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A Message to Our Community

There has been some confusion about recent changes at RAPS.

From 2007 until January 31 of this year, RAPS operated the City of Richmond Animal Shelter as a contracted service provider.

This was a point of great pride – not least because, under RAPS, Richmond became a “no-kill community.” For almost 15 years, RAPS provided care and control services for animals in Richmond, including domestic animals, livestock and wildlife.

The City of Richmond is redeveloping the Animal Shelter. This is a long-overdue infrastructural project that will meet the increasing demands of animals and people in Richmond. During this time, it made great sense that the SPCA, which has shelters throughout Metro Vancouver and beyond, should take over the City of Richmond contract, as they can accommodate surrendered, stray and lost animals. RAPS enthusiastically supports this decision.

While the operation of the City of Richmond Animal Shelter was one of RAPS’ most public roles, we are much bigger than that.

RAPS began more than 25 years ago, humanely trapping and spaying/neutering cats in Richmond. Over the decades, we have grown to operate Canada’s largest cat sanctuary and a vast fostering network of animals preparing for the next phases of their lives.

Concurrently to this, we have delivered education and advocacy programs that prepare young people to take responsibility for animals –as guardians, as advocates, or both. We have worked with governments at all levels to adopt policies and legislation recognizing that animals make our lives, families, neighbourhoods and communities safer, healthier and happier.

We have also operated a chain of thrift stores that support our programs while diverting tons of materials from the landfill, providing quality products at truly unbelievable prices to consumers and providing volunteer and retail employment opportunities to people of all ages and abilities.

In 2018, with the extraordinary support of our community and corporate partners, we opened the RAPS Animal Hospital, a full-service, community-owned, not-for-profit veterinary facility. This is a cornerstone of the “RAPS Model” of financially sustainable, no-kill animal care. We are delivering veterinary services – at cost – to the animals in our care, while providing care to animals in the community, the revenue from which is reinvested to save and improve the lives of less fortunate animals.

RAPS is now launching a campaign to open the RAPS Dog Sanctuary, where hard-to-home dogs will be rehabilitated and socialized in preparation for their forever homes.

While it was an honour to operate the City of Richmond Animal Shelter – and while that was one of most public roles – it was only a part of our work. We are a no-kill animal-serving organization that is growing in every way.

In 2017, we changed our name from the Richmond Animal Protection Society to the Regional Animal Protection Society. This better reflects the geographic reach of our work.

Even so, the terms of our contract with the City meant that our Shelter could not accept surrendered or homeless animals from other jurisdictions. As one of the few truly no-kill organizations in Canada, we were often contacted to take in animals that faced euthanasia in other jurisdictions. Our contractual obligations to Richmond taxpayers precluded this.

Animals do not understand human-created boundaries. RAPS believes that where an animal lives should not determine whether an animal lives.

We are now unencumbered by the limitations of our City contract. Our new RAPS Adoption Centre is able to welcome animals from places where they face euthanasia. With our community’s continued support, we will complete the RAPS Dog Sanctuary and continue growing our services to save and improve the lives of ever more animals.

If you have any questions, please contact us at admin@rapsbc.com.

We invite you to join us to help as we continue our journey as one of Canada’s most innovative, entrepreneurial and forward-looking animal agencies.

We are unequivocally no-kill.

We are rooted in Richmond and, more than ever, serving animals everywhere.

We are growing and expanding – thanks to the unceasing support of people in our community.