City council is going to be under the gun again now that the BC SPCA has announced it will close its Campbell River chapter.
The SPCA made its announcement Wednesday and the reaction on social media, letters to the editor and the phone lines has been strong – most of it condemning city council for awarding an enforcement contract to the lowest bidder in January The loss of that part of their service has made the operation of the animal shelter by the BC SPCA uneconomical. Consequently, the BC SPCA announced it will shut down its Campbell River operations after nearly 30 years of service.
This is an emotionally-charged issue with the SPCA representing a love for animals that has been fostered in this community through volunteerism and charitable works. The first community service many children in Campbell River ever did was to raise funds for the SPCA. Volunteers also walked dogs, socialized cats, fostered puppies and kittens and, of course, adopted unwanted animals.
The SPCA has a strong emotional attachment to this community and city councillors are going to hear long and loud criticism over this decision.
Did council expect the SPCA to pull out of Campbell River as a result of their choice? Likely not. Do we elect councillors to make tough decisions like going with the lowest bidder for an animal services contract? Yes. But, as many people are going to tell councillors over the next few days and weeks, sometimes the bottom line doesn’t fulfill the community’s desires.
So, it’s goodbye to an organization that has served this community well for 30 years. Thanks for all the good work you, your staff and hundreds of volunteers have done for us. The SPCA’s departure makes us all look just a little bit heartless. It makes us look like we care more about the bottom line than abused and neglected animals.
And we know that’s not an accurate portrayal.