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High costs might force SPCA to close Laval branch

luckypenny
May 1st, 2008, 11:06 AM
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=ddfb3ecb-3a35-4b32-bf9c-a4f82c8bd4a0

High costs might force SPCA to close Laval branch

MAX HARROLD
The Gazette

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Three weeks after taking over the Montreal area's cash-strapped, overcrowded main animal shelter, the organization's new executive board says the Laval branch may have to close because it costs too much.

The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' facility on Bergar St. in Laval's Chomedey district is too expensive to operate, Alana Devine, the CSPCA's acting executive director, said yesterday.

Already, several dogs from the Laval outlet have been moved to the CSPCA's main facility on Jean Talon St., she said.

The CSPCA is working with creditors to "restructure" its $4 million in debt, she said.

"The Laval branch is a former warehouse and it's way too big for our purposes," she said. "It's very expensive to heat. We may consolidate the two branches."

Although no specific numbers were available yesterday on the Laval facility, the CSPCA's two shelters take in an average of 24,000 cats, dogs and other animals every year. More than a quarter of those have been euthanized in recent years because of a lack of shelter space and too few people to adopt the animals or take in foster pets.

The Laval branch will not close unless an alternative facility is opened or the Jean Talon branch is expanded, Devine said.

She pleaded for fresh public support in the form of private and corporate cash donations, new volunteers and more people to adopt or foster animals.

The CSPCA's executive board, made up mostly of people installed April 9 at a CSPCA members' meeting, has been struggling to reform the facility.

It took over after Pierre Barnoti, the CSPCA's executive director since 1995, went on indefinite sick leave following allegations of financial mismanagement and unethical fundraising.

"Not a single dog has been euthanized" since April 9 because there was no space for it at the shelters, Devine said proudly.

About two dozen dogs' lives were spared because the animals were shuttled from the overcrowded CSPCA to foster families, Devine said.

"I no longer feel like I have to sneak in the back," said Maggie Shuter, whose Animal Adoption Montreal rescue service specializes in purebred cats and dogs.

"They're inviting me in."

On the financial side, the CSPCA's new treasurer, Jamie Allister, said yesterday U.S.-based marketing firm Quadriga Art has agreed to give the CSPCA more time - up to five years - to repay a $3.5-million debt.

The CSPCA also has a $500,000 line of credit with the Royal Bank, he said.

The bank and Quadriga are "very happy we're heading in a new direction," Allister said.

The CSPCA's full financial figures should be available within three to six months, he added.

Besides a full accounting picture, the Jean Talon facility has some urgent needs:

Ventilation: The ventilation system no longer works and needs to be replaced. The facility will need ventilation more than ever with warmer weather on the way, and to avoid transmission of treatable kennel cough and feline respiratory infections, Devine said. In the past, animals with the infections were sometimes euthanized at the CSPCA.

A shelter inventory system: Devine said there is no computerized accounting of how many animals come in and out of the shelter. Some records exist, but they provide no solid, day-to-day breakdown, Devine said.

More foster homes: The foster program is being revamped to ensure those who foster are fully compensated for pet food and veterinary bills, Devine said.

Surgical equipment: If the CSPCA got another operating room (it has only one), it could probably guarantee that animals would also be sterilized when adopted, Devine said.

People interested in getting involved should call the CSPCA at 514-735-2711 or email admin@spcamontreal.com

mharrold@thegazette.canwest.com


In this time of re-organization and apparent positive changes, the animals and SPCA Montreal need our help and support more than ever to help keep it moving in the right direction. If there's something, anything, anyone one can do, no matter how small, to help, please consider doing so. On behalf of needy animals everywhere, thank you. LP

Frenchy
May 1st, 2008, 11:33 AM
I heard about the situation and had time to think.

To any rescues who reads this and are taking dogs out of there , I would foster any older dogs , as long as they are ok with other dogs and cats. It's time to step up to the plate and help them.

luckypenny
May 1st, 2008, 11:38 AM
You're wonderful Frenchy :2huggers: .

I forgot to add :o , there's not only a greater need to support the SPCA Montreal at this time, but other local Rescues, shelters, volunteers as well who are joining in to offer what help they can. I'm so proud of them all :thumbs up .

Chris21711
May 2nd, 2008, 08:56 AM
You're wonderful Frenchy :2huggers: .

I forgot to add :o , there's not only a greater need to support the SPCA Montreal at this time, but other local Rescues, shelters, volunteers as well who are joining in to offer what help they can. I'm so proud of them all :thumbs up .

You guys ROCK.

Has this all come about because of the poor management?

Frenchy
May 2nd, 2008, 11:14 AM
Has this all come about because of the poor management?

Exactly :frustrated: but there's already lots that is changing. :goodvibes: I heard some people still bit***** about them , but reorganisation takes time and help !!!

I am waiting for a reply from a rescue that might need help. :goodvibes:

Love4himies
May 2nd, 2008, 11:17 AM
Exactly :frustrated: but there's already lots that is changing. :goodvibes: I heard some people still bit***** about them , but reorganisation takes time and help !!!

I am waiting for a reply from a rescue that might need help. :goodvibes:

You are right, Frenchy, when top management changes and there is changes that need to be done, including cleaning of staff that are not on the new mgtmnt side. Right now I think the montreal spca needs supporters, not fighters.