Letter to the editor 3, June 8, 2017
I was just catching up on some reading and very relieved to see the Your Local Journal front page from June 1 that the SPCA in Vaudreuil might be closing. I volunteered there for a bit and I was trying to think of a way to close it myself.
As an executive manager myself, it appeared to me to be very mismanaged. While I don't know all the ins and outs I do know that donations were piled in closets here, there, and everywhere. I was always trying to put a sense of organization to something to know how many towels there were, for example. I was not there long and this was apparent from the first 15 minutes.
Food donations were randomly piled without a sense of using old before new and some going to waste. There was not enough experienced staff for the amount of work/ animals. How there were not mice in the food being kept in the garage area I do not know. I really, really felt bad for the dogs and had to stop going it was just getting to me.
The staff really tried but I think the management was not involved enough. There was never any authority figure around. Desk staff administering ear medications to dogs and there just seemed to be a lot of young people socializing on the weekend whether they were vet techs or not. Coffee cups and old food containers were all over the staff rooms. My time there was often spent cleaning up after the kids. It was just not professional.
Yes the dogs were fed and walked twice a day, but being in a small kennel from morning to night, it's enough to make the dogs mentally unstable.
The larger ones were put in what I can only believe were closets or storage rooms that were converted. Not cruel, because it was larger than a cage, but imagine a dog with no chance to socialize in a room without daylight or a window for 24 hours with only two 10-minute walks. There was one dog named Murphy who had severe diarrhea for weeks and I couldn't understand if he was being followed by a vet how it could be so prolonged. While his cage was cleaned every time, it was just very sad and miserable for him.
Without a field or fenced-in area for the dogs, how that place was allowed to be zoned there I will never understand. I'm sure for the businesses around them it was not pleasant. Even if poop was picked up you can't pick up urine. In the winter the garbage was not put out to the curb for weeks and there were overflowing bags. Surely the other businesses complained. I am not a fan of rescues but have come to realize maybe smaller scale it’s a better and healthier way for these types of operations to be run, for both the animals and the people.
Simply loving animals is just not enough.
The real problem is that animals have to go to a rescuer or shelter in the first place. We need to ask ourselves who's fault that is and change the laws in acquiring animals.
I think the SPCA Ouest staff and volunteers tried their best within their control but the issue was bigger than them. Pumping in more money will not solve the issues there.
Name withheld at writer’s request