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Vancity backs new RAPS Regional Animal Hospital

The Regional Animal Protection Society – has made a big leap toward completion of the new RAPS Regional Animal Hospital by the end of the year, thanks to Vancity.

“Vancity stepped up to partner with RAPS and finance $600,000,” says Eyal Lichtmann, executive director of RAPS. “This was a statement that Vancity believes in our vision of community-supported, social enterprise Animal Hospital the furthers the NO-KILL mandate of RAPS.”

The funding “provides us the opportunity to build the hospital even as we continue fundraising for the completion,” Lichtmann says. “The generous agreement from Vancity allows RAPS to launch the hospital in the coming months and gain a strong financial footing in the coming year.”

The RAPS Regional Animal Hospital differs from other veterinary clinics because the revenue from the social enterprise will be reinvested into sanctuaries that save unadoptable animals. There are currently almost 500 cats living at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, which is slated for significant expansion, and the organization plans to open a dog sanctuary. Animals that would be euthanized in other jurisdictions come from across British Columbia and beyond to live out their lives surrounded by the care and companionship of a small staff and hundreds of volunteers.

The new RAPS Regional Animal Hospital will employ four veterinarians (each with special skills, including orthopedic surgeries), providing specialized pricing and services for families with low incomes and animals adopted from RAPS, while also assisting other animal organizations with their medical requirements and providing spay and neuter programs for local municipalities.

The RAPS Regional Animal Hospital will eliminate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the organization’s expenses while generating revenue to support all the services offered by RAPS (known as the Richmond Animal Protection Society until a name change became official this month).

In conjunction with the Vancity financing, RAPS is issuing a public challenge to raise an additional $600,000 from the community to complete the project this year. As an incentive for public participation, RAPS is holding a sweepstake contest offering more than $150,000 in veterinary services. Free entry into the contest requires only pre-registration of pets with the RAPS Regional Animal Hospital.

With the project’s future assured through the support of Vancity, RAPS is continuing construction of the hospital while calling for community support to complete the project and open the hospital by the end of the year.

“We are building the future of animal care that is ethically and economically sustainable,” Lichtmann says. “We know our community supports this. Now we’re asking animal-loving people to put their money where their heart is.”

Donations can be made at www.rapsbc.com/contribute-to-capital-campaign/

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