Monday, November 28, 2011

The problem with painting oneself into a corner ......

From the Nova Scotia SPCA website
Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Animals takes steps to recover property and care for animals
by Nova Scotia SPCA on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 4:15pm

Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Animals takes steps to recover property and care for animals Nova Scotia (November 28, 2011) - The Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) has retained legal counsel and is taking steps to issue letters to the newly formed Cape Breton Humane Society and to certain individuals who have continued to occupy the building and property at 401 East Broadway Street, Sydney. The matter of ownership has been challenged by the former directors of the now disbanded Cape Breton Branch of the SPCA.

The SPCA took the step of dissolving the branch due to serious concerns over the condition of the property and the treatment of the pets under the care of the former branch. These concerns were also expressed in a recent report by two veterinarians to Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Under the Memorandum of Association of the former Cape Breton Branch of the SPCA, as with all branches of the Society, the property and assets of a dissolved branch will transfer to the provincial body to hold in trust. The new Humane Society does not have the same legislated mandate that is set out in the Animal Protection Act.
Kristin Williams, Executive Director of Nova Scotia SPCA advised that the Society is in the process of establishing a new branch in Sydney to take over the operations. Ms. Williams said “The provincial body will be operating the facility initially in order to ensure the conditions are brought up to acceptable standards and appropriate practices and procedures are in place.” She added “ultimately the plan is to have a new vibrant Cape Breton Branch fulfilling the duties of the SPCA.”
The letters addressed to certain individuals and the newly formed Cape Breton Humane Society, warn they have to be out of the property by 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 30 or face further legal consequences.
“We really hope that the individuals honour the legal right of the SPCA and cooperate in the transfer of the property so the animals in care are properly cared for and deficiencies can be addressed.” Ms. Williams said. “We have a contingency plan in place to immediately take care of the animals in care and manage as of Wednesday.”
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Well then.  After the release earlier today of the Memorandum of Association ... this latest step shouldn't come as any surprise!
To be perfectly honest, this might actually be the "easy out" the dismissed board might need to exit stage left.
And before the keyboards catch on fire, I haven't got it in me to summon up any sympathy for them.   Since I started doing this latest series on this thread,  horrible anecdotes keep popping into my inbox.  
( As a sidebar note to that, if you are thinking of doing that .... please don't.   If you are not willing to be publicly quoted, please go the other way around and contact the Cruelty Investigations people at SPCANS.    Any confidentiality agreements that have been signed with an SPCA Branch could be superseded by their authority, eh? )
But I am wandering afield, as I often am wont to do.  The point I am making in my meandering way is that at this point, it is irrelevant whether or not the dismissed board actually understood the situation.
It is even immaterial that they refused to believe the 2011 Shelter Audit.    That the CBRM Mayor and Council were then enticed to fritter tax payer dollars on a second assessment.  
Really, does it matter?   From the moment the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board created the renegade shelter they were operating outside the law.
At this point, it simply does not matter whether the disbanded board members were deliberately obtuse or simply functioning as figureheads.  
It is ... however ... very relevant that the CBRM Mayor and Council chose to allow a separate entity to assume control of the CBRM Animal Control contract without so much as a tender in sight. 
A Contract for half a million dollars transferred to the renegade shelter simply because Mayor Gordon felt it was the only option on the table!
A contract, I might add, that could have legally continued had the society not been stymied in their efforts to regain control by the refusal of the CBRM Mayor and Council to recognize the legal status of the society.
What time is it?   It is time for the disbanded board to stop tap dancing and exit stage left.
And this is how I see it on Monday, November 28h .... the TWELFTH day since the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded branch board created the renegade shelter

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