SPCA to stop investigating animal cruelty cases in N.S.
Published Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:58PM AST
For 136 years, the SPCA has investigated animal cruelty cases in Nova Scotia. But come April 1, the organization says it has to stop due to a lack of funds.
“It's going to be a devastating impact on Nova Scotia,” says Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA. “The SPCA has made this decision with a very, very, very heavy heart, but unfortunately there's just no more funds to support this program.”
Last fall, the SPCA asked the province for $100,000 dollars but the government said ‘no.’
Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister John MacDonell pointed out Tuesday that the SPCA’s most recent revenue statements show the organization took in a million dollars.
“It's pretty clear in the act that their mandate is the investigations, so they're taking in four times the amount of money that they've indicated that they spend on investigations, so we think that they have money enough to do it,” says MacDonell.
Brittany Dorey is considering adopting a pet from the SPCA. She is concerned about what might happen if the SPCA stops investigating animal cruelty.
“It happens, unfortunately, far too much and without somebody keeping an eye on it, I think it's going to happen even more,” says Dorey.
Last year, the SPCA responded to 18,000 complaints across the province.
Halifax Regional Police say they aren't sure exactly how many they responded to, but they say the SPCA handles the vast majority.
“It would be an increase in the workload for police officers, but our department is equipped with these demands and complaints,” says Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages.
Still, Williams fears some animals will slip through the cracks.
“It's a government program,” says Williams. “There's legislation that's been outlined and policy makers I think have an obligation to make sure there's adequate resources there to provide that program.”
MacDonell says his office is reaching out to the SPCA and hopes to set up a meeting soon.
He won’t say whether he will change his mind and give the SPCA the money it needs, but says he will consider it.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell