Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When opportunity knocks.....

From Monday's Vanguard
Volunteers sought for Yarmouth SPCA

Published on July 18, 2011

Carla Allen
Following the June 27 resignations of nine out of 11 Yarmouth SCPA board members, the Nova Scotia SPCA has taken up direct operational control of the branch.
The society is now recruiting for new board members and a shelter manager. Descriptions of these positions are posted on www.spcans.ca and www.yarmouthspca.com.
The outgoing board members say their resignations were due to the frustrations and stress of exploring new draft governance models prepared by the provincial body.
Nova Scotia SPCA executive director Kristin Williams says governance discussions are ongoing.
“They remain focused on achieving greater alignment and consistency in operations between branches, along with compliance with elevated standards of care and policy, and greater participation and engagement with our communities,” she said.
The outgoing members were concerned with the handling of funds raised by their shelter.
“It was clearly our understanding that in these draft models, we saw the fact that down the road there was going to be an awful lot of control of our finances and not only that, the shelter manager,” said former Yarmouth SPCA president Kathleen Fitzgerald.
Williams disagrees.
“Funds that are raised in our communities, stay within those communities and are put towards initiatives that support our mission and mandate. The provincial society has, and would continue to ensure compliance and support to its network of branches in that endeavour,” she said.
She added that, “the (Yarmouth) branch is strained financially. It is operating with a projected deficit of $24,000, which presumes the success of fundraising events that have not been planned and in which the branch may not have the resources to carry out. The provincial society is currently funding Yarmouth’s deficit in the short term until it can re-establish itself and become sustainable. As a result, we are appealing to interested community members who want to help the animals of Yarmouth and the surrounding communities to come forward and apply for the new board of directors.”
Fitzgerald says it’s not unusual for a non-profit organization to have a deficit.
“It’s always run on a tight budget, it’s the nature of the non-profit, but we’ve always managed to come out ahead, or to come out even.”
The NS SPCA has audited the operations of the Yarmouth branch and has several concerns regarding quality of care that have been addressed, including training deficiencies, cleanliness, disease control, and improper accommodation and environmental management.
The shelter is now being visited bi-monthly to ensure and support the maintenance of increased standards of care and to ensure that flow and capacity challenges are addressed. Williams noted that the staff are responding well to the changes and are happy to be focused on animal care.
“The society is looking forward to getting back on track in Yarmouth. The dramatic and surprising resignations have resulted in an opportunity for new leadership of the Yarmouth branch with a returned focus on improved standards of care,” she said.
Rest assured this is not going to be another post discussing personal politics vs the dog politics that should be the focus of any SPCA Branch.  To be perfectly honest,  I think I've already beat this particular subject to death on a previous post, eh?
Like the old poster on my laundry room wall with the gaggle of geese says, now its time for everyone to "do something ... lead, follow or get out of the way"   What a marvelous opportunity for folks in the area to shape the oldest SPCA Branch in the province into something very special!
That being said, what can a person who does not live in the Yarmouth area do to help?  
Hmmm .... they already have one of the best petfinder coordinators in the province. (the topic of how she has inspired and awakened others to the benefits of using Petfinder properly is a really sweet subject that should stand on its own some other time :)
Still, there are other things that anyone from 'away' can do to help:  
  • spread the word about their summer adoption special .  I know I go on and on like a stuck record, but that it only because social networking really does help pets get adopted.  
  • Petfinder has share and email buttons on all its adoptable pet listings.  Make a point of sharing one of their pet listings a couple of times a week.  You might not be looking to adopt ... but perhaps one of these lovelies will catch the eye of one of your friends ... or of their friends...etc
  • sponsor the adoption fee for one of their pets.    That doesn't mean these pets will be given away willy nilly ... but it will give them an edge :)  Under the 'no good deed goes unrewarded category', you will get a tax receipt for this :)
  • Did you know that any donation of supplies over ten dollars will garner you a tax receipt, provided of course you can produce a sales slip for same?  Currently Yesterday's News Cat Litter is at the top of the shelter Wish List
  • Naturally donations are always helpful
  • And last but not least, if you ARE thinking of bringing a new best friend into the family, why not scroll down and meet the adorable adoptable pets at the Yarmouth SPCA? 
What time is it?   It is always time to recognize a splendid opportunity like this!
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.     Thomas Edison

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