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New RAPS Adoption Centre opens

By Shena Novotny

Published 12:48 PST, Fri February 19, 2021

The new RAPS Adoption Centre has opened with a “soft launch” as the organization broadens our mandate to help more animals from more places.

On the last day of January, the Regional Animal Protection Society’s contract to operate the City of Richmond Animal Shelter ended as the city begins redevelopment of that facility. While operating the Shelter for 13 years was an honour, RAPS is now freed of the geographic limitations under which we operated. Because we were contracted by the city, we could not accept surrendered animals from outside Richmond. 

This was especially painful because we are a no-kill animal organization. We believe that where an animal lives should not determine whether an animal lives. People would contact us from other jurisdictions where surrendered animals might be euthanized. If they were cats that were unadoptable, we could accept them to our (independently owned and operated) RAPS Cat Sanctuary. But we could not accept surrendered dogs or other adoptable animals from outside Richmond. Now we can. 

We have launched a capital campaign to construct the new RAPS Dog Sanctuary, which will be a rehabilitation facility for hard-to-home dogs. The RAPS Cat Sanctuary will operate uninterrupted as, of course, will the not-for-profit RAPS Animal Hospital. And the opening of the RAPS Adoption Centre—located adjacent to the RAPS Animal Hospital in the Richmond Auto Mall—represents the latest transformation of one of our community’s most admired community organizations. 

Of course, due to COVID, we are not having a big celebration. The RAPS Adoption Centre is open by appointment only for meet-and-greets between adoptable animals and pre-screened adopters. 

But the low-key launch should not distract from the magnitude of this change. Three years ago, we changed our name from the Richmond Animal Protection Society to the Regional Animal Protection Society. Today, we complete our transformation to a truly regional agency. When the RAPS Dog Sanctuary opens, we will be able to accept dogs from anywhere. Meanwhile, the opening of the RAPS Adoption Centre, which can accept surrendered cats from anywhere in B.C., is a new era in RAPS keeping our no-kill promise—and finding fabulous forever homes for more cats than ever before.

Shena Novotny is Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Manager of the Regional Animal Protection Society.

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