Kaley Pugh, former manager of the Port Alberni SPCA, visits with Spice, a five-year-old cat presently housed at the Broughton Street animal shelter. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Kaley Pugh, former manager of the Port Alberni SPCA, visits with Spice, a five-year-old cat presently housed at the Broughton Street animal shelter. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

BUDGET 2020: Alberni’s animal shelter to assume broader social role, says SPCA

Nanaimo manager lays out new educational role to Port Alberni city council


Special to the News

Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA’s animal shelter will develop a social and educational role in the not-too-distant future, using surrendered animals to teach kindness and compassion.

Port Alberni and Nanaimo SPCA managers explained the concept to city council Tuesday as part of an overview of the humane society’s work in the community and provincewide.

“What we’re trying to do is to create more empathy generally,” said Leon Davis, manager of the Nanaimo animal care centre. In its educational capacity, the society teaches empathy and kindness to children, part of its goal being to reduce bullying at school, Davis said.

The evolving role is consistent with changes at other SPCA centres in the province, including Nanaimo, where a new facility is designed to foster a closer engagement with the public. Visitors arrive to find a popcorn machine, one example of the new approach, Davis said.

“We’re excited about the possibilities in Port Alberni,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of exciting things happening here in the next five years.”

Sam Sattar, who assumed the role of shelter manager at the Broughton Street facility eight months ago, said the vision is part of a five-year plan that will incorporate the addition of 1.5-hectare parcel acquired from the city for a nominal sum. Although still in the conceptual stage, plans include the addition of education summer camps for kids, he said.

“I’m a pretty optimistic person,” Sattar said, adding that he hopes to see the changes realized sooner rather than five years away.

Alberni-Clayoquot SPCA holds a contract with the city to enforce animal control policies and regulations. The shelter employs five full-time staff and recently added three more casual workers. Sixteen volunteers also help out at the shelter.

“The phone here doesn’t stop ringing,” Sattar said of demand for shelter services. “A lot of shelters and adoption centres around are not open six days a week like us.”

The society receives no direct government funding. They make $154,000 in revenue annually vs. costs of $548,000.

“We’re seeing a drop in the number of animals coming in, but we are seeing an increase in medical health and behavioural issues,” Davis said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The new council for Hupacasath First Nation. From left to right: Councillor Ricky-Lee Watts, Chief Councillor Brandy Lauder, Councillor Jolleen Dick and Councillor Warren Lauder. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Hupacasath First Nation chooses new chief councillor, council

First change of leadership in a decade for Vancouver Island nation

A trailer with fire damage is taped off by the Port Alberni Fire Department at the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Fire knocked down at Wintergreen Apartments trailer

City is concerned about zoning, building code and fire code infractions surrounding the trailers

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Lukas Jirousek pokes the puck away from Grizzlies forward Henri Schreifels during a game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Career night for Castagna can’t lift Alberni Valley Bulldogs past Victoria

Back-and-forth affair between Bulldogs and Grizzlies ends 7-5 for visiting team

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read