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City decision to extend SPCA contract preserves broad range of services

SURREY - Pets and other animals in Surrey can breathe a big sigh of relief with the City of Surreys decision to continue its 25-year relationship with the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (BC SPCA), says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The City, which had been considering a number of options to provide animal control for its growing community, has decided to stick with the BC SPCA despite the decision by neighbouring communities, Delta and Langley, to go in the opposite direction.

Surreys decision was the right move, says Jeff Lawson, president of CUPE Local 1622.

The loss of the contract to provide animal control would have resulted in the loss of up to six animal welfare officers who, as part of their routine duties, rescue animals in distress and investigate animal cruelty, Lawson says. The role of the SPCA is extremely broad compared to the basic animal control services a local government would fund. Without the animal control contract, there would be no officers to serve in that role.

Lawson says that Delta and Langley have chosen to provide animal control through independent animal charities without the authority and possibly the resources to assist with the wide variety of animal in distress calls. Had the City of Surrey not extended its contract, the SPCA would have had only one officer stationed south of the Fraser River to service the entire area for animal emergencies.

Our response time would have been severely compromised and, in many circumstances, we simply would not be able to attend, says Lawson. Thanks to the vision of Surrey city council, animals in the community will not be placed at risk.


For more information, contact Jeff Lawson, president of CUPE Local 1622, at (604) 644-1353.