Unlike most of its temporary residents, Dr. Mike Tigchelaar was actually looking for a new home with the BC SPCA.
Having previously worked in Sechelt, Tigchelaar has taken on the role of veterinarian-in-charge of the SPCA Penticton Veterinary Hospital. Through a special arrangement, Dr. Steve Harvey, who started the animal care centre four decades ago, transferred ownership to the agency.
“It’s an exciting day, having the open house and the amount of people who have come through has been really nice,” said Tigchelaar. “This is my first day of work and my first day in the city as well so it’s a very warm feeling.
“It was just such an interesting opportunity with the SPCA to get in and mould this clinic and grow it to what it can be, I just couldn’t turn it down.”
Especially exciting for the vet is being able to work for an organization that’s mandate is to look after all creatures.
“We are going to be able to provide services that I wouldn’t have been able to before,” said Tigchelaar. “To help people I couldn’t before and more particularly, animals I couldn’t help before.”
Attending the open house was Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA.
“That’s one of the things that really appealed to me when I started talking to Steve (Harvey) was just the sheer magnitude of the hospital and opportunity for expansion and the opportunity for us to provide added services all able to do that at the existing facility which is what we’re going to do over the next six to 18 months,” said Daniell.
The Penticton hospital is the SPCA’s second full-service facility in the province, the other is in Vancouver. It also has two spay and neuter clinics in Prince George and Kamloops.
Daniell added spaying and neutering will be a priority at the hospital.
“For me personally that’s very important because we want to ultimately prevent those animals from coming into our shelter and the best way to do that is to sterilize them,” he said.
Other services such as boarding and care of injured wildlife will continue with the possibility of providing emergency after hours treatment in the future.