The wait is over! All that is left is to come out and celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Prince William County Animal Services Center on Saturday, September 17 at 11 AM. It will mark 8 years nearly to the day that the Prince William SPCA started the advocacy campaign to build a new shelter. We experienced many “no’s” and “never going to happen here’s” along the way, but we did not lose hope. We dug in and never looked back. We sponsored essay and poster contests, and facilitated the design, distribution and mailing of thousands of postcards to the Board of County Supervisors. Our volunteers spoke at BOCS meetings, sent emails and met with their Supervisors. We educated, advocated and in the end, we made a difference in the lives of thousands of shelter animals.
Our work is complete and this heavy lift is our greatest accomplishments in the last 18 years since the Prince William SPCA was founded in September 2004. We invite all of our volunteers–past and present–to come out and celebrate with us.
We advocated for this new shelter for more than a decade and officially began the campaign on September 28, 2014. There were postcards, essay contests, poster contests, citizens time presentations, meetings with board members, newspaper articles, and yes, some tears (of frustration early on, of joy now!). In November 2021, the half of new facility opened and all of the shelter animals moved over into their new homes. A somber sight was seen in January 2022 when the old shelter was demolished. For anyone who has lived in Prince William County and is an animal lover, this is a wonderful time and a huge win for the community. We are very proud of the work our organization did over these last 8 years. We were the first to lead the charge and worked tirelessly until the doors of the new shelter opened. While we may have been the driving force, we were backed by thousands of supporters who wrote letters, filled out post cards, called their supervisors, posted on social media and backed our campaign. Thank you to the community, the Board of Supervisors (especially those members in 2014 who first agreed to listen and make a change) and to the dedicated shelter staff who never waivered for the animals. May the new shelter be a beacon of hope for our beloved companion animals for many years to come.
As part of the Prince William SPCA’s 10th Anniversary in September 2014, the board announced it would begin advocating for a new shelter. They announced: “We know this will be a long and difficult journey, but it is necessary. We are the voice of companion animals in Prince William County and they need us.” At this time, no one at the County would entertain the idea of a new shelter, but we knew it was the right thing for Prince William County.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
The Prince William SPCA was that small group that led the community to rally for the animals. It took 8 years and many ups and downs, but it was worth every second of effort.
To kick off the advocacy campaign, the Prince William SPCA sponsored an Essay Contest: Why Animal Shelters are Important to Communities. Students in grades 3-12 living in Prince William County submitted essays and competed for than $1,300 in awards. The contest inspired young animal lovers to write about the importance of local animal shelters. The contest gave them a medium to express their feelings and thoughts on the topic. Many students visited a shelter, talked to shelter staff, discussed the topic with teachers or classmates, and researched the topic on line. All of the essays were printed, compiled into a booklet and sent to all of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors unanimously voted to include a new animal shelter in the 2017 county budget and renovate the current HVAC system. The HVAC project was set to begin in January 2016. This is the farthest the project had ever gotten and would be included in the FY2017 budget process. If approved, a new shelter could open in 2019. Read the full Inside Nova article here.
Vote is Yes! Prince William SPCA thanks the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for listening to the citizens who wanted a new shelter. They voted to fund the planning and design of the shelter and the funding for the building and operations in the 5-year plan. A huge shout out to everyone who called, emailed and visited their supervisors and for all who spoke at Citizens’ Time. We are proud to have led the charge and so very happy for the animals this new shelter will help. The work on the shelter plans should begin in the county’s FY 2017 (which began July 1, 2016). We will keep up with this process and post more information as we learn more. Thank you to everyone who helped with this successful campaign!
Push back for new shelter. At the Board of County Supervisors meeting, funding for the new animal shelter was briefly discussed as part of the proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP). While the new animal shelter is still in the planning and design phase, there appears to be push back from several members of the BOCS on the potential price tag to address the under-sized and outdated shelter that has been ignored for decades. The BOCS approved $1 million in funding for planning and design of a new animal shelter and allocated the debt service in the CIP for a new shelter. Despite this initial investment, and the overwhelming support for this project from the community, the BOCS may not move forward with a new, centralized animal shelter based on this recent discussion. The animal shelter is not part of the 2018 budget, but funding to move the project forward will be voted on in May/June 2017 with the CIP.
A news release was posted on the county website updating the community on the progress of the new animal shelter. County staff will bring forward animal shelter improvement options to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) this summer, and then move forward with final architectural and engineering designs in Fiscal 2018.
County staff made a presentation to the Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday, August 1 at 2 PM in the Board Chambers of the McCoart Building (1 County Complex Court). They were given four options to consider for the new shelter. The public was asked to weigh in on the options and contact their supervisors with feedback. The Prince William SPCA endorses Option C: New Construction. Review the presentation here: New Animal Shelter Presentation
The final vote is expected to take place on September 19, 2017. Before that time, the Prince William SPCA is asking everyone in the community to contact the supervisors at firstname.lastname@example.org and urge them to vote for Option C. There is a board meeting on September 5th where citizens can come and speak in support of the project. We need the community to get behind this effort one more time to push it across the finish line. Animal lovers, citizens, shelter volunteers, vet offices, animal rescue organizations, pet sitters, dog trainers—it’s time to speak up. We won’t get a second chance to do this right. #raiseyourpawPWC
Board Approves $14 mil Animal Shelter.
Three years! Yes, Prince William SPCA began advocating for a new animal shelter in 2014. We announced at our 10th anniversary celebration that the group’s efforts would focus on educating the community about the need for a new shelter. While there were many ups and downs, we are thrilled that on September 19, 2017, the BOCS voted “yes” to building the much-needed shelter.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) voted 7 to 1 to approve funding Option C: New Construction for the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Prince William SPCA led three long years of advocating for a new shelter. The community rallied behind the campaign and all the hard work finally paid off! Thanks to everyone who emailed the BOCS, spoke at Citizens’ Time and sent in postcards to support this cause. Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Well, we changed the world for thousands of companion animals! Great job Prince William County! #raiseyourpawpwc
On Board of County Supervisors received a status update on the new animal shelter. Public Works confirms the shelter will be “Option C” but it is now about 1000 sq. ft. smaller due to combining dedicated space into multi-use space. The project is slightly behind schedule but the County plans to make up time by doing the bid process and plan review simultaneously. Design is complete. Construction begins in August 2019. The full presentation is at 32:00.
Throughout the past five years, our community has overwhelmingly voiced support to address the critically undersized and outdated facility built in the 1970s. We were elated when the Board of County Supervisors approved the new Prince William County Animal Shelter in 2015. We advocated that “Option C” was an efficient yet not excessive building design. We waited patiently until the construction plan was released in Spring 2019. And now, we continue to wait as the new animal shelter is once again delayed.
The Board of County Supervisors meets on Tuesday, October 8 with Citizens’ Time scheduled on the agenda at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Be the voice for the animals and help finally move this project across the finish line! Prince William Board of County Supervisors’ meeting agenda for October 8, 2019:
Call to Action!
The construction for the new animal shelter has once again been delayed. Read article here. Due to the delays, costs have increased, and size and quality of the shelter is being decreased. Prince William SPCA is urging all citizens to call or email their Supervisors and ask why this project is taking so long. The community advocated for “Option C” and the Board approved funding for that option, but the specs for the shelter no longer support that option. The longer the county waits, the more will be cut from an already very “basic needs” shelter. County taxpayers asked for, and the county funded, a modern, efficient facility in 2017. Where is that shelter and the accountability? Community asked to take action one more time.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors will hear a presentation on the animal shelter on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 2 PM in the Board Chambers of the McCoart Building, 1 County Complex Court, Prince William, VA. Supporters of Option C are encouraged to attend the meeting to speak at Public Comment (formerly Citizens’ Time). Below are some important talking points about the shelter. Can’t attend the meeting? Email the Board and Chair Wheeler at email@example.com.
Prince William Times Article on Shelter: Delays, cost-saving cuts to new animal shelter spark concerns
A special meeting of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will be held Tuesday, February 25, at 7:30 in the Board chambers of McCoart. All shelter supporters are urged to ATTEND or WATCH this meeting, which will have significant implications on Option C or any newly built shelter.
The board will decide if a new shelter is going to be built or if other options will be pursued. PLEASE ATTEND!
No presentation or documents have been shared with the public except the agenda linked below. CXO Martino will present ”Animal Shelter Options / Alternatives” and Public Comment Time will follow. If you are at the meeting, please speak up. If you cannot attend, use the county’s SpeakUp Prince William. You may also email the full board and Chair Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a very short window (two days) for the decision that can have lasting impacts on the shelter, its staff, the animals and community.
Help give the shelter one last push! Let’s get this project across the finish line.
New shelter approved!
Finally, we made it across the finish line! Six years and lots of work and effort paid off. Huge win for the animals, staff and community. Congratulations Prince William County, Va.
New Shelter moves forward! Construction contract signed.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved moving forward with the new shelter. The contract was signed in March and surveying has begun at the site. COVID-19 Update: The new shelter construction will not be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Note: We were very fortunate to have the contract signed when it was. Three days later, the county would close due to COVID and halt any pending construction contracts.
New Shelter Opens!
WOW! We are super excited to see this $16.7 million project come to life. The new shelter, which partially opens today, replaces the old shelter that was donated to the county in 1975. The old shelter was 6,646 square feet and the new shelter will be 25,760 square feet once fully completed in the Summer of 2022.
The Prince William SPCA Board of Directors visited the animal shelter for a tour in December 2021. We were blown away by the building, which was only partially opened to the public.