SPCA’s new truck and new look unveiled to celebrate 125 years
By Mark Newman, News Staff
The Hamilton-Burlington SPCA’s new Wiggle Wagon will be bringing dogs, cats and rodents available for adoption into the community.
“This is our mobile adoption vehicle,” said SPCA chief executive officer Keith Scott at the June 20th event at the Dartnall Road shelter to mark the organization’s 125th anniversary and to showcase the new $160,000 truck.
The Wiggle Wagon is built on a Ford 450 truck frame and was ordered from a company near Columbus, Ohio about four months ago.
Covered with colourful decals that resemble paw prints, the wagon features a large glass window on the passenger side so the public can see some of the pets available for adoption.
They can also go inside the wagon and check out the animals available on either side of the aisle.
Each cage has a tag that contains information about the pet.
Scott said the 26-foot long and eight foot-wide wagon is popular with SPCAs in the U.S. and the Hamilton-Burlington unit is probably the first SPCA in Canada to acquire one of the vehicles.
He noted the animals should be quite comfortable in the wagon.
“We’ve got two large air conditioners in the main cabin,” Scott said. “We’ve got heating capability for the winter and we have running water outside.”
Scott said the wagon can hold as many as 26 animals at one time, but it’s unlikely they will carry that many when they visit community events to promote their adoption and other services.
SPCA staff and volunteers will provide the same adoption services from the wagon as they do at the shelter and Scott noted all of the dogs will be taken out of their cages regularly for exercise.
“Once we’re out in the community people will see it, will notice it and maybe take the opportunity of either adopting an animal that we may have on the vehicle or creating the impetus (for them) to come to the shelter,” Scott said.
He noted they have as many as 25 dogs and 50 cats at the Dartnall Road shelter available for adoption at any given time and dozens more cats are available in their system which includes a number of foster homes.
In addition to being what he called a “rolling billboard” for the SPCA, Scott said the wagon will be used later this year as part of their community assistance program.
That’s where the shelter provides low cost spay and neutering services to pet owners with low incomes.
Scott said the wagon will be used to pick up dogs and cats from their homes, take them to the shelter for surgery and then return them to their homes on the same day.
In 2009 the SPCA opened a companion animal hospital next to the Dartnall Road shelter that provides veterinary services to shelter animals as well as the community assistance program.
The organization has also spent about $30,000 to revamp its look which includes a new logo featuring a shield that contains the head of a cat and a dog along with a heart and a shelter in each of the corners on a blue background.
Scott said it was time the SPCA got a new image.
“We felt on the staff side that we needed a new look and a new feel and something bright and cheery to showcase to the community,” Scott said.