Sunday, July 10, 2016

District Councillor Jim Hanson expresses concerns about Animal shelter closure

Moving facility to private vet's clinic creates uncertainty.

Image result for animal shelter north vancouver


Anonymous said...

Show us the data. Volunteers are great, but they can still care for animals in any number of ways. If there is no case for the retention of the facility then let it go. I haven't seen an unattended dog around my neighborhood for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Just because you don't see any, doesn't mean they aren't there.

Anonymous said...

But that is exactly the issue... The animal shelter was not built to house and love animals, it was built as a base of operations for animal control officers. Yes, sometimes, rarely, it is used as a respite for an abused animal, but for the most part it is a place to drop off lost dogs for 24 hours, and lost cats forever.

My sister used to volunteer there and I remember her telling me how there were so few stray and abandoned animals on the North Shore that they were taking animals from other communities to justify keeping the shelter open.

If the animal owners in North Van are generally being more responsible now than a generation ago, then they should be rewarded by lowering the pet license fee.

Anonymous said...

As you say the fees do seem to be a deterrent to adoption of animals rather than an incentive.

We got our cat from the West Vancouver SPCA and are entirely happy. We DID have to fill in a questionnaire which among things asked "Have you previously had a cat? Is he/she still alive? If no please give cause of death" to which we just wrote "16 years old" which was good enough for them. (No question our previous kitty was much loved and a tremendous shock when the sad day came.)

Barry Rueger said...

As is often the case, the newspaper article doesn't really tell the whole story.

First, you can look at the plans for the new Capilano Animal Hospital here.

This will be built on the site of the now closed (by a big American firm) vet clinic at Capilano Road and the Upper Levels.

One of the biggest reasons for welcoming this new clinic will be the 24 hour emergency care that they will offer. If you've ever had to take an animal to Vancouver or Burnaby after hours you'll know that this is much needed on the North Shore.

The project is being led by Walk Ruloff, of the Bowen Island clinic.

I've yet to find anyone with anything particularly bad to say about him, and he has said repeatedly that he wants to work closely with local animal welfare groups, and is open to incorporating volunteers into the shelter part of the operation.

There certainly are questions to be asked about the District farming out their services to private sector operators, but there's no real question that the existing shelter is long, long past due for replacement.

Given the endless refrain from people who feel that no tax is ever too small, it would have been a tough sell for the District to build a new facility on their own dime.

Anonymous said...

The District has no problem spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the mountain bikers. I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, its led by the Bowen Island clinic. That makes this privatization of a necessary service more legit? Get off your high horse, Barry. Err, great dane? Stop being such a shill for District. PPPs, like this, are bad news.

The District spends thousands of dollars on the mountain bikers so they can run their dogs ragged on the steep mountain slopes. Hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

What has mountain biking got to do with animal shelters?

Anonymous said...

"Privatization of a necessary service" What is being privatized? Animal Medical Care has never been the mandate of the Animal Shelter, you have always had to use an already private Pet Hospital. Animal Welfare Officers will still do the same job they always did.

The only thing that is changing is that there is no longer going to be a publicly funded foster/adoption system for stray animals, because there aren't very many stray animals anymore. That service has been duplicated by the non-profit sector for decades. City of North Vancouver and West Vancouver haven't had publicly funded shelters for a long time.

The debate that is being missed is that the District kept theirs open for longer than other municipalities because former Mayor Janice Harris wanted a "No Kill" agreement with the SPCA before closing shop and never got that.

Anonymous said...

There is no money saved. The cost of expanding the Operations Center on Crown Street and additional cost of staffing will FAR exceed the costs of running the shelter. By all means, close the shelter but please do not replace it with an even more expensive operation.

Barry Rueger said...

By way of followup (from memory unfortunately).

The new shelter will be housed in the Animal Medical Clinic's premises, and largely staffed by their employees. Aside from Bylaws enforcement (aka, the dog catcher) the DNV will have little or no staff on site.

The District will pay the clinic to provide the facility and services - I don't recall that actual numbers were made available.

As part of the deal all incoming animals will get a checkup upon intake - arguably a good thing.

And the clinic operators have promised that should there be an unusually large influx of animals they'll use clinic space to house the overflow.

I'm never a fan of privatizing public services, and as someone who always gets pets from shelters I think the District may be somewhat disingenuous when they claim that there are not enough strays (or potential owners) to make adoptions services feasible.

Bizarrely, a significant number of animals that arrive on the North Shore to be adopted via private agencies aren't even local - they're imported from as far afield as California, Texas, Mexico, and India.

Some animal health professionals find this worrisome, and work is happening to develop new guidelines for animal importation.

Anonymous said...

New Topic?

According to there are 279 detached houses for sale in the District and City of North Vancouver and only two are below 1.1 million? One is halfway up Indian Arm and is boat access only, and the other is for a million on a 4,500 sqft infill lot on Lynn Valley Road.

Anonymous said...

Oh and the median price of those listings is 1.79 million.

Anonymous said...

What's the discussion? We know what the prices are.

Anonymous said...

Since we are all anonymous here... I guess the big one is do we care enough about affordability to do something, or do prefer to just talk about it, and secretly enjoy parks and trails that aren't busy, low crime rates, educated wealthy neighbors, and none of the visible negatives associated with poverty which is more prevelant in other areas?

I never said it was going to be a nice topic.

Barry Rueger said...

FYI - I jumped the "affordability" discussion to a new topic here.

Anonymous said...