Animal problem severe, says SPCA
Whenever an animal comes under the care of the SPCA, people can rest assured, “the animal is in the hands of people who really care – that’s a guarantee.”
Love of animals
Why has Hisock taken such an interest in the well-being of animals? She grew up with a love of animals, and understands how much they need a caring, safe home.
After high school, Hiscock studied business, accounting and cosmetology. She lived in Alberta for four years, where she worked in restaurant management before returning home. She also worked in a hair salon and still works seasonally in quality control management for a local fish plant.
But animal care is her real passion. “ Sometimes it’s more about what makes you happy than the amount of money it brings in,” she said.
And what makes Hiscock happy is being around animals. Working with the SPCA and the new animal shelter will give her an opportunity to come into contact with animals that need the kind of tender loving care she has to offer.
She didn’t realize how big the problem of animal cruelty was until she opened her own pet boarding and grooming business.
“ There are a lot of people out there who should never own animals,” Hiscock said. She said animals are sometimes kept outside and not looked after. Too often the owners don’t even know the animal is there except to throw food at it.
To illustrate the problem in the area, she cited a couple of examples of animal cruelty they were called to assist with recently.
One involved a cat that was frozen and was nothing but skin and bone. The other was a dog with its pelvic bone broken and crushed. Both animals were taken to the Baccalieu Trail Animal Hospital, and in consultation with the veterinarian, were both put to sleep.
Euthanizing an animal is never easy, but Hiscock said it’s often the best option in a bad situation.
“ You have to think with your head instead of your heart,” she said.
When the SPCA St. John’s suggested operating a branch of the society would be a 24-7 commitment, Hiscock didn’t flinch. Having operated her own pet boarding and grooming facility, Hiscock is no stranger to long hours.
At the time she started the operation, she was on her own. But soon saw the need to hire a kennel assistant and groomer.
The same holds true for the newly formed SPCA branch and proposed animal shelter. Volunteers are essential to its success. She’s also counting on financial assistance from municipalities in the region.
“ We are looking for ideas in fundraising, monetary donations, and volunteers are greatly needed,” she said. They are also looking for members to join their board.
“ The mission of the shelter is to educate people on how to properly care for their pets and encourage spaying/neutering ... to help relieve the suffering of animals. The shelter will also be a safe haven for those animals who have no place to go and receive the love and attention they deserve.”
Ideally, Hiscock said, they would like to find a group of volunteers — backed by their town council — in each community who would hold their own fundraisers to help with the venture.
Encouraged by the initial response from town councils, Hiscock also hopes for a good response from the general public.
No decision has been made on the location for a shelter, but Hiscock hopes it might be her building in Freshwater, where she operates her business.
She could not continue to operate her private boarding and grooming facility under the same roof. However, she explained one way around that would be to renovate the building to add on a separate area to accommodate an animal shelter.
Besides the volunteers, she said the animal shelter would also need paid staff to operate, which would mean some additional employment in the community.
“ This would be a good area for it, Hiscock noted. “ The community and the people of Freshwater have been good to me.”