I love going through my mother’s old photo albums. What is not to love? It is such a sentimental journey to revisit our family history. Even better, the albums that were so carefully saved from her mother’s and grandmother’s day provide a real life window of those times. Best of all of course is that those precious older pictures allow me to put faces to all those names on our family tree.
Really it is just frosting on the cake that there are pictures in there from the early nineties when I moved my mini home out here. What a difference all those years of planting have made!
It has been nine years since the disgraceful AGM followed in the wake of the infamous Celtic Pets seizure. There is no question that Celtic Pets was the catalyst that brought all the issues with the society bubbling up to the surface. Yet in spite of a new board and the very best good intentions, it seemed that very little had changed.
Cruelty complaints were still being ignored. Those who complained about the inaction were blackballed and discredited. And of course, in spite of paying lip service to No Kill, one branch was still hauling dead animals out by the truck load.
It is a different world now to be sure. Cruelty complaints are being investigated. Charges are actually being laid. And convictions are now regularly popping up in the news.
There are low cost spay neuter clinics. TNR is actually supported in a practical way with a Mobile Spay Neuter Van! And it is nice to see that after so much secrecy in recent years, that the society is once again publishing the minutes of its Board meetings and its statistics online!
Really, it would just be nitpicking to complain about the fact that the society only has nine of their adoptable dogs and sixty-five of their adoptable cats province wide listed on their site.
No question about it, the society has done a pretty good job of rebranding itself since the new regulations to The Animal Protection Act came into force. According to the ‘vision’ of their current Strategic Plan, The Nova Scotia SPCA is recognized as the leader in the areas of companion animal advocacy and protection. The Nova Scotia SPCA operates with a philosophy of zero tolerance for animal cruelty and sets the standard of animal care for the province of Nova Scotia.
I have always said that the society would be best served by fulfilling its mandate to prevent cruelty instead of trying to pretend it was a rescue.
The society is looking for five rescues to partner with them .. which I think is a fabulous idea. ( Ever so much better than memorandums cautioning branches to be wary about transferring animals to a rescue, eh? )
In theory it is a wonderful idea. I do have to wonder whether it is is a sneak preview or simply wishful thinking that qualified applicants must ” Have all appropriate licenses and registrations required by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”
Does that mean that the rescue regulations have already been written? Should we be expecting a press release any day? Perhaps not. If one goes further and looks at the agreement, it is clear that rescue partners must be willing to have an inspection of all housing facilities by the SPCA.
Not to be mean, but it is hard enough to find fosters on a good day. But of course, the society is only looking for five partners so perhaps that won’t have too big an impact on the rest of the rescue world.
Here’s the thing. Anyone who has been rescuing in the past decade can well remember numerous instances where some society branches were providing shoddy, substandard care.
So this is what I think:
- Of course the SPCA is well within their rights now to ask that their partners be willing and able to provide the proper standards of care, evaluation, treatment and placement for pets transferred into their care.
- And yes, the Society is definitely within their rights to insist on proof of spay or neuter for any intact animals that they transfer to a rescue partner
- in a province where there is so much need …. particularly in light of the starry eyed souls who persist in dragging dogs up from the States as if this was some sort of magical fairy tale No Kill land with plenty of homes to spare,
- and in a world where many cat rescuers are long on heart and so short on admin skills that some of the best ones never get around to applying for CRA charitable status,
- and when finding fosters is a universal challenge for rescues,
- and of course when accountable rescues both screen and monitor their own fosters
… the society is limiting its options by only asking for five applicants. Even worse ….in the absence of any rescue regulations .. such partnerships will not address the difficulties caused by irresponsible rescuers. Saddest of all of course is that this represents a missed opportunity for the type of bridge building that would restore confidence and provide a road map for the way forward.
What time is it? It is always, always time to remember that trust is a two way street.
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. Samuel Johnson