Opinion

Letter: No longer supporting SPCA

This is the time of year when many people generously give to deserving charities.

I am greatly saddened and disturbed by the resent killing of two dogs at the Victoria branch of the SPCA. The public has been wary since the dismissal of the previous manager and the hiring of a new manager and regional manager.

The decision to end the lives of these dogs was made without consulting the staff and volunteers that spent time with them.  The manager states that they were hoping to desensitize and rehabilitate these dogs but in fact this was not done.

A home environment is very different than a shelter and animals may be stressed by noises, smells and sounds, which can result in fear, depression, anxiety or aggression.  It is not an ideal situation to evaluate their potential.  One dog was considered a resource guarder but a dog walker was able to safely remove a chicken bone that this dog picked up on a walk.  The other was considered dog aggressive and tested with a strange dog on the opposite side of a fence.

Anyone with knowledge of dog behavior knows that this can trigger an aggressive response for many dogs.  With 38 years experience working with dogs, I know these behaviors can often be addressed with proper training.

Many of the staff and volunteers are heartbroken by these unnecessary deaths.  Honestly, would this be the case if these dogs were so aggressive? Imagine the hurt for the guardians who gave up their dog due to unfortunate circumstances, with the assurance that their beloved companion would be placed in a home.

Is this is an indication of things to come?  Is the disposal of animals a directive of BCSPCA or is this just an independent decision made by the Victoria branch and Regional managers?

The Shelter runs on donations.  This is no longer an organization I wish to support.

Marilyn Beckett

Sooke

 

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