Opinion

SPCA forced to vacate

Re: Out On A Limb: Why did we have to go through all this?

Why did we have to go through all this?” Those are the words of Campbell River Mirror’s editor.

Why indeed did we have to go through this? It certainly wasn’t very pleasant for any of the parties involved. But to suggest that the BCSPCA pulled out of Campbell River in a “hissy fit” is quite laughable.

Surely, you can’t really think that an organization such as the BCSPCA, founded in 1895, steeped in the noble tradition of animal welfare would act so irresponsibly?

Once again, the CRSPCA was asked to vacate the premises, the contract for impounding and animal bylaws enforcement was not renewed. They relied on the city to heavily subsidize their operations in animal welfare by providing a “not always pleasant” job of by-laws enforcement. They had to relinquish their vehicles that they used, and no longer had a premises that they could work out of. What were they suppose to do?

The SPCA were allowed to use the premises on Merecroft Road at the discretion of the city. Once the contract was not renewed, they lost their ability to generate income. How long could anyone last if they were homeless and incomeless? Especially when they were suppose to house and feed 800 cats and 500 dogs per year.

In my opinion, they did the only thing that they could do responsibly. Withdraw, regroup, restrategize and adapt.

An adoption and education centre is definitely run on a smaller scale than a full sized shelter. An adoption centre runs with a smaller staff and relies more heavily on volunteers. And yes, a higher level of fundraising is required, yearly, because the CRSPCA is no longer subsidized.

Let’s hope the City of Campbell River shows some goodwill and generosity by offering an annual operating grant. The much smaller District of Powell River bestows a $75,000 annual grant to the SPCA. How come Campbell River is one of the rare communities to pull their financial support from the SPCA?

There have been other communities that could not support an SPCA and they left town quietly without any public outcry. Campbell River has shown that they were not one of those communities.

Yes, we rallied together and raised a large amount of money. Let us look forward to a new beginning. Let us learn from our mistakes. Let us create a new SPCA that is progressive and becomes a showcase for our province. Let us never to become complacent.

“Hissy fit” indeed!

Dr. Helen Kwong

Campbell River

 

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