Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No-kill shelter fights for life in court

From CBC.NL.March 11-09

An animal shelter in western Newfoundland that refuses to put down animals is being brought to court, on grounds that its animals are diseased and neglected.

The Bay St. George Animal Shelter in Stephenville has long defended its "no-kill" policy against criticism, including from former supporters.

On Wednesday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is scheduled to argue in provincial court that the shelter should be shut down.

Veterinarians working for the province inspected the shelter — home to 25 dogs and 90 cats — and found feces and urine on the floors, along with cats that were sick with several diseases.

In court documents, the province argues that the animals are suffering severe neglect and that administrator Gwen Samms is not fit to take care of them.

The government says the animals are so sick they can't be sold and should be put down.

Samms stands by her shelter's policies.

Province criticized

"We're the ones [who are] raising the money, and it's the community that's giving us the money to look after these animals," Samms told CBC News.

"We're the ones [who] come in and tend to these animals every day. We don't mind a lot of animals," she said.

Samms is sharply critical of the province.

"It's pretty stressful on us, the thought of all these animals being killed, because there's some heartless people out there that just believe in killing animals instead of helping them," she said.

Supporters of the shelter plan to organize a silent rally outside the courthouse to protest the government's court application.

I have always agreed with their no kill policy. I guess it's the way i look at things. The mangy old dog would have the same chance as the pretty little kitten. It's to bad it has come to this. I don't live in the Stephenville area nor know the caretakers of this SPCA. I have dropped in a few times over the years and made a few donations. It's not a pleasant place to visit and i suspect to even work there could be hazardous to your health. They do the best they can with what they get in donations. I have neighbors that have had 20 cats in their home at one time and the reason given to me for having them was that we have no animal bylaws in the community so they can have as many as they want. It's the mentallity like that which causes situations such as the one were seeing in the Bay St.Georges Animal Shelter right now. Maybe it's time to start a registry of all pets in NL and proof by anyone who owns one that they can provide and care for it.

Gwen Samms may or not be fit to look after them but we have many people here in NL and even my own community who also fit that description.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i had an old lady above me in an apartment who had six cats. it was stated in our contract no pets allowed. the smell of urine was so strong i found another apartment. the landlord asked why i was leaving and i told her about the smell and she said she didn't have the heart to tell the old lady she could not have them.i can see the old lady having one but six? must smell real nice at your neigbors house?