Thursday, June 21, 2012

CBRM Animal Control Contract Up for Grabs

Cape Breton Post reported that the animal control contract for Cape Breton Regional Municipality has been received after a tender call - a private company called "Cape Breton Dog Control Services" and the NS SPCA have put in bids and we can pretty much guess who "Cape Breton Dog Control Services" are - the turfed former management and directors that were tossed out by the provincial board of the NS SPCA a couple months ago.

We can also figure out how the animal contract will operate if they get the contract - it will for sure not be a no kill organization - they will not place the animals coming in with any kind of priority in their business plan - they will just be collatoral damage. Based on how they operated the shelter in the past - there is really no way that they'll be able to not kill 50-75% of the animals that come through their doors - they will have no where to put them, they will have no one to adopt them, they will have no way to keep them from getting sick and dying while they're in their facility - so they'll have to be killed.

In a privately run animal control facility - whether animals die or live doesn't matter to the bottom line - there are a lot of animal control facilities down in the States that don't adopt out animals at all - they kill 100% of the animals that come in. Here in Nova Scotia that is completely unnecessary - we already have a system in place that is working really, really well - and it's currently being run by the Nova Scotia SPCA in Cape Breton - and there's no one else who could do what they're doing. What the NS SPCA is doing that nobody else can do - is moving animals that come into the Cape Breton facility OUT of there and into other shelters across the province that have space for them.

It is something that should have happened many, many years ago - but only started happening since the current management structure that is in place at the provincial office and Sandra Flemming have been in control - and it has literally saved 100's and 100's - and it's probably up in the 1000's now - of animals lives. And no other organization can do that - because no one else has the shelter system across the province to move animals around like that.

The Cape Breton SPCA has always been the heaviest shelter in the province for intake - and therefore the highest amount of euthanasias - between 50-75% annually - which is completely unacceptable in a province as small as ours. The NS SPCA in it's current state has turned itself around to the point that it is now at a no kill status - and to have done that is remarkable. And they did that through hard work, belief in principles of good governance - and for a few people - balls the size of the Hulk.

The turnaround made at the Cape Breton shelter, and from what I've read - the relationship they've built with the community - has been amazing. If the municipality doesn't see that and chooses the other bid - it will be a holocaust for the dogs of Cape Breton. It will truly be a shame.

I know that I have always been against SPCA's taking on animal control contracts - but in this case - I don't think that there is any organization that could do what the NS SPCA is doing down there. I hope the Municipality makes the right choice.


  1. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I believe the CBSPCA needs the income from the Dog control Contract to assist in keeping the shelter/building running, without the contract it seems the shelter and staff will have an extremely hard or even no chance of continuing....It has always had the contract...for many many with the very positive changes here and the wonderful staff and improvements,it would be a shame to see them have to close their doors...the animals being the big losers.I cannot imagine any animals being entrusted back into the hands of any of the ousted old staff or Board...simply because of a lower bid....Where would the Compassion and Animal Welfare be,if that were the case....Proving excellent Humane Animal care should be of more consideration to the CBRM, than accepting any lower bid to save $$$, and more humbling than trying to save face afterward.It cost $$$ to run a facility, hire trained staff, provide proper food, cleaning disease control chemicals etc...and should a private co get the contract for dog control....what of the stray cats, surrenders, strays and abandoned animals....Dog control does not handle those issues, and they are only required to hold your dog for 3 days before euthanizing it....and what mode of euthanasia would be chosen, T61 is a banned drug, Euthanol can only be used by a licensed vet, and CO@ chamber can be barbaric, when not used properly...Now when euthanasia is the final and absolute option, a Veterinarian is called to relieve the animals suffering, with compassion and expertise...For me there is no question as to who should get the contract....The New Cape Breton SPCA, is a shelter to be proud of...where thy truly walk the walk as well as talk the talk, and are making positive changes in animal lives daily...

    Chris H, ex CB Branch SPCA Employee,2001

  2. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Wow, you don't even know the former board members or what they are all about. You have no information on the new company yet you have tons of negative opinions on the subject with no information to back it up. Shame on you and the friends group for fear mongering.
    The former board are mainly kind retired business and family people, run other organizations such as a feral cat rescue, all have pets of their own which are much loved as family members. Your blog is disgraceful.

  3. My blog has been called a lot worse over the years, so disgraceful is kind of you, thanks.

    I don't have any information on the new company - and if the bid is being put in by the people we think it is - we don't have any statistics of how they ran the Cape Breton SPCA when they did have the power there because it was discovered that they were cooking the books the whole time they were working there - so there's no way I could give you information to back up my thoughts even if I wanted to - and normally I could - because the SPCA is mandated to share statistics with the public - private companies don't have to, which has been one of my bugaboos with Homeward Bound pound - and why I've been applying for freedom of information requests on a yearly basis if you'll notice - if you're a regular reader of this blog.

    It would be interesting to find out the statistics of the Cape Breton SPCA - what their intake numbers are - because it will make a difference if the SPCA doesn't get the contract - for instance - are most dogs brought in through surrenders? If so, then the SPCA's intake probably wouldn't go down too much - because people probably wouldn't surrender their dogs to the pound if they knew they were only going to be killed - they'd take them to the SPCA instead. But if most dogs are taken in because of impounding - then that's another story.

    And does the contract include cats?