Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

 February 28, 2014

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) has set out a new five-year plan to combat animal cruelty and suffering in B.C. While the society’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 targets a range of new initiatives to improve the lives of domestic, farm and wild animals, BC SPCA chief executive officer Craig Daniell says a primary focus of the new plan is to help B.C. address its overwhelming cat crisis.

“Each year, tens of thousands of homeless kittens and cats die tragic deaths because of human neglect in communities all across our province,” says Daniell. “These abandoned and free-roaming cats are forced to fend for themselves outdoors, suffering from starvation, illness and injury, freezing temperature and predator attacks.” He notes that 75 per cent of kittens born outdoors die before the age of six months. Those who survive live approximately two years, and during their short lives they produce litters of kittens who will face the same tragic fate.

Daniell says the BC SPCA and other animal welfare groups have taken major steps in the past several decades to help communities reduce the number of surplus cats, but much more needs to be done.

“The BC SPCA has invested millions of dollars in low-cost spay/neuter programs, the creation of spay/neuter clinics and a wide range of other programs and services to significantly reduce the number of feral and abandoned cats in B.C.,” says Daniell. In addition, every cat, kitten, dog, puppy and rabbit adopted from any SPCA shelter across the province is sterilized prior to adoption. “In our new Strategic Plan we are ramping up these efforts and proposing creative ways to partner with local governments, veterinarians, businesses, rescue groups and members of the public to save more animal lives,” he says. “Pet overpopulation is a completely preventable problem and we are challenging every community in B.C. to work with us over the next five years to be part of the solution. 

Daniell says a key objective in the BC SPCA’s new Strategic Plan is to help create humane communities by offering greater support in areas such as education, cruelty prevention and advocacy. “The SPCA will always be a safety net for our province’s most vulnerable animals, providing sheltering, cruelty investigations and emergency treatment for injured, abused and homeless animals. But we are also committed to helping communities address the root causes of cruelty and neglect so that animals don’t suffer in the first place.”

Highlights of the society new Strategic Plan include:

  • Increased investment in low-cost spay/neuter programs;

  • Pet identification initiatives to increase the percentage of stray animals returned to their guardians;

  • Exploration of additional opportunities for spay/neuter clinics and mobile spay/neuter services;

  • Expanded humane education programs for youth, teens and adults through schools, in-shelter programs, public events and workshops;

  • Exploration of a province-wide breeder assurance program;

  • Increased focus on protecting animals used in research;

  • Continued advocacy to raise farm animal welfare standards in Canada;

  • Recruitment of new constables to respond to animal cruelty complaints in underserviced areas of the province;

  • Enhanced cruelty investigations training for shelter-based staff;

  • Initiatives to educate the law enforcement community and Crown counsel about animal cruelty legislation; and

  • Initial implementation of a comprehensive Facilities Development and Services Plan to construct new SPCA facilities in key B.C. centres.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

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