Things were looking up for Campbell River shelter before SPCA pulled the plug

With the SPCA packing up and vacating the city last weekend, Campbell River residents are concerned about animal welfare in the city

Big changes were in the works at the Campbell River SPCA before the animal welfare organization says it was forced to cease its local operations.

When Nicky Good, who volunteered for the SPCA for three years, first moved to Campbell River she couldn’t believe the conditions SPCA staff were working in and wanted to help.

“I so admired the people. They were so upbeat. They worked with what they had and made the best of it,” Good said. “It was so clean and smelled great and someone was always cleaning and sterilizing. I thought ‘this is unbelievable’ for the quarters they had.”

But Good realized more could be done.

She came up with an idea to clear the weed-filled property behind the SPCA, which borders the back lot of the city’s Dogwood Operations Centre and use it as a place for the dogs to run.

“Dogs that are kennel-stressed need a place to run,” Good said. “Right now it’s a litter bed so it would definitely beautify the area. I was looking forward to getting that going and seeing the dogs run free out there.”

Kathleen Embree, the Campbell River SPCA branch manager, had taken that proposal to city hall which according to Good was “received quite warmly.”

The meeting was positive enough that Good had lined up a team to come and clear the property and she had spoken to a few companies about putting in a chain link fence to enclose the sides that weren’t already fenced off.

“I was willing to fundraise to get the job done if the city would not pay for it,” Good said.

The staff, who put up with a cramped office lacking proper heating in the winter, were also making changes within, according to Good.

“They were training  (the animals) to make them more adoptable,” Good said. “There was so much love for the animals up there.”

With the SPCA packing up and vacating the city last weekend, Campbell River residents are concerned about animal welfare in the city.

The new contractor, Coastal Animal Control, will not deal with animal cruelty complaints nor will it operate a shelter for people to surrender their animals or adopt a pet. Instead, people will have to use the Comox Valley SPCA.