Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New SPCANS Strategic Plan

From the SPCANS web page tonight

Nova Scotia SPCA Strategic Plan 2010 - 1012


Nova Scotia is a no-kill province and a safe place for all
animals with zero tolerance for animal cruelty.


The strategic plan sets three to five year high-level goals for the
organization that will be reviewed annually and updated as goals
are reached and new priorities identified.

Strategic Goals

The strategic goals have been grouped into six themes that align
with the operational and Board level functions of the organization.
Each theme area will be supported with an action plan that will identify the specific objectives and strategies to reach our goals.


  • To establish, collectively with our branches, a commonset of policies, standards and best practices that support our strategic goals while allowing flexibility in recognition of the unique context of each branch and community.
  • For the provincial Society to provide increased support and direction to its branches in support of our shared strategic goals.
  • To have a stable financial base that supports all our desired initiatives.
    To incorporate risk management and succession planning into Board activities.
  • To invest in our employees through professional development and communication.
  • To attract and retain talented volunteers and employees committed to our vision.
  • To implement a stream-lined provincial Board structure that reflects and supports the strategic goals of the organization.

2. Animal Care

  • To establish Nova Scotia as a no-kill province through implementation of the programs and strategies of the no-kill equation.* To work towards this goal, the target is to:
    - For branches with a live release rate for cats of less than 90% in 2009, increase live release rates for cats by 15% per year until 90% is achieved
    - For branches with a live release rate for dogs of less than 90% in 2009, increase live release rates for dogs by 10% per year until 90% is achieved
  • To provide first-class care for animals in our control through implementation of provincial standards and best practices.
  • To lead and facilitate community support systems to help keep animals in their homes and improve outcomes for stray and feral cats.
  • To adopt a consistent province-wide approach to highvolume, low-cost spay/neuter programs for owned animals and Trap-Neuter-Return programs for feral cats to ensure consistent access throughout Nova Scotia.
    See end of plan for the complete No-Kill Equation.

3. Investigations

  • To operate a respected system for responding to animal cruelty and fulfilling our mandate as defined in the new Animal Protection Act and associated regulations.
  • To improve the public perception of the SPCA as a professional animal cruelty investigation agency.
  • To work closely with the provincial government to develop regulations to support the Animal Protection Act.
  • To implement standards and protocols to support professional and timely investigation of animal cruelty and facilitate communication with local branches.
  • To increase capacity through recruitment and training of paid and volunteer Special Constables.

4. Marketing

  • To create and implement a comprehensive communications, marketing and media plan that supports a provincially consistent SPCA approach and brand.

5. Public Awareness and Advocacy

  • To become the most credible source of information on companion animal welfare in Nova Scotia.
  • To engage all levels of government to support creation of a safe haven for animals in this province; in particular, to engage municipal governments to increase support for animal care initiatives in communities across Nova Scotia.
  • To grow our network of volunteers, donors and adopters through increased community engagement and strong, consistent public relations.

6. Fund Development

  • Actively identify and expand SPCA friend base.
  • To turn SPCA friends into SPCA donors by expanding and enhancing donor stewardship activities.
  • To take a provincial, integrated approach to fundraising to raise our profile through concentrated public awareness and promotional strategies that benefit the branches and provincial Society.
  • To regularly review fundraising initiatives to refine the focus of activities based on overall performance.

The No Kill Equation
Feral cat TNR program
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs improve animal welfare, reduce death rates,
and meet obligations to public health.
High-volume, low-cost spay/neuter program
Low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter services will quickly lead to fewer animals
entering the SPCA system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving
Coordination with rescue groups
Transferring animals to rescue groups frees up scarce cage and kennel space,
reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning and killing, and improves a community’s rate of lifesaving. In only rare circumstances should a rescue group be denied an animal.
Foster care program
Volunteer foster care is a low (or no) cost way to increase animal care capacity,
improve public relations, increase the SPCA’s public image, and rehabilitate sick,
injured or behaviourally challenged animals.
Comprehensive adoption programs
Lifesaving is a direct function of policies and practice. Comprehensive adoption
programs include public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing.
Pet retention programs
Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping
people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees the SPCA as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier the job will be.
Medical and behavioural rehabilitation
In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all saveable animals, SPCAs need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned or traumatized.
Public relations/community involvement
Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering
with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the SPCA’s pubic
exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of all a SPCA’s activities and their success. To do all these things well, the SPCA must be in the public eye.
Coordinated volunteer program
Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful no-kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers make the difference between success and failure.
Pro-active owner redemptions
One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in most animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Shifting from a passive to a more proactive approach has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.
A compassionate shelter director/manager
The final element of the no-kill equation is the most important of all, without which all of the other elements are thwarted – a hard-working, compassionate shelter director or manager not content to continue killing while regurgitating tired clich├ęs or hiding behind the myth of “too many animals, not enough homes.”

The original document can be found at Downlaod Strategic Plan 2010-2012, btw.
Well then .... this isn't the kind of thing that was whipped up in the last week. The fact that there has been a new strategic plan in the works hasn't exactly been a secret, eh?
Although, it IS particularly good timing for the society to be able to move forward with this plan instead of dwelling on Metro's loss of the sheltering contract.
Does this mean that everything has changed overnight? Nope. But this is a plan that has been approved at a well attended board meeting ( although as of this writing I am depending on the word of someone I trust as the online minutes from that meeting are not on the site)
I've always marched to my own beat and in keeping with that have no intention of jumping on board the bandwagon of celebration that Metro lost the contract. If it had happened a couple of years ago, back when everything was veiled in secrecy ... including the killing ... I would have been blowing my horn along with the rest of them.
But there is a part of me that thinks it is colossally unfair for them to lose the contract AFTER they have turned so many things around and moved so far in the right direction. And of course, everyone seems to be conveniently forgetting that there is no obligation for an AC pound that has nothing to do with the society to post its statistics. HRM can spin it anyway they want because they are under no obligation to provide stats. ( The subject of what a fuzzy grey area it can be to obtain freedom of information data from a government contractor is a separate topic for another day )
Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. Ronald Reagan

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