My friend over at Granny's Journal - who works night and day on her website "NS Homeless Pet Project" to try and let people know where every homeless and abandoned animal is in Nova Scotia - through alerting us to Petfinder listings and website postings has been banging her head up against the wall talking about how different NS SPCA shelters just don't feel like it's worth it to use the Petfinder website to list their animals available for adoption. It's pathetic.
And then in the last couple of days the Dartmouth Metro SPCA shelter puts up a posting on their Petfinder website called "the perfect dog" - Granny made a posting about it on her blog and she said -
"Seriously? Am I talking to the walls when i discuss what an effective adoption/ ergo lifesaving tool that petfinder listings are? So tonight, instead of loading new listings onto the Metro Shelter page, they have 1 dog listed for the NS SPCA Metro Shelter, 1 dog listed as a courtesy post for a breed rescue and this other hilarious piece of first class foolishness. In case you are wondering, they have 11 cats listed..... It would be the same as the pet project just listing links to the rescues, or better yet, just having a front door with a map of the province with little red flags where the shelters are. Would there be so very many visitors to the site if I did that? Of course not Is this funny little notice going to draw adopters in to the Metro Shelter? Will people come in from around the province, or even 'away' on the off chance they might find what they are looking for? Or will they simply scroll down and fall in love with one of the forty two other dogs that ARE listed on petfinder?"
What IS the perfect dog according to the Dartmouth SPCA shelter you ask?
It is a MEDIUM SIZE, YOUNG GOLDEN RETRIEVER MIX dog. So where does that leave all the older, bigger, pittie types, the german shepherd types, the ones who aren't quite so PERFECT?
This afternoon the Dartmouth SPCA shelter's Petfinder site had FOUR dogs listed - and NINE cats listed. So I took a drive over the to shelter to see how many animals they had actually up for adoption. And guess what I found? The largest shelter in Nova Scotia only had FOUR DOGS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION!!
When I walked in the door 2 ladies were right there and they asked me - what I was there for today - and I said I was interested in looking at their list of dogs available for adoption - and they said that today they only had 4 dogs available for adoption! Can you believe that?
I said - didn't they have a list of dogs that they had out in foster homes that I could look at that were available for adoption? And they said - they had lots of dogs out in foster homes - but that NONE OF THEM WERE AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION!!!! Certainly I don't know if this is true - but I had heard that the Dartmouth shelter has over 70 dogs out in foster - I could not believe that none of them are available for adoption!
They did say that I should check back tomorrow because some dogs were temperament tested today, so they might be available for adoption by tomorrow.
I can tell you that there were way more than 4 dogs barking coming from behind the door at the shelter.
And tonight - there are now only THREE dogs listed on the Petfinder site.
And also on the "perfect dog" groove - I asked about a dog that I had seen on the Animal Control website a month ago, which had then disappeared off that website. When dogs go into Animal control - after 3 days they usually go over to the Dartmouth SPCA - because they are the contracted shelter keeper for the HRM - so if the dog's owner wasn't found - the dog most probably came over to the Dartmouth SPCA. I am convinced this dog is a littermate of Charlie's - it was a 10 year old female unspayed collie mix - and a couple weeks after it disappeared off the Animal Control website - a posting appeared on the SPCA's Petfinder site - of a "shepherd collie" mix - but with no photo attached to it. So today I asked about that dog - and the girls said "oh yes - we remember that dog! We sent that dog down to SHAID - - we find the BIGGER DOGS DO BETTER DOWN IN THE COUNTRY. So I guess the Dartmouth SPCA has started shipping out all their NOT PERFECT dogs to other shelters now? Is that what's happening?
But what started this whole angry business was an email conversation between a bunch of friends today because one of them had gone online to the NS SPCA's website and read the Board of Director's minutes from September 15th, 2008 - that talked about the proposed shelter committee that's going to be formed to look after the Dartmouth shelter - and guess what? Pamela Keddy has been invited to join it! Yea! Isn't that fabulous?
The minutes are at http://spcans.ca/library/BOD_Minutes/PublicMinutes_2008Sep15.pdf and this is what they say about this lovely committee that's going to be struck to oversee the Dartmouth shelter -
"Kip Grasse provided background information on recent events at the Metro Shelter, particularly the strain that had been created by the Celtic Pets seizure in February and the resignation of the Shelter Manager, which was later withdrawn. Kip briefed the Board on the process for establishing a Shelter Management Committee/Team and read the names of individuals who would be invited to apply.
Objection was raised by several Board members to Pamela Keddy being asked to participate given the strained relationship between her and the current Board and the desire for the committee to make progressive changes and improvements to shelter operations and improve credibility.
Motion by Carol Doucet to not solicit an invitation to Pamela Keddy to join the Shelter Management Team, unless such an invitation had already been issued.
Motion carried by majority vote.Two objections, one abstention.
Following the motion, Kip contacted the Shelter Manager, who indicated that the invitations to join the committee had already been sent out. The Board suggested that a notice be posted on the website to seek additional applicants for the committee. Further, it was determined that the Board would review all applicants and hold a special Board meeting on Monday, October 6, to discuss and approve committee members. Mary Hill indicated she will distribute all applications to the Board for review prior to the meeting.
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the mandate of the committee and the timelines for establishing the Metro Shelter as an independent branch with its own Board of Directors. The consensus of the Board as indicated by a show of hands was that the Management Committee should focus on operational issues. It was noted that timelines for the Metro Shelter transitioning to branch status need to be determined by the Board. It was suggested that the mandate of the committee will be to develop policies and procedures for the Metro Shelter, provide guidance to the Shelter Manager, and report to the Board with any recommendations pertaining to shelter operations."
So it looks like the inestimable Pamela Keddy is going to be getting back her fiefdom at the Dartmouth SPCA shelter, doesn't it? The more things change, the more they say the same. If anybody had the illusion that things were actually changing at the NS SPCA for the good - I think this pretty much shows - and in a very public way - that things have not changed one little bit.