After their original plan to open in January hit a snag, a new animal hospital in Richmond held their grand opening Monday.
The RAPS Animal Hospital is a “full-service, community-supported veterinary hospital,” officials wrote in announcing their opening.
Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie and other dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon cutting at the new hospital, which will offer care for all kinds of animals.
Operated by the Regional Animal Protection Society, a Richmond registered charity that emphasizes its no-kill policy towards animals, the hospital was originally slated to open its doors Jan. 15, but a dispute over the naming of the hospital pushed opening day back a month.
Last year, the society changed the “R” in their name from Richmond to Regional. Officials said the name change was to better reflect the fact they were helping many animals from outside Richmond.
But the College of Veterinarians of Vancouver told the society they were concerned the switch to “regional” could cause confusion among the public about the hospital’s status: they were concerned “regional” might suggest to people that the new hospital was a local government authority.
In early January, the college and the society came to an agreement over how the hospital could identify itself, pleasing RAPS’ CEO, Eyal Lichtmann.
“I appreciate the college being collaborative on this,” Lichtmann told the Richmond News.
When they announced the name switch last June, the society also said they hoped to raise $1 million to help fund the new facility, which is 6,000 square feet. RAPS cares for 1,000 animals every year, including 500 cats.
Using donated funds, the society’s no-kill policy means that only animals which are “severely injured or…suffering in great pain, with little or no hope of recovery despite treatment” will be put down. All others — no matter their age or behaviour — are kept comfortable and alive.
In addition to the new hospital, the society also operates the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, the City of Richmond Animal Shelter, an animal foster network and a social enterprise thrift store.