Metal fab students do 'grate' work for SPCA

Metal fab students do 'grate' work for SPCA

Gary Cameron, NSCC faculty with Erin MacDonald from SPCA and a cuddly SPCA client.

The SPCA is part of the community, so I reached out to the community for help and now they have a healthier environment for the dogs in their care at no cost to them.

Fast Fact

In all, seven sheets of 1/16" stainless steel were donated to the project by local industry partners. Each sheet typically costs $260.

Being dog friendly isn’t typically a requirement for NSCC Metal Fabrication students. But when the Cape Breton branch of the Nova Scotia SPCA needed to build a healthier environment for its dogs, it certainly helped.

“There was a waste drainage system that ran along the back of the kennels like a trough,” explains Mary Holland Grist, shelter manager. “So if one dog in one kennel got sick, the illness could spread.”

As it happened, there had previously been parvovirus outbreaks at the shelter, and a decision was made to install covered grates for the drainage system to prevent reoccurrence. Being a nonprofit, the branch turned to NSCC’s Marconi Campus for assistance. That’s when Metal Fabrication instructor Gary Cameron got involved. After examining the situation, he and his first-year students built the grates using stainless steel plates donated by local fabrication shops.

“This was a great experience for the students,” says Gary. “Each kennel was different, so each grate had to be customized. They also got an opportunity to work on all of the fabrication equipment from the shears to the buffing discs.”

Mike Glancey was one of the students who volunteered to work on this project. “It was a lot like working a real job. We got to go offsite, do measurements and work with stainless steel, but we also met some really sweet dogs. I really enjoyed it.”

Despite a recent outbreak in the community, Mary says there have been no instances of parvovirus at the shelter since the grates were installed in April. “They’re easy to clean and we have no worries of one dog infecting another. We couldn’t have done this without NSCC.”

11/10/12

The SPCA is part of the community, so I reached out to the community for help and now they have a healthier environment for the dogs in their care at no cost to them.

Fast Fact

In all, seven sheets of 1/16" stainless steel were donated to the project by local industry partners. Each sheet typically costs $260.

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