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SPCA Monterey County receives $22 million donation

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)-- SPCA Monterey County announces they received $22 million to help improve services and buildings.

The money was given by Claire R. Jacobson, a local resident and long-time supporter of the SPCA, who passed away in December of 2020. She stipulated that the money donated "must fund capital improvements and/or an endowment."

“Claire’s generational gift speaks to her trust and confidence in the SPCA,” said SPCA President & CEO Scott Delucchi. “Her incredible generosity and compassion will live on and change countless animals' and people’s lives.”

The SPCA will use her money to renovate their Education Center, make two new buildings at their Salinas campus and establish an endowment. The Education Center will be renamed the Claire R. Jacobson Center in her honor.

“Thanks to Claire’s incredible gift, SPCA Monterey County will increase our ability to keep pets and families together by building a new Training Center and providing permanent space for our free Pet Food Bank,” says Delucchi. “We will also improve life for pets and people in our community by renovating our Education Center, providing additional space for our vital Cruelty Investigations team, building a new TLC Center to care for the most vulnerable pets, and continuing our focus on low and no-cost spay-neuter, humane education, and rescuing all types of animals in need.”

The new Training Center will more than double the SPCA's dog training classes and consultations. There will also be a newly made SPCA Cruelty Investigation team that will bring animal abuse and cruelty cases to the District Attorney's Office.

The SPCA’s second new building will allow specialized staff to house and rehabilitate dogs with behavioral challenges. “It’s easier to mend a broken bone than it is to fix a broken spirit,” said Delucchi.  “The dogs we turn around over weeks or months with focused work have never received training, socialization, or love. Many have never been on a leash, lived indoors, or played with other dogs. I don’t know that any part of our mission is more difficult or more important.”

The second building will also have the SPCA Pet Food Bank. This will be a free community service.

“Claire’s extraordinary gift will touch every aspect of the SPCA, from lifesaving programs for dogs and cats, to care for horses, wildlife rehabilitation, low-cost spay/neuter, and our work as this area’s first responder for animals impacted by fires and other disasters,” continued Delucchi. 

The renovations will take 12 to 16 months to complete, and solar panels will also be attached.

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Ricardo Tovar

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