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Joe and Mary Wilson donate land and building to Fredericksburg Regional SPCA
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FREDERICKSBURG SPCA GROWS THANKS TO GIFT

Joe and Mary Wilson donate land and building to Fredericksburg Regional SPCA

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In 2009, Joe Wilson—owner of PermaTreat Pest Control—and his wife Mary donated the land that allowed the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA to open a 16,000-square-foot facility in Spotsylvania County.

Last week, the Wilsons helped the SPCA expand even more by donating the old S&K building on Courthouse Road, which sits directly in front of the main facility, to the organization.

The building, now renamed the Joe and Mary Wilson Community Resource Center, will house the volunteer and humane education offices, as well as the People Empowered Through Support—or PETS—program, which operates a pet food and supplies pantry and assists owners in economic distress with vet care.

Wilson said there had been a tenant occupying the S&K building for years, but when the tenant moved to a new location, he decided to turn the building and land over to the SPCA.

“It just made sense,” he said. “My wife and I have always been ardent animal lovers. Our attitude is that if we don’t look out for the animals, they can’t look after themselves.”

“We’re just very blessed to be able to do a little something.”

Carrie Withers, SPCA Executive Director, said the new building “gives us so much room and so many possibilities for the future.”

With space now available in the main building, Withers said the SPCA plans to launch a behavior program—offering low-cost behavior classes to the community—in the fall.

There will also be new office space available for the matchmaking team, Withers said.

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The SPCA is gaining space in addition to the new building through the 1,200-square- foot expansion of the Locke Community Medical Center, which Withers said will be complete in August.

The expansion will allow the SPCA to offer a wider range of low-cost veterinary care, including diagnostic imaging and dental services.

Withers said the past year and a half has been “a challenge” for the organization.

The number of people enrolled in the PETS program tripled and the SPCA closed to in-person visits and pivoted to virtual adoptions.

Early in the pandemic, the organization was able to place all its animals in foster homes, Withers said, and about 70–80 percent of its animals are still in foster care.

“This allows us to say yes to more animals,” said Von Young, SPCA communications and marketing coordinator.

Withers said adoptions increased during the pandemic, but “there was not a huge increase in owner surrender, which people were anticipating.”

“I think it’s because we’ve evolved so much in being a community resource for low-cost medical care, pet care, supplies and education,” she said.

The SPCA is hosting a campaign to raise funds to adapt the new building for its uses, which also will include three youth education programs.

Donations can be made at fredspca.org/donate.

Adele Uphaus–Conner:

540/735-1973

auphaus@freelancestar.com

@flsadele

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