Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Accountability Part 3

This is my 3rd and final post about Accountability and the NS SPCA. This post is not just about the NS SPCA's accountability though - it's also about the HRM City Council's accountability to public and the animals owners and lost and abused animals of Nova Scotia.

It has to do with a recently declassified report that was presented to HRM City Council and released to the public in early April - a report called "Internal Animal
Control Services" report from James Bandow and Associates from 2005 regarding the development of an internal animal control service - it's the report that made the HRM take away the Animal Control Contract from the SPCA.

For many years the NS SPCA held the Contract in the HRM for both Animal Control AND sheltering services, but the HRM felt that the NS SPCA wasn't doing a very good job of it and got an outside Consultant in - at a cost of about $25,000 - and this is the report they came up with. It is SUCH interesting reading. If you're so inclined, you can go down to City Hall and request a copy from the Municipal Clerk's Office, which is what I did. The whole report is almost an inch thick, but it's worth it.

There's stuff in there that makes me believe that there's no way that the HRM City Councillors have read it - because there's enlightened articles in there about how the City should move forward on cat licencing, BSL, and their Municipal Pound.

Pages 14 - 19 are absolutely specifically are particularly awesome - they talk about "the need for enlighted animal care and control programs and regulations" - they make me believe that no HRM Councillor could have read this report because it talks about how animal service agences across North America have moved from being "dog catchers" - departments that just catch dogs, take them to the pound and them euthanize the dogs - to Agencies that have undertaken initiatives to integrate animals into the community, re-unite animals with their owners INSTEAD of impounding them and focus on returning animals back to their homes by focusing on licencing legislation and rewarding owners for doing the right thing (giving animals a free ride home) rather than penalizing owners for doing the "wrong thing" (impounding their dogs and killing them/charging them huge fees to get them back).

On page 38, when the report starts to talk about the Dartmouth shelter in particular, and it's inner workings - and you're NOT going to believe this, it says:

"We were unable to obtain an Organizational Chart for the NS SPCA, but through discussions we learned that both the Animal Control Project Manager and the SPCA Shelter Manager report to the NS Shelter Director. However, we understand that the Shelter Director (who was not present during either of our visits to the SPCA) is a Volunteer Member of the NS SPCA Board of Directors, who is only available on a part-time basis, outside regular employment hours. This clearly is not an acceptable arrangement. Considering the size of the SPCA operation and the differerent agency responsibilities, it is essential to have a full-time CEO or Executive Director on-site with the appropriate background and experience to provide supervision, expertise, backup and support to staff."

So in other words - back in 2005 - an unbiased, outside agency - told both the HRM, and the SPCA board of Directors - that the person who held the position of the NS Shelter Director, President of the NS SPCA, member of the NS SPCA Board of Directors - was doing all of these positions on a part time basis ONLY - and it was CLEARLY NOT acceptable. It was ESSENTIAL to have a FULL TIME CEO or Executive Director ON SITE with the APPROPRIATE back ground and experience.

But instead, what happened? NOTHING. To this day - 3 years later, the same person is in the same position. I think at the time, given the unbiased report that was bought and paid for - it would have BEHOOVED the person in that position to have voluntarily stepped down - IF ONLY for the animals.

It seems to me that to continue in that position, knowing that they were doing all these jobs only on a part time basis, and KNOWING they were required to be done by someone on a full-time basis - they were doing nothing but HARMING ANIMALS.

And here we are 3 years later and the NS SPCA is imploding. Could there have been any other ending for an organization that had a report like this written and released three years previous?

I don't know, I'm just asking.


  1. Anonymous10:52 AM

    wow wow wow

  2. Anonymous12:43 PM

    WELL WELL WELL this is going to get interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joan you missed you're calling, you should have been a lawyer LOL Boy when you go "searching" for info, you ALWAYS find what NEEDS to brought forward. GREAT!