San Francisco SPCA Dramatically Expands Charitable Veterinary Care With Opening of...

Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:00am EST

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San Francisco SPCA Dramatically Expands Charitable Veterinary Care With
Opening of Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center

State-of-the-Art, Nonprofit Hospital Will Provide High-Quality Care to
Homeless Animals and the Public, Regardless of Income

SF/SPCA to Work with Other Groups, Public, to Spay/Neuter 12,000 Cats and Dogs
in 2009 -- Double the Number of Previous Years

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Francisco SPCA today announced
the opening of the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, the new home of its
nonprofit Veterinary Hospital, Spay/Neuter Clinic and Shelter Medicine
Program. The SF/SPCA has provided charitable veterinary care since 1924, and
the new Leanne Roberts Center, located next door, will dramatically increase
the number of animals -- with or without homes -- receiving care.

The full-service, accredited hospital will host an open house for the public
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 31. Attendees can participate in
tours of the new facility, various activities for children, a cat claw
clipping clinic and more.

In addition to supporting the Veterinary Hospital as customers, the public can
also contribute to the capital campaign. Seventy-three percent of the Leanne
Roberts Center's costs have already been raised through private donations, and
the organization aims to raise an additional $7.9 million in philanthropic
support to finalize the building's capital campaign.

The nonprofit hospital will offer competitive rates for routine check-ups,
vaccinations and prescriptions, spay/neuter procedures, common surgeries and
emergency care during normal working hours (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). It will
also continue to provide free care to homeless and shelter animals, and will
work with qualified, low-income guardians to ensure that their cats and dogs
receive the necessary care.

In addition to its Primary Care Veterinary Hospital, the Center will include
The SF/SPCA's Shelter Medicine and Foster Care Departments, housing for
homeless animals, the Feral Cat Assistance Program, and Spay/Neuter Clinic.

The SF/SPCA also announced today that it plans to perform 12,000 spay/neuter
procedures in 2009 -- nearly twice the number performed per year in past
years. The SF/SPCA aims to meet this milestone by offering discounted services
to rescue groups and expanding service to pets outside of San Francisco.

"Spay/neuter services and veterinary care have always been critical pieces of
our efforts to save and protect lives," said Jan McHugh-Smith, president of
The SF/SPCA. "But there are always more animals in need. Our new veterinary
hospital enables us to provide high-quality, compassionate care not just for
cats and dogs whose guardians can afford it but also for homeless animals and
for guardians who need financial assistance. That is the mission of The
SF/SPCA, and it is the vision of the Roberts family, who played an invaluable
role in making this gift to the community a reality." 

The hospital is named for the late Leanne B. Roberts, a former SF/SPCA Board
member and animal lover. Her son, Eric Bovet Roberts, is a current Board
member, and the family has donated $18 million to the building of the
hospital.

"My mother recognized that a city's approach to animal welfare is not complete
if it is not providing compassionate, comprehensive medical care to all of its
animals," said Eric Roberts. "It is fitting that the city of San Francisco --
named for the patron saint of animals -- is home now to a world-class,
nonprofit center of care and excellence for all the community's cats and dogs.
The Roberts family is proud to be part of this service to the community -- and
to have my mom's name adorn its walls."

Each year, The SF/SPCA provides approximately $1.5 million in charitable
veterinary services to nearly 30,000 cats and dogs, with and without homes.
But its previous facility -- built in 1932 -- became too small and inadequate
for the levels of care that the agency was prepared to provide.

The Leanne Roberts Center has significantly more space for examination rooms,
surgery suites, laboratories, quarantine and intensive care wards. The
facility also has upgraded equipment and separate areas for feral cats and
shelter animals in order to create a more stress-free environment.

"In line with The SF/SPCA's approach to animal welfare, great care was taken
in creating a veterinary experience that was as supportive, effective and as
compassionate as possible for animals," said John P. Aldridge, DVM. Aldridge,
who has been with The SF/SPCA since 1976, is Director of Veterinary Services
and vice president of the San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association. "But
the Leanne Roberts Center will also strive to serve other members of the
community. This includes excellent customer service and veterinary advice, as
well as continued collaboration with local veterinarians."

The Leanne Roberts Center will work to accommodate clients referred by area
veterinarians -- because of capacity issues or if customers cannot afford care
-- and The SF/SPCA will refer its own clients to veterinarian specialists.
Additionally, the Leanne Roberts Center aims to be a teaching resource and hub
for veterinary learning across the community.

The nonprofit hospital also looks forward to working more with local animal
groups, including providing discounted spay/neuter procedures for animals in
these groups' care.

"The SF/SPCA is one of many groups focused on animal welfare in the Bay Area,
but they are uniquely positioned in our community to have a great impact on
the health and well-being of our animals, including reducing the number of
unwanted puppies and kittens," said Sherri Franklin of Muttville, a San
Francisco rescue group for older dogs. "We are grateful that they will team up
with fellow animal advocates to make it easier to spay and neuter more cats
and dogs. Together, we can save even more lives."

To learn about spay/neuter discounts, hospital services or events, contact:
415-554-3000. To learn about the capital campaign, contact: Tina Ahn,
Development Director, 415-554-3025, tahn@sfspca.org.

About The SF/SPCA
The SF/SPCA is a private, independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization
dedicated to saving and protecting homeless cats and dogs, to providing them
with care and treatment, advocating for their welfare, and enhancing the
human-animal bond. Visit www.sfspca.org.

    Contact: Kiska Icard, 415-522-3505, kicard@sfspca.org



SOURCE  San Francisco SPCA

Kiska Icard of San Francisco SPCA, +1-415-522-3505, kicard@sfspca.org
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