Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interesting changes

It takes having a dog or two to walk to really keep in touch with the seasons. On a balmy afternoon like this it would be easy to forget fall was here .... but by the time we head out for our post supper hike the light is already starting to fade. And it is definitely dark when we go out for our last 'inspection tour' of the evening now.
In this busy world, its easy for any changes to pass under everyone's radar. Still, after a wealth of press releases, I was surprised to see a significant change with the society slip in virtually unnoticed.
In the publicly available online minutes of the August 31, 2009 BOD meeting,
9. Motion to constitute the Metro Shelter as a provincial shelter
Sean Kelly handed over the position of Chair of the meeting to Kat Horne to make the following motion:
Given that the Metro Shelter has historically, is currently and is expected to continue taking in the vast majority of animals seized and surrendered through cruelty investigations across the province, and given the Metro Shelter is well-positioned to do so given its location within the most populated area of the province, access to 24/7 emergency veterinary care, and a comprehensive veterinary services contract, I move that the current Metro Shelter be officially constituted as a provincial SPCA shelter under the continued jurisdiction of the provincial Nova Scotia SPCA Board of Directors. Further, I move that the shelter remain financially separate from the provincial office with its own budget, cash flow and assets, managed as a subsidiary of the provincial Society, and that the provincial Society provide the Metro Shelter with funding as needed to subsidize the cost of animal care for animals seized or surrendered from outside the Halifax Regional Municipality. To ensure adequate financial resources are available to the provincial Society for this purpose, the Society shall pursue reimbursement from branches on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Board of Directors and in accordance with the policy on "Animal care costs for seizure resulting from cruelty investigations," and the Society shall pursue province-wide fund development initiatives to increase revenue for investigations and animal care costs.
Motion put forward by Sean Kelly.
Motion seconded by Cait Maloney. Motion approved by majority vote.

No objections, no abstentions.
Sean reassumed the Chair position

Its not as if anyone is trying to sweep this under the rug .... after all its hiding in plain sight online where anyone can read it. No mention is made of the future of the AC sheltering contractual relationship with HRM. ( Although the ability for the society to seek reimbursement from the branches raises the interesting question of whether that will be reciprocal ... such as when the Port Felix cats migrated to the Kings County Shelter. )
Tonight on petfinder, only eighteen of the 57 dogs listed in Nova Scotia are in the care of all the society branches in NS which use the service. I know that I go on about this like a stuck record ... but the best ambassadors for animal welfare fundraising initiatives are the animals themselves.
Every successful adoption, every good fit, awakens friends, family and neighbours to the world of animal rescue. Why is that important for fundraising? It puts a personal face on the world of animal welfare.
In a world with so very many worthy causes for people to donate to, it is just a fact of life that most people will donate to the cause they feel most connected to. To be perfectly crass, boosting adoptions is the best tool in the society's fundraising arsenal.
Petfinder is a lot like EHarmony ... visitors to the site are already looking to fall in love. But, if the pet of their dreams isn't there, they will simply move on to another source. First time adopters don't know about preapproved adoptions and will assume that the pets that are posted are the only ones the group or shelter has available. It is never wasted energy to post any pet, even briefly, as it can still be used to promote by being included in the Happy Tails.
Little tiny CAPS, without any paid staff, has 129 pets listed tonight .... all of the weaned pets in its care. They keep their fees low and even have a Buddy Adoption Incentive going on right now to get more of their cats adopted. They have learned that their strongest supporters started as adopters.
What time is it? Its time to remember that public support for any animal welfare organization will be directly tied into their perception of how the organization actually helps the animals.

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