EMC SPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center
The EMCSPCA was organized in 1990 with the goal of building a much needed shelter. With Madera County Animal Control being the only facility in the area and a very high euthanasia rate, our founders wanted something better for the community. It was soon decided that building without educating ourselves and building relationships with well-run shelters would be a mistake. Over the years, we have refined our goals, begun programs to prevent pet over-population, and begun fundraising for the shelter. In cooperation with Madera County and the help of Supervisor Tom Wheeler, the EMCSPCA is leasing county property for our new shelter. Look for our sign on Highway 49 in Ahwahnee across from Wasuma School. We will utilize about 6 acres on a long term, low cost lease. We have completed all environmental studies and have a grading plan completed. We are making refinements to our floor plan (shown below) and will soon take everything to the county for their approval. The EMCSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center will be about 8000 square feet and will feature state of the art design and finishes. The facility will be built with local donations and grants. There will be no financial support from Madera County or any national organization.
Click here for more grading photos
June 22, 2017
The project is going out to bid Monday, June 26, 2017. There will be a Job Walk at the shelter site, Thursday July 13, 2017 for those bidding. Sid submission deadline is Monday, July 31 at 2pm at The Cat's Meow in Oakhurst.
June 21, 2017
Yesterday, building plans were filed with Madera County. Plan check is expected to take 4 weeks. In the meantime, our Architect, Alan Hendry will be putting the building out to bid. We hope to have a seamless progression of construction moving forward. Thank you for your support!
June 17, 2017
Please read through the following for accurate information on shelter progress:
Water well has been drilled by Bannon Drilling (Oakhurst).
Grading is being done by local contractor, Kris Koontz (Coarsegold). Grading is on schedule now that the soil has dried out and all soil testing is also on schedule.
SKC General Engineering contractor (North Fork) has been contracted for sepictic system. Septic Plans have been approved and that phase can be done at the appropriate time.
Building plans are being submitted to County Planning Tuesday afternoon. Supervisor Wheeler is asking the county to waive as many permit fees as possible (this was agreed upon when we entered into the $1/year lease agreement with Madera County)
Architect is working this weekend on setting up the bid date and job walk date and will have the project out to all of the General Contractors who have asked to bid, and to building exchanges, next week. Local contractors who have expressed an interest in bidding are being contacted by the architect and encouraged to bid.
There will be a statement in the Invitation to Bid that all bidders will be encouraged to solicit bids from local sub-contractors as we hope to employ as many locals on this project as possible. Contractors are also encouraged to use local companies for building materials.
Building the shelter is a fairly complicated project requiring special surfaces and flooring such as those used in hospitals. The goal of the EMCSPCA is to have the 'perfect shelter' that we have been working for and the community expects and has supported. We are excited, that after many unforseen delays, we are on track!
Contrary to some rumors circulating, NO contractor has been chosen from Tulare or anywhere else. The above schedule explains how the process is proceeding. Two contractors from Fresno have expressed an interest in bidding, but that remains to be seen. A bidder from Ripon who had expressed interest in the past has dropped out of the process.
Again...LET ME MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR.....It is our goal and hope that we will use a local general contractor and local sub-contractors. We have very specific needs for the construction and will be looking at past projects from all bidders and checking references....something our supporters in the community will expect.
If anyone has questions about the shelter project, feel free to contact me at 642-6611. We want to make absolutely sure that any information you hear (or see) is accurate.
February 2017 Update
Good news...we have received our CalTrans permits! The county has also approved our Septic and Grading Permits and they are in the hands of the contractors. Now we are waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate so se can finally get moving!
December 2016 Update
As you may know, there have been unexpected delays in beginning the construction of the shelter. The delays are due to numerous unexpected requirements placed on the project by CalTrans. These requirements included moving the building site back 43 feet from the planned location (which required changes to grading and construction plans), deeding property to the State of California for possible future widening of Highway 49 to 4 lanes, and the current obstacle is providing a revegetation plan for the property dedicated to the state. This plan (a design done by a Licensed Landscape Architect) was submitted October 5th. As of today, we have not received any word on the progress other than that it is under review.
As you can imagine this is a very frustrating process.....just as we think we have fulfilled all requirements, another obstacle is presented. Being on a state highway offers great visibility and access to the shelter, however we never thought there would be drawbacks as well.
We have contacted the permit writer again two days ago and are hoping to get good news. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Thanks for your patience and understanding. We know everyone is anxious to see work on the property......especiallyt the EMCSPCA Board of Directors!
May 2016 update.
An official groundbreaking was held in March at the shelter site on Highway 49 in Ahwahnee followed by a reception at Wasuma School. About 175 people were in attendance. As of May 12, Bid packets for grading are in the hands of contractors and should be back by the 15th. The grading plan was presented to Madera County May 14th. Due to Caltrans issues, the septic system had to be relocated, but that will not cause a delay. Encroachment permits have been filed with Caltrans for the entrance to the shelter property off Highway 49. (Previously temporary permits were granted for access for testing, etc.). Grading bid packets have been distributed to five local companies. Bids must be turned in by June 1, 2016. At that time the EMCSPCA board will select the company to do the grading. Our architect, Alan Hendry estimates that construction will take approximately 10 months from the completion of grading. Watch for equipment moving dirt soon!
Funds have been raised for the completion of construction and we are now raising funds to outfit the building with everything from food bowls to surgical equipment. You may inquire about naming opportunities by contacting Sharon at 642-6611.
June 18, 2015 update:
As you may know, we have been at a bit of a standstill for a couple of months. We have had many inquiries from the community regarding our progress...well, we finally have good news. After completing all of the requirements from CalTrans which included relocating the building site twice (for future widening of Highway 49), and thinking we were ready to grade, we had a bit of a hang-up with Madera County. It seems that there was a slight issue with rain water run-off (remember when we used to have that?) and how it might impact Wasuma School. This week, it looks like we have reached an agreement with the county engineer and can proceed with our grading plans. We need to have an additional bit of surveying done, then we can get going. We really want to break ground soon. To those who have supported us, we THANK YOU, and to those who wondered if this project would ever get off the ground, the answer is YES!
January 21, 2015 update:
Printed in the Sierra Star 1/22/15
Thanks to an extraordinary December, the Eastern Madera County SPCA received $300,000 (including $200,000 from a single donor) in donations, bringing the total raised to $1.2 million for the organization’s ‘no kill’ animal shelter. Lyle Swanson indicates the big jump from $910,000 in November, while Kathy Swanson updates the SPCA thermometer located at Chase Bank (corner of highways 41 and 49). This is enough to begin building the shelter, which will be located in Ahwahnee, across from Wasuma School. The plan is to begin grading in February, groundbreaking in March or April, and perhaps begin building in September. “It’s been a long process,” EMCSPCA Treasurer Lyle said, “but now things seem to be happening quickly.” The first planning meeting for this shelter was in 2004. Another $400,000 is needed to complete the project. “We receive no state or county funding, but rely on a truly wonderful community,” Lyle added. “That we’re this close is unbelievable and exciting.” MORGAN VOORHIS — Sierra Star
Excitement was felt as the treasurer's report was given at the January meeting of the EMCSPCA. As of December 31, 2014 the total raised for the EMCSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center is a staggering $1,199,729! To date expenses paid for work performed totals $114,295 which includes required testing and drilling the water well.
Project architect, Alan Hendry and civil engineer, Hal Lore met with county officials late in December to bring everyone up to date. The site plan had been approved by CalTrans which had taken quite some time due to the state planning to widen Hwy 49 in Ahwahnee sometime in the future. This meant the shelter site had to be moved farther from the existing highway. Due to this new requirement, the grading plan had to be re-drawn. Because the new location will require more grading, more retaining walls will be required.
The next step will be applying for grading permits and putting the grading out to bid. Once permits are received and a grading contractor is chosen, ground breaking ceremonies will be announced.
The EMCSPCA thanks everyone who so generously contributed to the shelter following our community wide mailing December 2nd, 2014. Total donations received from the mailing were $240,490.00. Other generous donations also received during the month of December brought the income total for December to $276,891.16.
Published in the Sierra Star 8/7/14.
EMCSPCA MAKES PROGRESS
The Eastern Madera County SPCA has been working hard raising funds for many years to fulfill its dream of building a no-kill animal shelter in the Mountain Area. It's a dream that continues to grow closer and closer to becoming a reality.
The non-profit organization has raised $884,500 of the $1.5 million required for this project while providing spay/neuter services, emergency medical help, and other programs for Mountain Area animals.
Expenses for environmental testing, permits, surveying, architect fees, and well drilling have been $112,000 to date.
"Clearly, this progress would not have been possible without the support of the community," EMCSPCA President Sharon Fitzgerald said. "It is with kind donations and participation in our many fundraisers over the years that have given this project life."
Over the past couple of years, SPCA members have worked closely with its architect, Alan Hendry, and Madera County, to conduct the first essential steps for building the shelter. That includes the design of the shelter, surveying and testing the land, procuring all necessary permits, developing the grading plan, and Walt Bannon Drilling completing the well drilling in May 2014
The next building phase will be site grading once the plans are submitted and county permits are issued.
"Keep an eye on the large 'dog bone' at the northwest corner of Highways 41 and 49 to see the progress of the
To help in the effort, the EMCSPCA will hold a bake sale, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9, at True Value. All proceeds will go into the shelter fund.
There are other gift giving opportunities, such as naming a bench at the facility after a beloved pet, or engraving a brick, in honor of a loved one, for the memorial garden wall. For naming opportunities, contact Fitzgerald at (559) 683-1266.
Update 6/13/14 Water well has been drilled, we are on the way! Click here for more photos.
Here is the new rendering of the shelter.....beautiful, and functional, too!
For Shelter Naming Opportunities, click here!