The BC SPCA says it’s created a new plan to tackle the growing number of domestic, farm and wild animals found in poor care.
The animal welfare organization said in a news release Tuesday that the new four-pillar strategic plan involves improving its response to rescue cases in under-served communities outside of its 36 branches, responding quicker and more efficiently to animals in need during natural disasters, and recruiting more volunteers.
The plan also includes offering free services, such as spaying and neutering, to vulnerable pet owners who face barriers in providing proper care for their animals.
“An example of this is our compassionate board program, which offers free, temporary care of pets for individuals who are fleeing violent domestic situations,” said Craig Daniell, the BC SPCA’s chief executive officer.
“One of the barriers to safety for these women is the lack of pet-friendly transition housing. By increasing our services in this area, we can keep pets safe while their owners get the help they need and ultimately ensure that loving pet owners and their animals can stay together.”
The new plan will be rolled out over the next four years. It was developed through a year-long consultation process where advocates and experts determined the most urgent animal issues facing B.C. cities.
“One of the most significant changes we achieved between 2014 and 2018 was a dramatic decrease in the number of surplus, homeless animals,” Daniell said.
“This was accomplished through intensive efforts to spay and neuter owned and unowned animals across the province, with a particular focus on addressing the cat overpopulation crisis.”
The organization helped about 48,000 animals last year. By reducing the number of animals being cared for at each shelter, funds from donors can be refocused to other urgent animal issues, Daniell said.