So, so much more than a day late and a dollar short ….

from tonight’s Cape Breton Post
Humane society has new leadership

Published on November 25, 2011
By Greg McNeil – Cape Breton Post
SYDNEY — There’s new leadership at the top of the Cape Breton Humane Society — formerly known as the Cape Breton SPCA.Michael Mombourquette will now serve as the board’s chair and a new shelter manager will be sought after Patsy Rose stepped down.
“It is very unfortunate the way things transpired, but what is done is done and we have to move forward,” Mombourquette said in a phone interview.
“We have to put the consideration of the animals first and foremost.”
Health reasons were cited for the change in the board chairmanship from Melvin Neville to Mombourquette.
A letter sent from the board’s lawyer to council for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality cited a “greater level of expertise to ensure the various changes sought can be implemented” as the reason for the change in the manager’s position.
Mombourquette said Rose will now serve the shelter in an administrative position, while a new operations/executive director is sought.
Efforts to reach her were unsuccessful.
Previously, the provincial SPCA dissolved its Cape Breton branch, saying it hadn’t met a deadline to surrender control of its animal shelter after failing to address recommendations that arose from an audit of the facility and its practices.
Mombourquette said the board is committed to addressing those issues as well as others put forward in a recent veterinarians report requested by CBRM council.
Mombourquette said the board will also attempt to renew dialogue with the Nova Scotia SPCA, beginning with an email he planned to send to Kristin Williams, executive director of the provincial SPCA, Friday evening.
“Hopefully, when she comes down to Sydney we can sit down and meet with her as a full board, as well, to go over issues and concerns and see if we can come to some kind of an agreement.”
When contacted by the Cape Breton Post, Williams wasn’t aware of the board change.
“It doesn’t change our perspective,” Williams said when reached in Ottawa.
“It sounds like that it is still the same individuals. We dismissed that outgoing board. That branch, as far as we are concerned, no longer exists.”
Mombourquette said renewing dialogue is important so that the Cape Breton shelter can again transfer animals around the province.
“We are now a no-kill shelter, so of course with more animals coming in you have to able to transfer your animals.”
Williams might have advice to help the Cape Breton shelter address recommendations presented to them, he added.
He also mentioned renewing contact with the Friends of the Sydney SPCA, after some members of the volunteer group had spoken out against shelter practices.
Their foster home program, he said, is an important part of the shelter.
Well then …. I was right, it is an entertaining read…. lets see …

  • It is basically the same board that was dismissed last week, and ….
  • the dismissed shelter manager will still be there and has simply been shuffled to another desk … which begs the question of how a board that cannot afford to make improvements can create an administrative position in order to retain the dismissed shelter manager.  BUT….
  • One does have to admire the coconut sized gumption it must take to believe that the SPCA ED is either going to engage in dialogue with the dismissed board … or that SPCANS is prepared to enable the renegade shelter by transferring animals.

Cape Breton HAD a No Kill SPCA Shelter … or rather it was going to once the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board were replaced.    One has to wonder why the same board that permitted such poor practices under their watch has suddenly developed such an enthusiasm for No Kill.
Were they simply not paying attention to what was happening at the shelter?   Were they unfamiliar with how a properly run shelter worked?   Did they not like having their reputations publicly tarnished with the 2011 Shelter Audit?  Did they honestly believe that any reputable veterinarians were going to be kinder in their assessment?   That the independent audit would magically sanitize everything?
Or is the half million dollar sheltering contract money?
To be perfectly fair, that half million dollars will not go nearly as far if they start caring for the animals properly.  
Even worse,  the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board have not set themselves up for success.    After defying every single directive, it simply is not sensible for the disbanded board to expect cooperation from the provincial SPCA board.
Sadly that is not even the worst bit.    While the dismissed board has been sleeping all these years, the animals have been suffering.   They have been forced to live in their feces and urine.   Healthy animals have become sick after entering the shelter.  Countless adopters have lost their hearts… along with their bank accounts .. to undiagnosed dogs.  Volunteers have been bullied into keeping these horrors swept under the rug.

When one has caused so much suffering, can there even be any redemption?   That is a question for higher powers than this middle aged grandmother.   Clearly it is not an issue that troubles anyone at the renegade shelter.
This newfound enthusiasm for No Kill is more than a day late and a dollar short.  Where was it when the provincial SPCA board was bending over backwards to coax the Cape Breton Branch into compliance with their No Kill Strategy?   Where was it when the horrible, home made gas chamber was (is? ) in use?
What time is it?    It is very early in the morning of Saturday, November 26th … the TENTH day since the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board created the renegade shelter.

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