Volunteers and animal lovers were caught off guard on Friday when they discovered that the Society for Animals in Distress (SAD) animal shelter in Elliot Lake had been closed.
“The Board of Directors of the Society for Animals in Distress has been informed of rapidly deteriorating conditions at the shelter at 33 Perini Rd.
“In the interest of the public, staff, volunteers and the safety of the animal, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend operations,” the organization’s directors said in a statement.
Directors have asked people not to call, email or visit the shelter until the assessment is complete.
“The shelter has not been officially condemned. The board has been informed through our business manager and shelter coordinator that the ceiling tiles were shifting and cracks were forming in the walls of the section felines (cats),” Donna Rochon, SAD Elliot Lake Board told the chair.
She said that on September 27, the building’s fire alarm went off and the Elliot Lake Fire Department responded, determined there was no fire, but discovered water infiltration in the ceiling which could have set off the alarm.
Afterwards, a local contractor examined the building and said he was unsure.
Rochon said at an emergency board meeting on Friday, SAD directors voted to temporarily cease operations, promote the surrender of their animals, contact their canine daycare and boarding clientele, and then issue a public statement.
“A structural engineer will visit the building on Monday to give an appropriate assessment. As it stands, our disposals have been encouraged and an adoption campaign is underway for those who are fully vetted and ready to go,” continued Rochon.
She said Elliot Lake veterinarian Dr. Andrew Wannan and his team are working to prepare the rest of their abandoned animals appropriate for their age.
In the meantime, the board is working to find another suitable location.
“The public can help by not coming to the property, withholding phone calls, emails, text messages and messaging at this time. Donations by e-transfer to [email protected] or Canada Gives would be greatly appreciated. “, added Rochon.
“The council is committed to full transparency and will release information as things develop in my office only,” she concluded.