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San Francisco SPCA Dramatically Expands Charitable Veterinary Care With Opening of Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center

State-of-the-Art, Nonprofit Hospital Will Provide High-Quality Care to Homeless Animals and the Public, Regardless of Income

SF/SPCA to Work with Other Groups, Public, to Spay/Neuter 12,000 Cats and Dogs in 2009 -- Double the Number of Previous Years

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Francisco SPCA today announced the opening of the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, the new home of its nonprofit Veterinary Hospital, Spay/Neuter Clinic and Shelter Medicine Program. The SF/SPCA has provided charitable veterinary care since 1924, and the new Leanne Roberts Center, located next door, will dramatically increase the number of animals -- with or without homes -- receiving care.

The full-service, accredited hospital will host an open house for the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 31. Attendees can participate in tours of the new facility, various activities for children, a cat claw clipping clinic and more.

In addition to supporting the Veterinary Hospital as customers, the public can also contribute to the capital campaign. Seventy-three percent of the Leanne Roberts Center's costs have already been raised through private donations, and the organization aims to raise an additional $7.9 million in philanthropic support to finalize the building's capital campaign.

The nonprofit hospital will offer competitive rates for routine check-ups, vaccinations and prescriptions, spay/neuter procedures, common surgeries and emergency care during normal working hours (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). It will also continue to provide free care to homeless and shelter animals, and will work with qualified, low-income guardians to ensure that their cats and dogs receive the necessary care.

In addition to its Primary Care Veterinary Hospital, the Center will include The SF/SPCA's Shelter Medicine and Foster Care Departments, housing for homeless animals, the Feral Cat Assistance Program, and Spay/Neuter Clinic.

The SF/SPCA also announced today that it plans to perform 12,000 spay/neuter procedures in 2009 -- nearly twice the number performed per year in past years. The SF/SPCA aims to meet this milestone by offering discounted services to rescue groups and expanding service to pets outside of San Francisco.

"Spay/neuter services and veterinary care have always been critical pieces of our efforts to save and protect lives," said Jan McHugh-Smith, president of The SF/SPCA. "But there are always more animals in need. Our new veterinary hospital enables us to provide high-quality, compassionate care not just for cats and dogs whose guardians can afford it but also for homeless animals and for guardians who need financial assistance. That is the mission of The SF/SPCA, and it is the vision of the Roberts family, who played an invaluable role in making this gift to the community a reality."

The hospital is named for the late Leanne B. Roberts, a former SF/SPCA Board member and animal lover. Her son, Eric Bovet Roberts, is a current Board member, and the family has donated $18 million to the building of the hospital.

"My mother recognized that a city's approach to animal welfare is not complete if it is not providing compassionate, comprehensive medical care to all of its animals," said Eric Roberts. "It is fitting that the city of San Francisco -- named for the patron saint of animals -- is home now to a world-class, nonprofit center of care and excellence for all the community's cats and dogs. The Roberts family is proud to be part of this service to the community -- and to have my mom's name adorn its walls."

Each year, The SF/SPCA provides approximately $1.5 million in charitable veterinary services to nearly 30,000 cats and dogs, with and without homes. But its previous facility -- built in 1932 -- became too small and inadequate for the levels of care that the agency was prepared to provide.

The Leanne Roberts Center has significantly more space for examination rooms, surgery suites, laboratories, quarantine and intensive care wards. The facility also has upgraded equipment and separate areas for feral cats and shelter animals in order to create a more stress-free environment.

"In line with The SF/SPCA's approach to animal welfare, great care was taken in creating a veterinary experience that was as supportive, effective and as compassionate as possible for animals," said John P. Aldridge, DVM. Aldridge, who has been with The SF/SPCA since 1976, is Director of Veterinary Services and vice president of the San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association. "But the Leanne Roberts Center will also strive to serve other members of the community. This includes excellent customer service and veterinary advice, as well as continued collaboration with local veterinarians."

The Leanne Roberts Center will work to accommodate clients referred by area veterinarians -- because of capacity issues or if customers cannot afford care -- and The SF/SPCA will refer its own clients to veterinarian specialists. Additionally, the Leanne Roberts Center aims to be a teaching resource and hub for veterinary learning across the community.

The nonprofit hospital also looks forward to working more with local animal groups, including providing discounted spay/neuter procedures for animals in these groups' care.

"The SF/SPCA is one of many groups focused on animal welfare in the Bay Area, but they are uniquely positioned in our community to have a great impact on the health and well-being of our animals, including reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens," said Sherri Franklin of Muttville, a San Francisco rescue group for older dogs. "We are grateful that they will team up with fellow animal advocates to make it easier to spay and neuter more cats and dogs. Together, we can save even more lives."

To learn about spay/neuter discounts, hospital services or events, contact: 415-554-3000. To learn about the capital campaign, contact: Tina Ahn, Development Director, 415-554-3025,

About The SF/SPCA

The SF/SPCA is a private, independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving and protecting homeless cats and dogs, to providing them with care and treatment, advocating for their welfare, and enhancing the human-animal bond. Visit

    Contact: Kiska Icard, 415-522-3505,

SOURCE San Francisco SPCA
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