The Medicine Hat Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MHSPCA) was incorporated on October 15th, 1979. The founding members whose names and signatures appeared on the Societies Act Application are:
D. Sakamoto, P. Roddick, S. Appleton, J. Head and A. Hashizume. Dozens of past MHSPCA Board Members have been so very grateful that this group of dedicated animal enthusiasts had the desire and foresight to take this big step so many years ago. Thousands of our injured, lost, stray and abandoned animal friends in Medicine Hat and surrounding areas have been rescued and have found a new life, because of our founding member’s vision 32 years ago. There can be no better reward for their commitment and dedication. We cannot THANK them enough!
Over the next nine years subsequent Board Members and dozens of volunteers struggled to raise money for a shelter. For many years, we utilized a few foster homes willing to take in some homeless animals and we housed a few stray cats (in home-made cages) in the basement of another foster home ; all the while hoping to someday have the money for a shelter.
There was a small Pound in the City of Medicine Hat, but as the City grew, so increased the number of homeless animals roaming our streets. The MHSPCA knew that we had to find some kind of shelter for these homeless/stray animals.
So, our first SPCA Shelter was opened in 1988. We bought a second-hand mobile home, renovated it and a few years later, raised enough money to put on an addition. The City of Medicine Hat leased us a parcel of land, which was situated at 9th Ave. S.W. Pound Services were still available then, so we were fortunate enough to be a no- kill shelter.
Our present Medicine Hat SPCA Adopt-A-Pet Facility opened in June 1994, thanks to a very large bequest from Dr. A.C. Ahrens and Frances Ahrens. With the very generous legacy, we bought the Medicine Hat Marble building at 55 S.W. Drive S.W. and fully renovated it to suit our needs and the needs of the animals.
At this time, the MHSPCA was approached by City of Medicine Hat Bylaw Services and asked to begin taking over the Pound Services. Although we knew we were taking on a major commitment, we agreed for the sake of the animals. We knew that we could give the animals better shelter conditions, more care and a better chance of finding a new home. A contract with the city was then drafted and we started to quickly fill up our shelter. It was a very exciting time for the MHSPCA, we had finally reached our goal!
Thanks to the many dedicated staff and Board Members the MHSPCA Adopt-a-Pet Facility has now been in operation for 17 years. Still without the tremendous public support, we know that we could not have kept our doors open.
The MHSPCA Board of Directors, since its incorporation, has always been a highly active working board. We had to be constantly fundraising to meet our needs and goals for animal welfare in this community. For 32 long years you will never see a more dedicated group of individuals. But, the citizens of Medicine Hat have also been instrumental in helping us keep our doors open. We have faced many challenges over the years and weathered many a storm, knowing that we were valued in the community and supported by its citizens in so many ways. We thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the MHSPCA and the animals.
What is in the future for the MHSPCA, we do not know, but we do know that we will continue to be an advocate for the animals of this city and district and we sincerely hope that the City of Medicine Hat, Cypress County and Town of Redcliff will all recognize our worth and show their support for a service that has been exemplary for more than 17 years.
Starting over again….Now that our building is getting old and overcrowding is a daily occurrence, the MHSPCA needs to set a new goal for the next few years….a new, purpose-built building. We are currently working (with the City of Medicine Hat) on a capital plan for a new building. It is our hope that when we enter into a fundraising campaign, we will continue to have support from the business sector and the public. A new dream…what could be more motivating?
MHSPCA……. “Speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves….the animals.”