Dear Editor. To place the dilemma facing Dog & Cat Control at the District of Mission into context one must understand what compassionate Animal Relations actually mean. Then, from the perspective of an informed person who actually cares, the Public will embrace needed funding, facilities and appreciate the mammoth job facing Volunteers.
Sadly, Mission Council has perpetuated the indifference and has played “lip service” to being compassionate and presumably informed, facts not yet in evidence except by indignant response by Council members, like the Deer wide-eyed in the headlights of a vehicle.
I have stated many times in a serious and genuine heart-felt manner my disgust at the need for pro-active actions not more idle words, that come cheap by doing nothing much constructive.
Similar to lack of respect afforded Seniors’ over the years, Cats fall into the same uncaring realm. In both instances I have recommended Council place borrowing initiatives on a Referendum next election.
The Dog Animal Control receive a $ 300,000.00 budget and has one off-setting revenue generator, albeit lapse in being fully effective, insofar as many Dog Licences are not collected but approximately $ 215,000.00 are. As well, Council spent approximately $ 250,000.00 for a Dog Pound. To augment Dog control a relatively comparable Dog Licence & Control Bylaw exists and provision for “Dangerous Dogs” and Kennel operation.
Whereas, the Cat Animal Control are at the mercy of a moribund Council who place little value upon Volunteers, let alone the mammoth task of countless strays, feral, lost and unwanted litters, emerging monthly from a very prolific Cat population. Simply, there is no fair comparison to the growth of unwanted litters from Cats compared to Dogs. There is no effective TNR Program or Veterinarian led “spay & neuter blitzes” monthly, to eradicate the excessive population of unwanted Cats, instead of eliminating inaction exacerbates and perpetuate more litters.
Councillor Luck, presumably a Financial Advisor seems to dwell upon some ratio of 40.0% of budget used as wages. By contrast, Councillor Nundal, the former Director of Licences & Bylaws who was uninformed and inactive then perpetuates his by not championing the important issue facing Cats, yet claims to have adopted a Cat from the Humane Society, as his saving gesture presumably. Councillor Stevens still tries to “ride the white horse” at last minute vain attempts to award an emergency $ 8,000.00 one-time supplement but the only actual visible compassion emanates from Councillor Tilbury who has tried in vain to impress Colleagues of needs, but is cast aside.
Today, we witness my proposal to establish an $ 85,000.00 annual budget which is a minimum amount and is equivalent to the net proceeds to Dog Animal Control, after revenues are deducted. Yet I find the Grants Committee, arbitrarily I expect, recommend a $ 30,000.00 budget (FVHS had asked for $ 60,000.00). In the end, Council unwisely increases the Fraser Valley Cat Control Budget via a fee-for-service fee to $ 30,000.00, a mere increase of $ 5,000.00 over last year, which if not so serious an oversight, it is a laughing matter. Equally as bad, we witness Council pontificating about FVHS need to improve their operations and so forth, which readers ought to listen to the diatribe on the Council web cast to truly appreciate the silliness and embarrassment Council brings upon itself and worse FVHS has to insulted and endure an unwarranted criticism from people who should not “throw stones”.
Speaking to the ratio of wages, claimed to be 40.0% of budget, the realities contradict the logic of Councillor Luck insofar as a reasonable salary for an Executive Director may be deemed at $40,000.00 but in th4e case of FVHS the inadequate facilities house 32 Cats, far inferior to Community needs, which is at least double, Simply the facility is inadequate. Thus, my point, the wage cost to operate a current inadequate 30 Cat Shelter would be the same to operate a 60 Cat Shelter, the job is the same, whereas Volunteers make up the difference in labour provided. Further, Council has been remiss to establish needed Bylaws, negates opportunity to create Breeder Permit revenue, lack of facility space similarly negates many Community programs and some revenue generating activities.
Sadly, as stated many times Mayor & Council is the primary cause of the unwanted Cat dilemma experienced, compounded by, if I may be so bold, often exorbitant Veterinarian fees, add to this the “Irresponsible Guardian” who fail to spay or neuter, tattoo Cats and the many who allow too many Cats to roam, instead of moving toward an indoor Cat regime for many.
In my opinion, FVHS policy to “turn away Cat surrenders”, when full, is counter-productive to public relations, to charge too much to adopt and equally Mission “Staff” idea to pursue “Fostering only” or mentioning Cat Licencing, which is illegal due to Cats unable to be regulated in this manner not being classified as a Domestic Animal in BC but each are not helpful remedies to the dilemma when perceived from a practical and factual perspective..
This scenario continues and is spawned by a truly inept and uninformed Council, lacking Compassion and willingness to listen to my sage advice and years of Animal Advocacy expertise. Instead, I get critiqued by a silly unfounded and uninformed rant by Councilor Stevens, which seems to be embraced by some claiming to be compassionate and by their actions or more so inaction and failure to consult, uncaring and ignorant people who sadly, have no idea of the massive suffering by Cats, not only being frozen in this winter environment, but many are meals for Coyotes, and all I get is being challenged as the potential upward of 3000 unwanted Cats in Mission must be untrue because Councillor’s Hensman & Jewell do not seem to witness any strays on their street, such foolhardy behavior, at best.
George F. Evens