AS many of our supporters know, Saipan Cares for Animals or SCA was part of a recent Zoning Board public hearing to approve the conditional use application for our property. It was an oversight on our part that the zoning application was not fully completed and approved when we moved our clinic to As Gonno five years ago. At the meeting, we found out that our property is located in a rural commercial zoning district, rather than a residential commercial district as we had thought. Businesses in rural commercial areas are required to operate on a lot which is at least 4000 square meters, and even with the most generous allowance under the law our lot is still significantly too small.
The Zoning Board, after hearing comments from our team and supporters, tabled the vote on our conditional use permit. They allowed us until Aug. 1, 2021 to collect more information and possibly attempt to expand the lot so we could come into compliance. We would like to thank the Zoning Board for their support and their decision to allow us to continue operating while we work to bring our business into compliance.
We would also like to thank everyone who attended the meeting to voice their support for SCA, with special thanks to Rep. Sheila Babauta, Rep. Leila Staffler, and Aria and Grace Keilbach from Boonie Babies for their comments. We would also like to thank Congressman Kilili Sablan for his letter of support, which was read aloud at the meeting.
However, after considering all factors in the situation, we have made the difficult decision to move SCA to a new location.
We need your help! We are just starting to look for possible locations for the new SCA clinic, and there are a lot of costs associated with moving our operation including rent for a new space, building new kennels, and the teardown of our current facilities so that we can leave our As Gonno property in good condition when we move. We have started a new fundraising campaign to help offset as much of the cost as we can and hopefully avoid any interruptions in our services: GoFundMe.com/scadonate. Please donate if you are able, any amount helps!
We would like to give special thanks to Velma Lore, who has allowed us to lease her property at no cost for the last five years. She is an important part of the reason that SCA exists at all, and we will never be able to thank her enough for her part in furthering our mission to improve the lives of dogs and cats in the CNMI.
No matter what happens, we are committed to keeping our doors open and saving every dog and cat that we can. We will be posting regular updates to our Blog and GoFundMe to keep our supporters in the Marianas and around the world updated. Despite the challenges we are facing, we know that our community will have our back during this difficult time and we are excited for the possibilities moving forward!
Learn more about Saipan Cares for Animals at saipancaresforanimals.com
Subscribe to our blog at saipancaresforanimals.com/blog
Donate to our Save SCA GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/scadonate
Follow us on Facebook (@saipancares) and Instagram (@saipancares670)