Well said is never the same thing as well done ….

from yesterday’s Vanguard

SPCA needs funding to keep doors open

Published on November 28, 2012

The Yarmouth Branch of the Nova Scotia SPCA is struggling financially and looking to the public for support in raising an additional $3,000 per month to keep the doors open.

To date this year, 446 animals have come to the Yarmouth shelter needing care and a new home.
The branch is approaching previous donors, members, adopters and local companies and associations for support. Many fundraisers are underway, including calendar sales and pet pictures with Santa. The branch needs to balance the books by the New Year or the shelter operations may be suspended until adequate funds can be raised to open again.

“The Provincial Society has invested over $100,000 in cash to support operations in the last 18 months, but is no longer in the financial position to continue to provide operational funding, ” said executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA Kristin Williams.

The branch has received support through its provincial transfer program, which helps to alleviate intake pressures at the branch. But, said Williams, “Additional funding will jeopardize the financial condition of the provincial society and provincial programs which help all branches and communities.”

Branch president Jason Curtis said they have taken measures to address the financial situation.

“We have brought all expenses into line, reduced staffing costs and capacity and made processes and procedures more efficient, however adoption revenues, animal control contracts and donations are not currently offsetting operational costs,” said Curtis.

The Yarmouth Branch animal shelter is only one of two Nova Scotia SPCA shelters west of Halifax. It was the first SPCA branch and was formed in 1900. The animal shelter was built in 1982-83 with an extension added in 1989 and renovations in 2006.

Officials at the SPCA are very concerned about the impact on the community should the shelter close and are looking to establish enough community support to assure long term financial viability for the branch, which serves the Town of and Municipality of Yarmouth, Argyle, Barrington and beyond.

To make a donation to the Yarmouth Branch, visit www.yarmouth.spcans.ca, call (902) 742-9767 or visit the shelter at 298 Hardscratch Road. The branch also promotes events on Facebook and its website.

Well then!   It has been a month since provincial put its foot down about funding and NOW the branch board issues a press release on this subject?    Not to be mean … but why is this subject new information on the branch Facebook page and website?    Should it not have made sense to start reaching the FIRST time that provincial had to dip into their own kitty to keep the shelter afloat?

For eighteen months the shelter has been struggling and NOW the branch president stirs himself enough to ask for help?   Where were the newsletters?   Why was the free community advertising not put to better use?    Why did he wait until provincial pulled the plug?   Why … even now … is he hoping for someone to magically pull some funding out of their hat … instead of rolling up his fundraising sleeves?

Did no one on this appointed board have enough experience to understand that fundraising takes work and planning?    No successful board is an island … did this cast of clowns not understand that?

Here in the real world, any successful animal rescue group knows that there is at least as much time spent fundraising as in rescuing.     It takes teams of committed volunteers to plan, prepare and execute any event!

Sadly there is plenty of blame to go around with this sorry tale!    Did provincial send anyone down for an unannounced site inspection after everyone got stirred up about Scruffy and Payden?   Of course not!    Queries about the branch board were dismissed with the same cavalier attitude that complaints about The Cape Breton Branch once were  😦

It takes two to tango, eh?   Why did it take a year and a half for provincial to act?   Did they not remember how many times Cape Breton lied to them in the (very recent) Bad Old Days?

Not to be mean … but if provincial had deeper pockets … or if the Yarmouth Branch had been more proactive about fundraising … things would still be rolling along the same merry old way!

Now this is where I have to come clean.    Last week, I was concerned enough about what was happening in Yarmouth that I actually went on  what we used to call in the military a little recce.  ( short for reconnaissance )

In realspeak, that means that I went to Yarmouth and even paid the shelter a little visit!   How did that go?

Now to be fair .. I did not identify myself!    I hitched a ride with a friend who was there on other business and just quietly looked around while I was waiting.

The first thing I have to say is that now I know why I keep getting emails about the shelter smelling like cat urine.    Pretty hard not to when there are cat cages smack dab in the center of the lobby, eh?

Were there any festive decorations?  Signs of fundraising fervour?    Not that I could see … but perhaps there were tucked away out of immediate sight, eh?    As a sidebar to that, I did not see one single poster anywhere around Yarmouth itself, either, eh? … though to be fair we did not go into each and every store in town!

There was not one single visitor while i was there  … so I suppose no one thought it really would be worth their while to let any visiting kind hearts know that it was Last Chance Cafe time at the shelter 😦

Indeed, the overall impression that I was left with was utter apathy and indifference 😦

What time is it?    If it is not a day late and a dollar short … perhaps provincial should pop down to Yarmouth unannounced and see for themselves.

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