For the Greater Moncton SPCA, an already difficult winter has just crossed into what workers say is their nightmare scenario.
Since making several emergency calls to repair the 35-year-old shelter's heating system last week, the building has faced a complete electrical failure on the second floor, halting administrative work and forcing another phone call for a costly repair.
“The boilers are operating at 100 per cent 24/7 and they're burning off wires, and the elements are burnt off in some of them,” says Greater Moncton SPCA executive director Dave Rogers.
Dave Rogers says the last month's repair bill could top $40,000.
“What really concerns me most about this is the safety aspect of it,” says Rogers. “If I've got other wires in this building that are arcing, or have the possibility to arc in the future, it could be a fire hazard.”
In the meantime, space heaters have been set up to help keep the animals and staff warm.
“It's been horrible for my staff, it's been horrible for the animals. It's frustrating,” says SPCA director of animal welfare Nanette Pearl. “You've got so much other stuff to do without having to worry about the establishment you're working in. It just adds that much more pressure.”
In the midst of a frigid cold snap and with a major winter storm on the way, the SPCA is now asking for donations of heating pads to help keep the kittens warm. One staff member has made small covers for the pads to put in the kennels.
Donations have been coming in steadily all day, providing at least some relief as storm prep continues.
“We're going to be doing our best to ensure the animals have double bedding, that they have the drafts taken care of, food supply is high, any way you can add that little bit of extra heat and extra comfort,” says Pearl.
While there's concerns about the building’s safety and looming repair bills, staff members are still confident they'll find a way to break ground for a new shelter in 2019.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Cami Kepke.