YARMOUTH - The SPCA Yarmouth Animal Shelter will hold a grand re-opening event on Saturday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Part of a bequest of $800,000 to the organization by the late Eleanor Dyke and her family was used to address desperately needed renovations to the shelter and to build the new Dyke Family Animal Clinic.
At the time of the bequest, Eleanor’s son, Richard Dyke, said the Dyke family and their animal friends have had a long history with western Nova Scotia.
The family jewelry store was a prominent fixture on Main Street in Yarmouth for over 100 years.
“In the days of horse and buggy, C.F. Dyke's pet parrot would yell ‘giddy-up’ at the horses and share some colourful insights learned on the street,” he said.
More recently, Holly & Thistle, Eleanor and Dick's Cavalier King Charles Spaniels would greet visitors with a friendly wag. Whether at the store or at home, they went everywhere together.
After retirement, Eleanor and her husband Dick remained active in support of many community groups and organizations but were especially concerned about the lack of care options for stray animals. With the support of family members, they left a generous gift of financial support for the local SPCA.
In pre-renovation discussion stages of the shelter with local residents, Nova Scotia SPCA CEO Elizabeth Murphy mentioned the importance of giving volunteers a good experience when they work at the shelter and also mentioned there wasn’t a designated, comfortable place to socialize cats.
Improvements in ventilation and disease control were also discussed.
The facility was a former asphalt plant and is said to be around 60 or 70 years old.
A portion of the Dyke bequest was directed towards the establishment of a mobile spay-and- neuter clinic to perform surgeries on cat colonies in the province. The unit visits Yarmouth regularly.
Tours of the renovated shelter and clinic will give visitors with a behind-the-scenes look.
There will also be a barbecue, cake, bouncy castle and face painting. Everyone who attends will be able to enter their name to win an SPCA SWAG basket filled with items from businesses that support the SPCA like East Coast Lifestyle, Rescue Coffee and the Littlest Pet Bakery.
The SPCA Yarmouth Animal Shelter is located at 298 Hardscratch Rd. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon by Richard Dyke and Elizabeth Murphy.