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Coquitlam Coquitlam Councils decision to cut the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) from providing humane animal services in the community may bite back.

SPCA officers (members of CUPE local 1622) together with concerned citizens have launched their Save Our SPCA campaign and plan on making their presence felt at the upcoming council meeting scheduled for Monday evening.

Councils behind closed doors decision to terminate the citys contract with the SPCA is an outrage, says Jeff Lawson, a SPCA officer and president of local 1622. The SPCA is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring that all animals are cared for as humanely as possible. Councils decision has left no opportunity for public debate and hasnt addressed the potential risks both animals and the public may face.

The SPCA goes beyond just enforcing bylaws. SPCA officers have the training, expertise and authority to handle all animal rescues and emergencies. In the past year alone, Coquitlam SPCA officers have attended 4,000 calls and cared for more than 2,300 pets. They also developed partnerships with local businesses to find homes for pets and worked closely with the city to achieve Canadas first cat spay and neuter bylaw.

Lawson is not alone in condemning councils recent decision. CUPE British Columbia President Barry ONeill calls councils move short-sighted and a betrayal of public trust.

Coquitlams council has no idea how good they have it, he says. The SPCA is based on donations and volunteers. For 40 years SPCA officers have dedicated themselves to serving this community. Now the city repays them by turfing their contract and cutting services along with it.

Through its public outreach campaign including taking out newspaper ads, circulating leaflets and petitions and holding demonstrations the SPCA officers hope to convince council to reconsider its decision.


For more information, please contact:
Jeff Lawson, President of Local 1622, at 644-1353
Mike Dumler, CUPE National Representative, at 291-1940 or 970-4719
Rich Janecky, CUPE Communications Representative, at 763-1208

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