Parksville and Qualicum District SPCA manager Nadine Durante and Lollipop the rabbit cuddle up in the branch’s new small animal shelter unveiled recently.

New shelter for little animals in Errington

The SPCA's new shelter will house rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils and birds

Gerbils and rabbits are rejoicing over the SPCA’s new small animal shelter.

The Parksville and Qualicum District SPCA unveiled the new addition Thursday morning with volunteers and community residents in and out all day checking out the new digs.

“It provides proper animal welfare and well-being,” said Nadine Durante, manager of the local branch.

“These aren’t just SPCA animals, they’re the community’s animals.”

Durante said the new shelter will house rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils and birds in a heated home decorated with straw filled pens, little wooden bridges and small cages.

Before the shelter, small animals were being kept in the SPCA’s reception area due to lack of space and the former building the rabbits lived in on site was aging quickly so they were due for an upgrade.

The idea came about in February of this year and was made possible by the generosity and dedication of local contractor Brian Klobchar, who drew up a blueprint and put the plan into action.

Ground was broken in June and the project wrapped up last week.

Asked why he stepped up to the plate, Klobchar said with a laugh: “How do you say no to the SPCA?”

The project cost around $15,000, half of which was contributed by an anonymous local donor, and various local businesses pitched in to see the shelter move forward.

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