Seek­ing shel­ter

An­i­mal lover con­tin­ues lobby ef­fort to es­tab­lish an­i­mal shel­ter in re­gion

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

“If you don’t help with the prob­lem, you’re part of the prob­lem. And I’m not go­ing to be part of the prob­lem.”

That’s Laura-Lee His­cock, in her char­ac­ter­is­tic to-the­p­oint style.

The prob­lem? The large num­bers of home­less, un­wanted, un­cared for an­i­mals, es­pe­cially feral cats, roam­ing around Con­cep­tion and Trin­ity bays. Of­fi­cials with the St. John’s So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals ( SPCA) have de­scribed the prob­lem in this re­gion as “se­vere.”

The so­lu­tion? His­cock be­lieves it’s a proper an­i­mal shel­ter in the area, which could pro­vide a safe haven for such an­i­mals un­til car­ing homes can be found or, if nec­es­sary, more dras­tic mea­sures have to be taken.

His­cock is the driv­ing force be­hind the ef­fort, and has been pitch­ing the idea to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and var­i­ous groups for sev­eral months. Ad­mit­tedly, it’s an up­hill battle, but she be­lieves the dream could be­come a re­al­ity within a year, but not with­out plenty of help and sup­port.

An im­por­tant first step — the for­ma­tion of a lo­cal branch of the SPCA — has been ac­com­plished. Once of­fi­cial, the branch will be known as the Bac­calieu Trail SPCA. His­cock can’t think of a bet­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion to op­er­ate the pro­posed an­i­mal shel­ter.

While ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble is done to save the life of an abused an­i­mal, His­cock won­ders, “ how far can you take that?” Even in cases where the an­i­mal’s life can be saved, “ you have to con­sider the qual­ity of life that an­i­mal is go­ing to have and the life­long com­mit­ment for its new own­ers.”

Re­fer­ring to their “open door pol­icy,” His­cock said, “we will never, ever turn an an­i­mal away.”

Laura-Lee His­cock, a res­i­dent and busi­ness owner in Fresh­wa­ter, is spear­head­ing a cam­paign to es­bab­lish an SPCA an­i­mal shel­ter in the re­gion.

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