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October 28, 2017 3:55 am

Do we need three animal rescue societies?

Thursday, June 11, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill  Phillips


Give Angela Lotze credit.

She is dedicated to helping animals, which is what you want in someone who is going to run a humane society.

But do we really need three societies dedicated to helping animals?

Lotze, who was the manager of the North Cariboo branch of the SPCA, last week announced the formation of the Prince George Humane Society. It comes after her very public departure as manager of the SPCA. In March she and another staff member resigned their positions at the branch following allegations of another staff member bullying them and the BC SPCA’s apparent reticence to deal with the issue. The resignations were followed by eight members of the SPCA community council.

For its part, the BC SPCA really didn’t get involved in the matter until it became public and subsequently launched an investigation in the allegations of bullying. With Lotze and others now gone, its unclear what an investigation will resolve.

It’s clear Lotze isn’t going back to the SPCA.

“Due to circumstances beyond my control I found it in my best interest to resign,” Lotze told 250News. “However I have no intention of leaving this wonderful community or the countless animals in need.”

After helping to form the Fort St. James Humane Society, Lotze said once you’re involved in an animal rescue, it gets in your blood.

Right person for the job.

But, once again, do we really need three groups working on animal rescue in Prince George? In addition to the SPCA, and now the Prince George Humane Society, we also have Prince George Equine and Animal Rescue, which focuses mostly on horses but does have dogs as well.

All three rely heavily on donations to survive, so it will be a challenge for all three organizations to secure funds from a limited pool of donors.

However, there are some distinctions between the three. Lotze says the newly-formed Prince George Humane Society will focus on rural areas surrounding Prince George. The SPCA has its hands full just focusing on what’s going on in the city, so there may be room for both. In addition, with the Prince George Equine and Animal Rescue focusing on horse rescue, there may be a niche for them as well.

It’s kind of strange because I wish all three groups success, but then again I hope that they don’t have anything to do.

I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that we have three animal rescue groups in Prince George or the fact, possibly, that we need three animal rescue groups in Prince George.

Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com




Seems to me that when one company starts gobbling up other companies and forms a conglomerate, a lot of the fine attention to details each smaller company provided, is lost.
Perhaps three organisations are needed to provide the expertise needed in their various fields of interest.
Its too bad that the SPCA became ‘tainted’ as it were. A tainted leadership affects the whole organisation.
I wish the three well. It seems they each have their own niche.

I am sure there will be enough animals needing help! If they intend to focus on the outlying areas, their resources will be put to good use! There is a lot of work needed on reserves in the area, to do spay and neuter and good will care. The SPCA is limited in it’s mandate, so the PGHS will be able to cover what they can’t. I think it will be a great asset to the area!

Can anyone confirm if Prince George Humane Society is registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency. Without charity status, any donations made to them by businesses can probably be deducted as promotional expenses, but donations by individuals would not get a tax receipt and therefore non deductible. You can be a society without being a registered charity. Might be good to get that cleared up.

And PG Equine society is nothing like the other two. It’s purpose is to stop horses from going to the meat packers, and they do a great job of rehabilitating horses, and finding them homes, and most of it’s funding comes from people in the equine community. They don’t get involved in investigating horse abuse cases as they have no legal authority.

Does the new humane society have legal authority to investigate animal abuse?

Can anyone confirm if Prince George Humane Society is registered as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency.


From their Facebook page:

“The Prince George Humane Society is a community-based, registered non profit that provides a safe haven for abused neglected and abandoned animals”

Doesn’t say charity, just a registered non-profit.

if they can get funding to support their cause all the merrier

Outside of law enforcement agencies, private investigators and city by law enforcement the only other agency legally allowed to investigate animal cruelty cases are the BCSPCA all other animal shelter groups can only report cruelty cases but not investigate

As for another animal welfare charity I am all for it but as the story said can PG citizens afford another animal shelter time will tell…I used to donate monthly to the local SPCA chapter until the bullying started haven’t been there in 3 years now we will see how the new shelter fares

axman – thanks. Non-profit is not the same as a registered charity with CRA. So donations would not qualify for the donation tax credit.

If PG can’t really afford all three, is there a prospect of merger if the problems that caused the flight from the SPCA can be resolved? And is the provincial organization addressing them?

Why wasn’t the bully dealt with by the BCSPCA? Seems to me we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

A not for profit society cannot be a registered charity from the start. It takes a year at least.

However, they could make an arrangement with another registered charity, for example the PG Foundation, who would collect on their behalf and provide the donation receipt. They would then grant money to the Humane Society.

The BCSPCA’s main focus is supposed to be the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the entire Province. That is the Act which governs the Society. However, unlike most other provinces, the Humane Societies or SPCAs which have that mandate receive grants from the Province to conduct that function for the province. It is generally $1million plus a year. This province gives less than $100,000.

The cost to run the program in BC is in excess of $2 million. That function costs about 10% of the total provincial operating budget. So, when one donates to the BCSPCA, one donates to the Animal Cruelty investigation function at the same time, a function which should be paid for by the general taxpayer.

The Province has now provided several million dollars to build new shelters on BCSPCA property instead of community properties since many of the old ones are crumbling.

In addition, the local BCSPCA shelter is a union shop. Thus they operate a bit differently than most other BCSPCA shelters in that who can do what is somewhat restricted and payroll costs are slightly higher. Interestingly, being a union shelter, one would think that bullying would not be a problem that pops up.

The provincial organization addressed the bullying. It made the biggest mistake in the world and had an internal manager investigate and make recommendation. The recommendation was that there was no bullying. That what was happening was that here was a personality difference.

That would be the understatement of the year based on the details I know.

The main problem is that they have a policy and procedures to go with it which said that ALL those working for the BCSPCA and ALL the volunteers working for the BCSPCA should receive training in sensitivity, how to react, etc. when bullying is observed. That never happened in this area and likely most other areas.

The provincial organization has major problems with operating some 35 shelters plus the investigation units from Vancouver.

After having experienced the BCSPCA from the inside as a volunteer for some 16 years, local, grass-root organizations are probably better positioned to do the function required locally.

If Bill had researched this issue a bit further before writing this article, or made it into a series, he would have been able to come in with much more information how many animal rescue and welfare organization there actually are and that some that are not locally are still connected to this region by having species and breed-specific rescue organizations.

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