February 22, 2020 – Huge THANK YOU to our friends at Pirates of the Potomac! They presented the Prince William SPCA with a $5,000 check from the proceeds of their MidWinter Meltdown event this January. Their support helps us meet our fundraising goal to provide 40 foster care packages for the Prince William County Animal Shelter. The donation comes just in time for kitten season. Special thanks to the shelter’s foster coordinator, Nancy Tarr, and Bear for joining us in the photo.

If you are interested in helping the shelter’s foster program or would like to become a foster family, please contact the shelter at animalshelter@pwcgov.org. Fostering helps alleviate overcrowding at the shelter and will help bridge the gap between now and when the new shelter is built.

Delays, cost-saving cuts to new animal shelter spark concerns

Prince William Times Article

“Unacceptable” is the word Supervisor Victor Angry used to describe the Prince William County Animal Shelter after touring the facility Friday. But Angry was quick to praise the shelter staff for doing the best they could in a cramped building that’s 44 years old and clearly in need of a major upgrade.

“We can talk about it all day, but when you see it, it makes it a reality,” said Angry, D-Neabsco, who was elected in April 2019 but had not previously visited the animal shelter. “It’s a very clean environment, but it’s very packed in there. It’s too tight for what they are doing.”

The animal shelter, built in 1975, has been slated for replacement since about 2015. That’s when the former board of supervisors began discussing a new shelter after allocating about $30,000 to upgrade the facility’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system after it was partly blamed for an outbreak of the highly contagious calicivirus, also known as FCV, that forced the shelter to euthanize 73 cats.

In 2017, the supervisors voted to spend $15.1 million to demolish the existing shelter, at 14807 Bristow Road near Independent Hill, and build a new one about four times its size on the same site.

At the time, a county audit of the animal shelter showed the shelter was taking in as many as 4,000 animals a year but euthanizing about 20 percent of them, sometimes due to overcrowding.

The design the supervisors approved for the new shelter, dubbed “option C,” is intended to address that problem by not only providing more space but also by following the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ guidelines for standards of care in animal shelters.

Angry’s visit came about 10 days after the supervisors learned construction on the new shelter will be delayed until at least late 2021 because of higher-than-expected costs. The lowest bid came in about $13.2 million, which is $2.7 million more than the $10.5 million the county allotted for general construction.

Now, county staff is working with the lowest-bidding contractor to make cost-saving adjustments that are intended not to significantly alter the new animal shelter’s features, according to Tom Bruun, director of the county’s department of public works.

Changes include using a flat instead of sloped roof, omitting a barn for surrendered farm animals, installing a less costly HVAC system, paving less of the gravel parking lot, buying stormwater credits instead of building a retention pond, trimming allowances for cost overruns and switching out some of the interior finishes that were recommended by the animal shelter expert the county hired to consult on the new shelter, Bruun said.

As an example, Bruun said the shelter will use ceramic-faced concrete blocks for the dog kennel walls instead of glazed block, which is preferred because it is easier to clean and resists bacteria.

Regarding the shelter’s overall delay – it was initially hoped to be under construction in 2019 – Bruun said rising costs were a challenge at each stage of the design process.

“The biggest issue was managing the project to keep it within budget, as the cost of construction rose significantly in this area and nationwide,” Bruun said in an email Monday.

“At each point, costs exceeded the budget, and value engineering was performed to bring the project back in budget,” Bruun said. “…Some of these [value engineering] sessions were time-consuming and required the designer to redesign and tighten up the building.”

Bruun stressed the shelter will still meet ASV guidelines. But some supervisors and residents, alike, are raising concerns about the delays and the possible ramifications of all the cost-cutting.

Melissa Korzuch, president of the Prince William SPCA, says her group worries the new shelter will be too small and that the county won’t be able to afford key items that have been cut, including the barn and equipment for the veterinarian suite.

“The shelter we wanted to have built … is not the shelter we are getting. It’s been reduced dramatically and we are disappointed,” Korzuch said Monday. “Our worry is that the things you cut out, you may never be able to get funding for.”

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and Supervisor Margaret Franklin joined Angry in expressing similar concerns this week. All said they are still talking with county staff to get a better understanding of the cuts.

Read more…

Call for 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?

How we got here:

Please call or e-mail your county supervisor and voice your support for the immediate focus on this project.
Board e-mail: bocs@pwcgov.org

More on the timeline of the shelter advocacy campaign. 

Prince William SPCA will host holiday pet photos on Sunday, December 8, 2019, from 4:00pm-7:00pm at the Lake Ridge Nursery.  We have moved the location this year due to the anticipated construction of the new Prince William County Animal Shelter.

This pet-friendly event is always popular and a way we give back to our very generous community who has supported us and the Prince William County Animal Shelter all year long.

The photos will be held indoors this year.  One pet photo per family is complimentary (donations appreciated). $5.00 for each additional photo.

Check out the photo album from last year: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156087563245885&type=1&l=22424a1740

This #GivingTuesday, we’re fundraising to support our animals in YOUR community. Facebook and PayPal are matching a total of up to $7 million in donations on Facebook. Join us by creating a personal fundraiser and then share it with your friends on December 3. https://www.fb.com/fund/pwspca/.

Other ways to give:

Mail donations to: Prince William SPCA, PO Box 6631, Woodbridge, VA 22195

Make an On-line donation here

Prince William SPCA is participating in the 2019 CFCNCA Campaign: # 66973
If you are a federal worker or retiree, please support Prince William SPCA during this year’s CFC campaign. Donations we receive from CFC enable us to continue our programs that reduce euthanasia, increase adoptions and improve the lives of companion animals in our LOCAL community. Thank you in advance for your generous support!

For details on how you can make a donation, visit https://cfcnca.org.

Campaign runs through January 12, 2020.

The Boys are Back and Ready for Adoption

Kitten season has arrived and the Prince William County Animal Shelter is full with felines! The Prince William SPCA is sponsoring spay and neuter surgeries in July to help shine a spotlight on the adult cats waiting to find new homes. Cowboy and Emmett are the first two kitties that headed out for their neuter procedures. More updates on the way! With their neuter fees covered by the Prince William SPCA, Cowboy and Emmet have a reduced adoption fee of $45. The boys are ready for adoption at the shelter.

Prince William County Animal Shelter, 14807 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112
Hours of Operation:
• Tuesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
• Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
• Sunday: 12 – 4 p.m.
• Monday and Holidays: Closed

Advocacy Campaign Succeeds! BOCS Votes to Approve New Animal Shelter

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 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 from September 2014 – September 2017.  The community rallied behind the campaign and all the hard work finally paid off!  Citizens sent postcards, spoke at citizens’ time, contacted their supervisors, visited the shelter and educated themselves on the need for a new shelter.  Prince William SPCA sponsored an essay and poster contest, mailed more than 3,000 signed postcards to the Board of County Supervisors and provided up-to-date information on the process from start to finish.  Construction on the new shelter will begin in August 2019.  See details on how our organization led this campaign here.  Thanks to everyone who supported this cause. Great job Prince William County! #raiseyourpawpwc

Youth Program Benefits Companion Animals

Prince William SPCA is sponsoring a new program for K-12 students who want to make a make a positive social impact on the lives of companion animals. The Pawsitive Impact Program provides resources and up to $500 in funding for student-led, student-run projects that focus on cruelty prevention, pet adoptions, humane education, enrichment, behavior, nutrition and spay/neuter. Students involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H groups, Honor Societies, etc. located in the greater Prince William County region are eligible to participate. Scouts earning the highest awards in their organizations are encouraged to apply. Special consideration will be given to projects that directly support the Manassas City Animal Adoption Center and the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Applications are being accepted through August 1, 2019. For more information or to apply, visit this link.

Improvements Made to Volunteer Database

Prince William SPCA has upgraded to a new volunteer database to help improve communications and administrative processes. This new system will help us better match volunteers with available opportunities plus it will track volunteer hours. We hope you like the new system!

Volunteer Opportunities