Or­ga­niz­ers en­cour­aged by sup­port for an­i­mal shel­ter, SPCA

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

A move­ment to es­tab­lish an an­i­mal shel­ter in Con­cep­tion Bay North got off to a promis­ing start last week with sup­port from in­ter­est groups in­clud­ing two of the re­gion’s largest towns.

Laura-Lee His­cock is the driv­ing force be­hind the move­ment to get the shel­ter off the ground.

His­cock, who op­er­ates Happy Tails in Fresh­wa­ter, would also like to see the pro­posed an­i­mal shel­ter op­er­ated by a new lo­cal branch of the SPCA (So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals) to be es­tab­lished in C.B.N.

Eigh­teen peo­ple in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ken­nel clubs, an­i­mal hos­pi­tals, SPCA St. John’s, RCMP and five lo­cal town coun­cils turned out at the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Car­bon­ear Nov. 17 to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial for His­cock’s vi­sion.

En­cour­aged by the “great re­sponse to the first meet­ing,” His­cock told The Com­pass, “ev­ery­body seems to be on board and have the same con­cerns.” She says she has not re­ceived any neg­a­tive feed­back to her pro­pos­als.

Sur­prised we haven’t had such fa­cil­i­ties in this area be­fore, His­cock says, “we should be able to look af­ter our own,” rather than hav­ing to take an­i­mals to the city.

Car­bon­ear and Bay Roberts would sup­port an an­i­mal shel­ter in the area, which would save them the ex­pense of hav­ing to take an­i­mals to St. John’s or have them eu­th­a­nized. But of­fi­cials from both towns agree nei­ther town could take on the project on their own.

Perry Bow­er­ing, mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer for Bay Roberts, said he thinks the pro­posed shel­ter could work, “ but you have to get other towns to come on board.”

Bow­er­ing sug­gested the pro­posed shel­ter should be lo­cated in a ru­ral, non-res­i­den­tial area be­cause “you don’t need any neg­a­tive feed­back.”

The en­force­ment of­fi­cer said he didn’t think the group would have any prob­lems get­ting the money and/or lo­cal contractors to help out in con­struct­ing a build­ing for the shel­ter.

Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade agreed, sug­gest­ing the group should ap­proach the C.B.N. Joint Coun­cils be­cause they rep­re­sent all towns in the re­gion.

Deb­bie Pow­ers, spe­cial con­sta­ble with the SPCA St. John’s, who at­tended the meet­ing, is very fa­mil­iar with this area, hav­ing worked with peo­ple here over the years.

Sug­gest­ing “CBN could keep us in busi­ness for­ever,”

Pow­ers said she was “thrilled to see some­body start­ing some­thing here.”

Warn­ing the op­er­a­tion of an an­i­mal shel­ter is a seven day, 365-days a year job with no set hours, Pow­ers asked, “why do peo­ple do it? Be­cause they care.

“If you get the sup­port of ev­ery­one in this room, and if ev­ery­body works to­gether, I don’t see why it can’t work,” she en­cour­aged.

Re­al­is­ti­cally, His­cock told The Com­pass she re­al­izes it could take a year be­fore the fa­cil­ity is up and run­ning. But last week’s meet­ing was a good start and fundrais­ing is al­ready un­der­way.

Laura-Lee His­cock chats with Su­san Deir and Deb­bie Pow­ers, spe­cial con­sta­bles with the SPCA St. John’s and RCMP Const. Adri­enne Young. They were among the 18 who turned out at the Car­bon­ear town hall Nov. 17 to talk about the es­tab­lish­ment of a lo­cal an­i­mal shel­ter that would be op­er­ated by a newly es­tab­lished branch of the SPCA.

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