New center brings potential pets to Auburn

Organization happy to have foothills presence, CEO says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn residents have a new place to meet some furry friends. The Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opened its Pet Adoption and Resource Center Friday at 1482 Grass Valley Highway in the Creek Side Center. The Placer SPCA, which became a nonprofit organization in 1973, wanted a chance to offer its services to a broader area of residents, said Leilani Vierra, chief executive officer of the Placer SPCA. “We are the Placer SPCA, and when we became the Placer SPCA back in the ‘70s … we incorporated here in the Auburn area,” Vierra said. “Eventually we found an abandoned corporation yard in the city of Roseville, and that is when we moved into the area. It was difficult because we didn’t have a footprint up here (in Auburn) any longer. Without the physical presence here we thought we were missing something.” Vierra said a marketing analysis showed that Auburn residents wanted an SPCA center in town. The organization has two basic goals, Vierra said. “We want to care for animals who can no longer be cared for in their homes, and we also want to provide services to people who want to keep animals in their homes,” she said. The Placer SPCA has close to 600 volunteers who donated 85,000 hours last year, Vierra said. The new center can hold up to 30 cats and between four and six dogs. The animals are kept in several apartments within the center and are given toys and beds to make their stay more comfortable. Vierra said each apartment has its own air-filtration system and drainage system to keep the rooms clean and to keep any sick animals from spreading illnesses. The building also includes a conference room and large back room that Vierra said the organization hopes to use for dog training classes in the future. The center is not accepting relinquished animals, but volunteers can tell residents where to take pets if they have to give them up, Vierra said. Vierra said the center is funded through community donations and the organization is still looking for sponsors. Jim Gray, a Placer SPCA board member, said he hopes the center helps a larger population throughout the foothills. “If people will have a resource here in Auburn, I certainly hope we do serve people in Foresthill and Colfax,” Gray said. Vierra said by moving into Auburn the SPCA hopes to work with all the animal rescue organizations to promote a common goal. “We are starting to talk about it, because it’s a little novel,” she said. “What we want to do is support each other’s efforts. So, it’s in our best interest to really work together.” Cats older than one year have no adoption fee at the SPCA, and through the Placer County Animal Trust fund the organization is offering a Rebates for Rescues program. Vierra said other local animal rescues can participate in the program. When someone adopts a cat over one year old, the adopter will be reimbursed for the fee up to $89. Cassie Reeves, co-founder and treasurer for the Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation, said she is thinking more positively about SPCA being in the area than she once did. “I think there can’t be enough of us doing this work,” Reeves said. “I don’t see it having a huge negative impact on us. I’m hoping we can work together. We welcome them and we hope to work together in the future and put a stop to the animal overpopulation problem.” Vierra said the SPCA offers several services including its Guardian Angel Program, which offers medical care to treatable animals. “It’s from giving them dentals before they are adopted to amputating a limb that is broken … casting broken limbs too,” she said. “We see it, we fix it.” Other services are the S.O.S. Program, which attempts to keep people and their pets together, as well as the Food Assistance Program. Auburn resident Bill Radakovitz, who donates to the SPCA and hopes to volunteer, said he and his wife adopted a dog from the SPCA center in Roseville, and he is happy about the new Auburn center. “I’m hoping we can get plenty of volunteers to help out,” Radakovitz said. “The facility itself is gorgeous. Once people find out about it, I think it will get a lot of use. We have a lot of animal lovers in Auburn.” Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------ Placer SPCA New Pet Adoption and Resource Center: 1482 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn Hours: 12-4:30 p.m. Sunday-Saturday Information: Call (530) 823-7722 Website: Upcoming event: 10th annual Funny Bones Comedy Show and Awards Night – 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 29 at the Timbercreek Ballroom, Sun City, Roseville. For information, call (530) 885-7387, ext. 102.