Yesterday was the 135th AGM for the Nova Scotia SPCA - I've been going to these AGM's since 2006 - and have been writing them up on this blog. I just went and read through all of them - and it's pretty interesting reading (in my humble opinion!)
There is definitely a progession through the years - in 2006 Lisa Murphy is voting in as president, and hopes are high that things are going to go well - this was shortly after a coup had happened at the Dartmouth shelter's SPCA where previously gas was used to kill animals and over 50% of the animals coming in were killed. It was a new era at the SPCA and everyone had a giddy excitement.
We head on 2007 when Lisa Murphy is - in hindsight - unceremoniously booted out by Pam Keddy and Judith Gass - another coup of a certain type has happened behind the scenes - and Pam Keddy is the new president of the NS SPCA - and big things are changing once again. And it's not looking good. Alliances are being made, lines are being drawn, money is being spent on nefarious activities, and the time is coming when things are going to explode - and it's going to be animals that are going to suffer.
It's 2008 when things just go all to hell. This is the year of the Celtic Pet's debacle. The NS SPCA implodes - this is when me and several other people have their memberships revoked, the SPCA is in the news everyday, Pam Keddy refuses to resign - Judith Gass smacks a reporter in the face with a dor at the AGM, the abusers MacIsaac are shown abusing a ton of animals - and the Board of the NS SPCA are shown to be completely approving and abetting it. It was the NS SPCA's darkest hour.
Things could only get better. Eventually Pam Keddy and Judith Gass disappear ande move their business over to Homeward Bound City Pound - and we move on to the 2009 AGM - and we see that changes are beginning to take place - nothing is still being done about the Cape Breton SPCA - but policies and procedures are being worked on, and good people are coming on board in the right positions - a new day is dawning.
2010 signals a paradigm shift - this is the year that Kristin Williams comes on board - and from here on in, everything changes. From here on in, nothing is the same - and at least I - am very happy.
2011 is more of the same - only it's multiplied in it's betterness - that was last year - and it's unfortunate that it was the day after I had laser surgery on my eyes - so I was at the AGM - but I didn't make a blog post about it - so we'll have to rely on the SPCA's minutes from the meeting to find out what happened at the actual AGM.
Which brings us up to the current AGM - yesterday's 135th AGM - and it was so interesting - it had the smallest crowd that has attended in the 7 years that I've been to - and it's also interesting in the fact that the people who have fought so hard over the years to get the changes in place that are now there - the transperancy, the no kill model, the animal loving people in place - none of them were there yesterday - I don't know, they may still be volunteering with the organization - but none of them came to the AGM yesterday - it was weird to be the only one there - apart from past president Sean Kelly from the heady days of 2008 when we were pariah's but we all thought we were fighting for the good.
Yesterday's AGM carried on from the theme of the 2011 meeting - moving the organization into the 21st century and having it speak with one voice, not letting cronyism keep the SPCA from helping the animals who need the help - and for sure the biggest thing - finally dealing with the Cape Breton SPCA.
Ever since I've been involved with rescue - since 2003 - that has been the number one thing being talked about inside the community - and finally - in 2011 it was dealt with by the Provincial board - they had the balls to do it - and there are really no words to describe how much respect the Board and the volunteers in Cape Breton deserves for taking this on.
As well - the report from the Provincial shelter - and the fabulous turn-around they've made with the way they've been able to take in money - is a tribute to the Director of Animal Care - Sandra Flemming - their program of shifting animals around the province so that they can be adopted out in areas where the need for animals is higher is amazing.
Nova Scotia has become a world leader in the no-kill model - bar none. I am so proud to be a Nova Scotian, for sure - especially in today's tumultuous controversial no-kill world where the no kill model seems to faltering and everyone is accusing everyone that it's a flawed system that can't work everywhere - Nova Scotia is showing that it can work if you simply say one day - "stop the killing, stop the killing, stop the killing".
And talking about transparency - the speeches from Saturday are available online -
Kristin Williams operational update for the past year can be read - here
The SPCA's chair year's update can be read - here
I personally think that is just fabulous.