NANAIMO -- Vancouver Island’s first BC SPCA-run shelter that can care for neglected and abused farm animals is being built at the Nanaimo SPCA branch.

“We do have investigations that do involve farm animals. Whether it’s from chickens all the way up to horses and cows,” said Leon Davis, branch manager for the Nanaimo SPCA.

The facility is currently under construction and will include a 2,500-square foot barn, along with a 5,000-square foot exercise area and an acre of pasture.

“It will be nice to have an actual facility that can service not only just the space for these animals but also their treatment,” said Davis.

In the past, large farm animals that were rescued by the SPCA on Vancouver Island would typically go to foster farms if they needed somewhere to go, which would usually be organized at the last minute.

“Now there will actually be a place where we can bring them in, triage them, get them vet care and come up with a plan for them,” said Davis.

The new farm animal shelter will cost approximately $600,000 to build and will be called Seasted Stables after the Seasted Foundation which made a considerable donation for construction costs.

The Rogers Foundation also donated a significant amount. However, the SPCA still needs to raise approximately $150,000 to complete construction.

“My wish is that we will build it and never have to use it,” said Davis. “My guess is that we probably will use it quite often.”

The Nanaimo SPCA expects the facility to be complete in the next seven to eight weeks.

The organization is looking for volunteers with large animal experience once the facility is up and running.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering you can contact the Nanaimo SCPA at 250-741-0778 or visit its website here. Further information can also be found at the shelter, located at 154 Westwood Rd., Nanaimo.