SPCA to transfer northern dogs
Dogs in underpopulated areas will be transferred to areas where there are more people available to adopt. (FOTOLIA)
The B.C. SPCA says it will expand its transfer program that brings dogs in from more canine-crowded areas in the north to more populated areas where adoption rates are high.
Mark Takhar, chief operations officer for the SPCA, said on Tuesday the society traditionally transfers 3,500 animals a year from crowded shelters in northern B.C.
He hopes to bring that number to 5,000 animals annually by 2015.
“My direction is to build relationships with local rescues and First Nations communities and also municipalities as well — so if they have animals we can take animals from them,” Takhar said, pointing out how the SPCA funded the transfer of some animals from a Bella Coola First Nation last week.
His comments follow criticism from some animal rescue groups who say the SPCA is ignoring overpopulation problems in rural B.C. in favour of imports from out of province.
Takhar said he wants to focus more on B.C., even though cost could be an issue, and called on SPCA donors to help raise funds for more vehicles.
Currently, the society has just three transfer vehicles — and just four drivers — shared by members across the province.
The SPCA says it’s finding some of its shelters increasingly empty.
While the society typically only has one or two dozen spots at each of its 36 shelters — some are smaller — turnaround in high population areas such as Vancouver can be as fast as eight days.
In 2010, the number of new dogs to arrive at SPCA shelters was in excess of 10,000. This year, the society anticipates the number will barely break 7,000.