A NEW cat and small animal care centre (CASA) is being built at the RSPCA Mornington Peninsula’s Pearcedale property to provide care and shelter for more than 2500 cats, rabbits and guinea pigs annually.
Purpose-built and designed by specialist architects with advice from veterinary and animal behaviour experts, the centre is expected to enable animals to heal faster and be adopted more quickly.
RSPCA Victoria CEO Dr Liz Walker said the existing buildings were more than 30 years old and made it challenging for staff and volunteers to provide modern, best-practice care to animals.
“RSPCA Peninsula accepts every cat, kitten and small animal that is brought to us, and their welfare is our first priority,” she said.
“Sadly, these animals often come to us scared, sick, neglected, traumatised and friendless. We know that shelter environments can be stressful for cats in particular, which can lead to health and behavioural problems that make it harder for them to recover and be adopted.
“The new CASA care centre will increase our capacity to protect and care for more cats in state-of-the-art accommodation, an isolation wing and spacious cabins that help each cat feel safe and comfortable.”
The centre will include:
The capability to care for about 250 cats, kittens and small animals at one time (about 2500 animals over a year).
Purpose-built accommodation and adoption areas for small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
An isolation wing to care for cats suffering from ringworm and other infectious diseases.
A long-term wing with outdoor runs for cats that need extended stays.
An adoption wing where visitors will be able to spend relaxed time with cats in special meet and greet rooms to get acquainted before taking them home.
The $4.75 million centre will have solar panels supplying electricity and an ozone gas laundry.
Dr Walker said construction and set up was expected to be finished in January 2023
“By creating a comfortable, healing shelter environment, cats and small animals will find happiness in their new forever home more quickly and we will be able to reduce costs while delivering best-practice care,” she said.