It's always nice to see positive press about the NS SPCA, especially at this time when they are in a flux and working hard to rebrand themselves and become an organization that says what it means, and means what it says - so when I read this article I thought I'd repost it here to get more notice over the holiday weekend -
Yarmouth has been a leader says SPCA official
Karla Frew-Hackett (left, Yarmouth SPCA behaviourist) and Kristin Williams, the Nova Scotia SPCA’s executive director, with Hettie, one of the cats at the local SPCA shelter.
Yarmouth-area residents have reason to take pride in the local SPCA, says an official with the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, was in town last week addressing the Rotary Club of Yarmouth.
The local SPCA has been leading the way in putting into practice the provincial society’s no-kill policy, she said in her Rotary presentation, a point she elaborated on in an interview afterwards.
“It’s actually quite staggering what they’ve been able to accomplish with commitment and tenacity,” she said.
The no-kill approach was passed this year as a “strategic imperative” for the Nova Scotia SPCA.
“The scary reality is that there are shelters all over North America that euthanize for space everyday and we made a commitment to stop doing that,” Williams said. “We made a commitment about being creative about finding adoption solutions and to make homes for animals and to not to resort to killing…And Yarmouth has taken a leadership role.”
One of the misconceptions about the SPCA is how it’s funded, Williams told the Rotarians, another point she touched on when interviewed.
“The provincial budget that supports cruelty investigations is $561,000 a year,” she said. “Only $3,000 comes from the provincial government, even though we’re mandated by provincial legislation to enforce cruelty laws.”
She added, “Our special constables are paid as a result of the donations we receive. Donations are what keeps them on the road.”
Operating in this way – depending on fundraising and donations – makes it tough, she said, noting that it’s important to get the word out – by speaking to groups like Rotary, for example – about what the SPCA does.
“It is very difficult,” she said. “People expect us to be there. We are the last line of defence for animals, and people rely on us, but there’s no funding, so we really do rely on our communities to support the work that we do…Without donations we can’t do the work that we’re doing.”
Williams has been the Nova Scotia SPCA’s executive director for about six months and has spent a good deal of time visiting SPCA branches across the province.
There are 11 branches from Yarmouth to Cape Breton.
She says she has been impressed with the work that’s being done throughout Nova Scotia.
Caring for animals – and there are many of them – places much pressure on the system, she said, adding that adoption is the key.
“Adoption saves two lives,” she said. “It saves the animal that’s currently in our care and it makes room for another animal to come into our care.”
The Nova Scotia SPCA was established in 1877.
Referring to the Yarmouth branch, the oldest of the Nova Scotia branches (formed in 1900), Williams said, “They do incredible work here…The community should be very proud of what’s being done.”
By Eric Bourque