The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) has agreed to give its land and building to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, according to a statement released Wednesday.
The MSPCA will also donate $10,000 to help Vineyard residents who cannot afford veterinarian care or surgery for their animals.
“It’s a great thing for the community,” shelter director Lisa Hayes said. “It’s an awesome thing for the MSPCA to do.”
The MSPCA operated the animal shelter from 1947 until May 2009, on land donated by the late Kathryn M. Foote, an Island animal lover and activist. The MSPCA said economic difficulties prompted the decision to end its service on the Vineyard.
The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard took over the operation at the same site, and has operated since, entirely on donations and fees. Dukes County provides administrative support.
The animal shelter’s board of directors is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Once that process is complete, the MSPCA says it will transfer ownership of the land and the building. The MSPCA will also fund improvements to the water and sewer service to the building.
“In the two years since the operation of the Island shelter was turned over to a local group, we have been very pleased to see how the Island community has supported this important initiative,” MSPCA president Carter Luke said in a statement. “We are proud to be able to fulfill our pledge and donate this facility to Islanders and their animals.
Ms. Hayes said the board of directors has not yet decided how to allocate the $10,000 fund to subsidize animal care for families who cannot afford it. She said it is likely that some part of it will go toward neutering pets.
“That’s a huge issue on the Vineyard,” Ms. Hayes said. “We’re seeing so many unwanted litters of kittens.”