Proposed animal shelter must be regional facility
In this business, every now and then you meet people who have a real passion for whatever it is they do. Their confidence in their own cause is so strong it can become infectious.
Laura-Lee Hiscock is one such person who exudes such confidence in her cause, without being too overbearing.
Her cause is animal welfare and she makes no bones about her feelings on the subject. She knows what the problem is and believes strongly there is a solution.
The problem is the large number of homeless, uncared for animals in this region. The solution, according to Hiscock, would be a proper animal shelter in the area to provide a safe haven for such animals.
Instead of having to rely on the animal shelter operated by the SPCA St. John’s, Hiscock believes, “we should be able to look after our own,” rather than having to take animals to the city.
Debbie Powers agrees. The special constable with the SPCA St. John’s, who is very familiar with this area, has stated, “CBN could keep us in business forever.”
That’s why the SPCA St. John’s is, “thrilled to see somebody starting something here.”
Hiscock has been the driving force behind the movement to establish an animal shelter here — a concept she has been pitching to local municipalities over the past year.
Because it would save them the expense of having to transport animals to St. John’s, the towns do not need much convincing of the need for such a facility here in their backyard.
But they also acknowledge no single town could be expected to take on the project on its own. It would have to be a joint, regional effort involving most, if not all, communities in the area.
Realistically, Hiscock realizes it could take a year before the proposed facility is up and running.
An important first step in the plan — the establishment of a local branch of the SPCA — has already been accomplished. And Hiscock can’t think of a better organization than the SPCA to operate the proposed animal shelter.
As confident as she is, Hiscock also admits the shelter will not become reality without a lot of help and support from the community.
Thus far all the group has from local municipalities is their moral support for the proposed animal shelter. But it is going to take more than that — it is going to take some big bucks to set up and operate such a facility. Just ask the St. John’s SPCA. While the group plans to do their own fundraising, sooner or later the municipalities are going to have to put their money where their mouth is. The province, and perhaps the feds are also going to have to come to the table with some serious cash.
If all communities in the region are going to benefit from this animal shelter, which presumably they are, than all should be expected to pay their fair share towards its operation. To ensure that happens some kind of formula for a fee structure needs to be put in place.
The prcedent for such an arrangement is already there in the form of fees which unincorporated communities pay to neighbouring incorporated towns for such services as fire protection and recreation facilities. They may not be the best examples since, unfortunately, such arrangements do not always work out the way they were intended. Indeed, they only work when parties live up to their commitments to pay their fair share for services provided.
If this animal shelter facility is to be truly regional in nature, and if there is a will to do so, than surely there must also be a way to fund such an operation — one that is fair to all who stand to benefit from it.