The Lakeland Humane Society (LHS) is moving into a bigger space, with hopes they will be able to serve more animals from a wider area.
Last year LHS purchased eight acres on Highway 55 west of Cold Lake. The property used to be the site of TerraMerra boarding kennel and pet supply store.
While the facility’s former use gave LHS a head start on converting it to suit their needs, there was still some modification to be done. According to shelter manager Nicole Mbanefo, the work is being carried out over four phases.
Phase one is pretty much complete, she said.
“Phase one was our cat amenities—our adoption floor, our cat holding, and our front desk area.
“Phase two is our roof—we had some water damage—and rebuilding our medical intake room and our grooming area. And then phase three is another roofing system that’s going to go over our existing dog kennel area, over the roof that needs to be repaired and then extended over top of our outdoor kennels so our dogs are spared from the elements,” she said.
The fourth phase will be upgrades to the grounds to allow for exercise pens, walking trails, and an area for outdoor events.
Mbanefo said phase two should be complete by the end of June, and the organization can move out of its current facility in Cold Lake city limits. Fundraising for phase three is underway.
When complete, the facility will double the number of cats and triple the number of dogs that can be cared for.
“We are called the Lakeland Humane Society, but we mostly facilitate Cold Lake because at the moment we have a contract with the city. Cold Lake strays take priority,” Mbanefo said. “We’re not sure where that’s going at the moment, but this means we can actually be the Lakeland Humane Society and have the space to take animals from the M.D. of Bonnyville and further away in the actual Lakeland.”
She said it will be a big step when the facility is ready to move into. The cost of operating two locations during the transition is inefficient, she said, and she rather see that money going into finishing the new setup.
“Ideally we’ll be out here for the summer. We already have plans and events that we’re hoping to host on the property. We have a conference coming up at the end of June and then we’re hoping to have our annual Bark in the Park out here on the property as well,” she said.
Public support is more than welcome. “If you are interested in helping the LHS conquer the next part of our project,” Mbanefo said, “please feel free to contact us at 780-594-1896 for more information, or send any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.”