transition. We can still raise awareness through education. The SPCA may be closing to the public, but there will always be a need for a no-kill shelter. The animals of Merced County deserve better, and we can give them better.
Picture Credits: Indiana Madden