Placer SPCA opens Roseville location

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(DAYNA NGUYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

The lobby of the new Placer SPCA location in Roseville.

By JULIE NGUYEN, Roseville High School

Animals have a way of hijacking the hearts of the masses — through phenomenons such as Corgi Con, “instafamous” pet accounts, or a simple house pet, many choose to call themselves animal-lovers. RHS students and staff with any desire to engage with animals can now do so in the form of an expansion of the Placer SPCA, which has recently found opened less than a half mile away from Roseville High School. The commute from the school for these animal-obsessed students is a five minute walk.

RHS sophomore Mikayla Lopez and junior Mikala Thinger have devoted themselves to their furry friends as junior volunteers at the SPCA.

Lopez is in the process of transitioning to becoming a level three volunteer — this would enable her to enter kennels, walk dogs, and entertain potential adopters.

Lopez feels as though the new SPCA building and the opportunities it offers for possible adoptive owners to interact with the animals has only increased the amount of traffic at the SPCA.

“It’s brought a lot more people into the SPCA,” Lopez said. “The dogs enjoy it a lot more — people can actually come in with the dogs if they fill out a form.”

On top of being an avid dog-lover, Thinger has adopted a new title.

“They call us the ‘habitat heroes,’” Thinger said. “As volunteers we make sure the dogs and cats have human contact so they don’t get lonely.”

Thinger has noticed the effects the new amenities have had on the people who frequenters the SPCA.

(DAYNA NUGYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)
EOT’s own Julie Nguyen interacts with two dogs, Holly and Polly, both up for adoption after the Carr Fire.

“The transition was so much better than the old building, it’s so much more organized now,” Thinger said. “The housing for the dogs are bigger and wider so it allows for more playing and more activity for people visiting them or even volunteers.”

According to Thinger, volunteering has been an exceedingly fulfilling and impactful experience for her, especially with the new building and additions that come with it, which make the experience more personal.

“I’ve always been a big dog person. [It’s nice] knowing that I’m able to make a dog’s day by giving them some human contact and socializing,” Thinger said. “Seeing them happy makes me happy and it makes me feel like I’m doing something in the world.”

Connie Franklin, the SPCA Director of Development and Marketing, has also witnessed more widespread improvements occur within the cat habitats, including the creation of outdoor spaces and spaces “for groups of cats who enjoy being in a community setting.”

Franklin has noticed the positive effects the construction of the new building has had on the communities surrounding it.

“The grand opening was our chance to introduce ourselves to the community,” Franklin said. “We had about 1,000 people that came here that day and there was face painting, popcorn, hotdogs, and tours of all the pets. A lot of the people that came to visit were from the neighborhood, they’re ambassadors for us, because they saw firsthand what this beautiful facility is and what it can do.”
Franklin believes that the state of the art building has provided new opportunities and outreach for the SPCA.

“Now that we have this beautiful new facility, it allows us the opportunity to grow and expand and do much more than we were able to in the old building,” Franklin said.

(DAYNA NUGYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)
One of the outdoor dog yards where dogs can cool off and play with visitors.

“This is a state of the art facility; it’s very clean, modern,” Franklin said.

Franklin believes that even with these new improvements to the SPCA, the SPCA’s fundamental beliefs still remain unchanged.

“The goal is to reduce the length of stay when they’re in the shelter,” Franklin said. “But while they’re here, we want them to be comfortable.”

Thinger believes that while the volunteering has enriched her life, it also mutually enriches the lives of her furry friends.

“I’ve learned to take the good things from situations, because even if I’ve had a bad day I’m always in a happy mood just from the people and the dogs,” Thinger said. “Once [the dogs] get human contact, they begin to recognize who you are and it makes their days when they go out on walks, played with, or spent quality time with.”

The SPCA anticipates two more phases of renovations for the future, which will feature a medical and intake program.

This story was originally published on Eye of the Tiger on October 2, 2018.