The Moose Jaw Humane Society has been in contract negotiations with the City of Moose Jaw relating to its pound keeping services since December 2011. Under a contract signed in 2007, the humane society has been carrying out these services for approximately $125,000 annually. At the shelter’s AGM on April 16th, board president John LaBuick and financial chair Dave Field made a presentation to the shelter’s membership illustrating the poor condition of the humane society’s facility and laying out the costs incurred by the MJHS over the course of the years following the signing of that contract.
The actual expenses for the shelter to provide these services is in excess of $380,000, however, only twenty percent of the shelter’s overall income is derived from the city to cover these costs. In addition, there is no allowance in the current agreement for replacement due to wear and tear on shelter equipment, vehicles, and its building, not to mention costs related to general overhead expenses. (see attached pie chart)
The humane society projects a further financial shortfall of over $85,000 for the current year. As a not-for-profit organization, this will mean even more belt-tightening in the months to come.
In an effort to offset these expenses, the MJHS has requested what it deems to be a fair increase in fees from the city for pound keeping to the effect of $384,000 per year; the shelter is not looking for a means to finance the “humane society” portion of the organization, but rather simply to cover the costs associated with the impound of the stray animals of the city. LaBuick stated that, “At that known cost and what we have been paid over the last six years, we have been subsidizing the City of Moose Jaw through our own revenue by over $1,000,000.”
More recently, these contract negotiations have stalled – chiefly because to date, the shelter has received no counter offers from the city. Frustrations at this stalemate bubbled over between representatives of the board of directors and the members that had assembled during an animated discussion on how best to proceed. This sentiment was put into action by a motion tabled to go public with the shelter’s struggles to have the contract negotiations resolved, and elicit the community’s support in lobbying the city for a positive outcome for the humane society.
Each year, the Moose Jaw Humane Society sees an average intake of 1,500 dogs and cats, with the vast majority being strays, often going unclaimed. Under the City of Moose Jaw bylaws, the shelter must hold all stray dogs and cats for 72 hours in impound. If they remain unclaimed after that period of time elapses, the city bylaw states that the animal is to be euthanized. The MJHS as a shelter finds that to be unacceptable and chooses instead to adopt the animal into a new home. Over the course of the animal’s stay at the shelter, the MJHS adheres to the policies and procedures of the Humane Society and Animal Protection Act of 1999.
LaBuick closed by saying the shelter’s board and staff believe very strongly that the MJHS is the best solution for handling the pound keeping for the City of Moose Jaw. The shelter is the only party that has a designated facility, properly trained, qualified personnel, an understanding of the required care, and a strong background in animal welfare. He reiterated that the membership can help the cause by calling the city councillors and mayor to express their dissatisfaction with the contract negotiations, and become advocates for the shelter’s needs.
Re-elected to the board of directors were John LaBuick, Dave Field, Roy LaBuick, and Carla Hicks. Newly elected to the board were Norm Hales, Tom Steen, Kelly Millar, and Char Lewchak, who joined current board members Shannon Gatrell, Tanya Morland, and Sandra Beasley.
Copies of the shelter’s intake procedures are available at the MJHS office, 1755 Stadacona Street West.
The Moose Jaw Humane Society is a non-profit organization providing care, protection and medical needs for the abandoned, abused and neglected animals of Moose Jaw and surrounding communities. Currently, the shelter relies on fundraisers and donations for 80% of its operating budget. The Moose Jaw Humane Society believes all animals have intrinsic value, deserving humane and compassionate treatment. The Moose Jaw Humane Society cares for over 1500 animals every year.
John LaBuick – 306-693-9340 (home)
Dave Field – 306-693-6671 (work)