We have to agree with the readers who voted in last week’s poll: The Maritime Heritage Centre isn’t the best spot for a new pet adoption centre.
Granted, our online poll is not scientific or should be viewed as the “definitive word” on how Campbell River residents see issues.
In short, it’s a fun and interactive way to engage readers and to stir debate and discussion in our community – that’s what community papers do.
Still, the lopsided vote – just five in favour and 104 against – was pretty surprising and if we could add one more vote too, it would be a check beside “no.”
You can’t blame the BC SPCA for wanting to move into the centre which is in a prime waterfront location that sees plenty of public traffic, and has far better parking than the former location of the SPCA’s shelter.
It would also be good for the SPCA’s profile in Campbell River which has had a tough year in its battles with the city and its loss of the animal control contract.
That said, the Maritime Heritage building was never intended to be a pet distribution centre. It’s a community gathering place and a maritime museum that is home to the magnificently restored fishing boat, the BCP 45.
Somehow the combination of museum visitors, barking dogs and mewing cats just isn’t a good mix.
However, there are plenty of other empty commercial spaces in the city that can provide enough space and parking to provide for the SPCA’s needs.
And there must be a landlord, maybe even two, who has a pet dog or cat, and supports the SPCA as well, and can provide a fair deal for rent.
Maybe even the city and council can help the SPCA find a new home – and it would be gratifying to see the two sides trying to work together again.