Multi-million dollar shelter must die
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
To the editor:
Re: "City earmarks $31 million for animal shelter," April 30.
I've watched the "shelter" (formerly know as the "pound") be shrouded in the misconception that it's becoming the SPCA. Seems everyone has forgotten the real function of Animal Control in the city of Vancouver. It is to protect people from dogs!
The fact that the pound became no-kill in 1998 was a benefit provided solely by the staff and caring volunteers, without any support or financial support from the city. In fact, I was told that it had better not cost the city any money.
I was the manager of the pound at that revolutionary time. We had become the first municipally funded no-kill shelter in North America. We were all proud of our accomplishments--the fact that we did it with no money made it even more spectacular. We made sure that all the dogs were fed, socialized and looked after medically, spayed/neutered before adoption, and still remained within our budget--$1,000 a year for food doesn't go far when you have 4,000 mouths to feed!
The problem now is that they think that throwing money at the problems will make them disappear. Only thing that happens is you end up with bigger problems. Just look at the pound!
Added staff have increased the number of complaints and reduced the patrolling and service provided to the city. The pound used to house 50-plus dogs a day, and we always managed. Spending more than $30 million on a new facility is outrageous and wasteful.
Spend money supporting spay/neuter programs. Spend the rest on homeless people who would really benefit. Focus you efforts, and funds, on providing services that are within your mandate!
Manager of Animal Control
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