To: Department of Agriculture From: Nova Scotia SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigations Year End Report January 1 to December 31, 2012
ABOUT THE NOVA SCOTIA SPCA The Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (Nova Scotia SPCA): Protecting animals from cruelty since 1877, the Nova Scotia SPCA is a registered charity, comprised of a network of Branches, which rely primarily on volunteers and donations to fund animal protection; care and rehabilitation; advocacy; and humane education. The Act to Protect Animals and Aid Animals in Distress mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws, making the Nova Scotia SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. To learn more, visit www.spcans.ca. MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the Nova Scotia SPCA is to prevent abuse, neglect and cruelty to animals, and provide for province-wide leadership on matters that promote and improve the welfare of all animals through animal protection; care and rehabilitation; humane education; advocacy and engagement and collaboration with stakeholders. VISION STATEMENT The vision of the Nova Scotia SPCA is that Nova Scotia be a No Kill province and a safe place for all animals with zero tolerance for animal cruelty. Overview of Service/Benefits to Nova Scotia The Nova Scotia SPCA is mandated by the Government of Nova Scotia to enforce the Animal Protection Act and to address companion animal welfare for the province. The Nova Scotia SPCA currently relies on donations to support this mission and mandate, which includes: 1. providing humane education; 2. conducting cruelty investigations; 3. preparing case files for prosecution; 4. providing care and shelter to seized, surrendered or abandoned animals; 5. providing veterinary care; and 6. providing adoption services. The Nova Scotia SPCA is the competent authority on companion animal welfare, the leading animal welfare organization for the province, and the last line of defense for animals in need. In 2012, the Society saved more than 11,000 animals, fielded more than 18,000 calls on animal welfare issues and conducted 1,632 investigations. The Society has a 100% conviction rate. Demand for services continues to rise each year and 2012 was no exception, with both cruelty case load increasing and the number of animals affected by cruelty increasing.
Accomplishments of the SPCA Over the last three years, the Nova Scotia SPCA has increased live release rates from 65% to 91% province-wide and established Nova Scotia as the only No Kill province in Canada. The Society has achieved a 100% conviction rate for companion animal cruelty investigations. The SPCA has also been recognized as a leader in animal welfare internationally with seven industry awards in the categories of: Wellness (2010), Education (2010), Leadership (2010), Sheltering (2010), Communications (2011), Media (2011), Homing (2012) and Volunteerism (2012). Outreach & Advocacy Highlights The work of the SPCA is producing more compassionate and compliant pet families. The Society continued its outreach to government and stakeholders to present initiatives to improve animal welfare. The SPCA met with the Minister of Agriculture in addition to presenting to Caucus this past year. The Society also continues to work collaboratively with all stakeholders that have a role to play in animal welfare. In particular, the Society worked closely with many municipal units on bylaw development and humane education in 2012. The Executive Director (ED) also represented the province on the national “Cat Overpopulation Task Force” that launched a precedent setting new report on the state of homeless cats both provincially and nationally. In 2013, the ED of the SPCA will be participating in a new national task force initiative to develop industry codes of practice for humane organizations. Enforcement and Trends in 2012
The Society continues to respond to an exceptionally high call volume. In excess of 18,000 inquiries and complaints regarding the welfare of companion animals in the province of Nova Scotia were received by the provincial office in 2012. In 2012, 1,632 active case files emerged (compared to 1,608 in 2011, a 1.5% increase). The number of animals affected by cruelty rose in 2012 by 6%. Investigators intervened on behalf of 5,084 animals (compared to 4,777 in 2011). Unfounded complaints continues to be very high, representing 48% vs. 40% in 2011. The number one trend continues to be neglect, followed by: animals being tied out without access to food, water or shelter or protection from injurious weather; abandonment; and abuse. Last year, the trend ranking was slightly different: neglect (1), abandonment (2), animals tied out (3) and abuse (4). Geographic activity continues to be very similar to 2011, with 42% of complaints originating in HRM (45% in 2011), 14% in CBRM (15% in 2011) and 8% in Kings (7% in 2011). The remainder of complaints were spread throughout the province. Auxiliary investigator activity remains very high with intervention (rechecks, warnings, inspections) totaling 682 incidents. There were 5 active court cases in 2012, resulting in 5 convictions. o F. MacDonald, Cape Breton o T. Lunn, Hants o D. Helkenberg, Halifax o S. Talbot, Cape Breton o P. Shearer, Annapolis
*Please see full statistics report attached for more detail.
Goals and Objectives for 2013 Public Education & Advocacy
The Society is focused on active engagement with all parties that have a role to play in the protection of animals, with a view to be a strong provincial voice for animal welfare in Nova Scotia. The inspectorate is focused on maintaining high standards in all areas of operations, legislative enforcement, humane education and inspector performance, with a view to the prevention of cruelty and the promotion of humane care. The Society is focused on maintaining a live release rate of 90% and growing capacity. The Society is focused on providing first class care for animals and offering progressive and innovative programs in homing and community support. The Society believes in transparency, fiscal accountability and strong, responsible governance. The Society is focused on building a strong branch network, facilitating active collaboration and cooperation, and improving governance literacy.
Marketing & Communications
The Society is focused on enhancing the market profile of the SPCA and developing brand equity that will both encourage and secure financial support for the lifesaving work that is accomplished each year.
The Society is engaged in the development and implementation of socially innovative programs that will ensure that the SPCA has a stable financial base that supports all desired initiatives.
Objectives of the Inspectorate Education is the primary strategy associated with the enforcement program. Education is the first step in gaining compliance. Secondary to education is investigation. Investigation strategies include intervention through the provision of rescue and relief and imposing compliance with the law. The tertiary and final strategy associated with enforcement targets non-compliant offenders and leads to prosecutions, convictions and penalties. The goal of the program is to provide effective means to prevent cruelty to animals in the province of Nova Scotia.
• Compliance • Prevention
• Education • Investigation • Enforement
• Legislation • Funding
Composition of the Inspectorate The modest inspectorate of the Nova Scotia SPCA is comprised of a Chief Provincial Inspector and two Provincial Special Constables. The two Provincial Special Constables are responsible for 95% of the case load. There are also two regional inspectors; one is part time and one is a volunteer. The shelter manager of the Provincial Animal Shelter was also appointed in an auxiliary capacity recently. All are considered peace officers by the Department of Justice and each appointment is approved by the Minister of Agriculture. This past year, Neil Fraser retired from his position of Chief Provincial Inspector on December 21, 2012 and David Ross began as the new CPI in January of 2013. During Neil’s service, he brought great credibility and legitimacy to the organization’s inspectorate. With more than 35 years of enforcement experience, Neil emphasized training and outreach; thus forging critical partnerships in the judicial and enforcement community. He improved all aspects of investigations operations from the point of complaint received through to the preparation of a court brief. David Ross, also with a valued policing background from both the UK and BC now brings new skills to the inspectorate. David’s background includes in-depth compliance and enforcement experience. He has both designed and offered regulatory enforcement training and has worked for both the Department of Environment and Department of Transportation. Training and Professional Development Each SPCA investigator is professionally trained. The Society identifies a number of training opportunities to strengthen core competencies of the inspectorate. Much training is donated, sponsored or discounted. Most training is secured through the Canadian Police Knowledge Network, which is used by police services throughout the country. Training for the last two years has included, but was not limited to: Characteristics of Armed Persons, Critical Incident Stress Management for First Responders, Interviewing Techniques, Introduction to Disclosure, Recognition of Emotionally Disturbed Persons, Occupational Health and Safety, Search/Seizure and Warrantless Entries, Forensic Evidence Collection, Regulatory Enforcement Training, Photography, Handling Aggressive Dogs, Investigation Skills, Personal Protection Strategy for Infection Protection and Control, Police Ethics and Accountability, Deception Detection Techniques, the Theory of Truth and Deception, and the Theory of Communication and Memory. Efficiency The SPCA inspectorate, when compared to counterparts in other provincial SPCAs, is 63% more efficient with investigators costs. When compared to counterparts in the Department of Agriculture, the SPCA is 92% more efficient with investigator costs. The Nova Scotia SPCA also carries a case load volume per inspector that is nearly twice that of BC and more than seven times that of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. The Society continues to increase revenues year after year. An important trend is the shift to growth in more predictable revenue sources, such as diverse donor programs, including corporate support, plus adoptions revenue and recovery from case expenses through court ordered restitution. Revenue from bequests and grants are difficult to predict, so the Society has necessarily refocused efforts to programs that yield more reliable results. As a result, the Society has increased revenue by 26% in two years. Donations have increased by 54% and adoptions revenues have increased by 59%! The Society has drastically cut general administration costs and substantially or wholly eliminated expenses related to rent, investigation support costs and training. Veterinary expenses have been capped, despite significant increases in intake. Overall, investigative expenses have been reduced by 34% in just two years. Not only has income increased, which has been largely accomplished through building a successful profile with donors, but the Society has turned its adoption services into an effective revenue source through cutting costs, improving efficiency and more effective fiscal management. As a result, adoptions and fundraising are currently funding cruelty investigations. Society investments offset the remaining deficit.
New Programs The Nova Scotia SPCA is invested in many strategies for long term, financial sustainability. Many of these strategies are very innovative and will morph the SPCA into a hybrid organization, more akin to a social enterprise, which is a cutting edge non-profit fiscal strategy. The sustainability of the Society will be achieved through a multi-pronged approach, which includes: 1.
Removing program specific funding and allocating all donations to the area of greatest need where possible, thus affording the Society greater flexibility
Developing additional profit centres to subsidize funds needed from donations and to build predictability into revenue generating activities
Investing in programming that will provide predictable sources of long-term revenues, thus ensuring financial sustainability and protection of the mission
Ensuring all activities in each responsibility centre are either contributing to revenue generation or engaged in expense control
Some of the new programs that the SPCA launched in 2012 include: 1.
In an effort to broaden the reach of the SPCA, the Society partnered with a number of retailers, including Pets Unlimited, Pet Valu and PetSmart. As a result, animals can now be adopted from these off-site retail locations. The adoption process is the same and adoptions rates have risen and intake capacity has also improved. One branch reported adoptions rising by 50%. This program has also resolved ethical sourcing issues, with the closure of two of the largest mill operators in the province when the Society went into partnership with Pets Unlimited.
One project is in collaboration with the Department of Justice and will see offenders and officers offsetting labour strain through volunteer programs and a new canine therapy program to assist both dogs and offenders mutually achieve goals of skill development and socialization. This program will help dogs with behavioural challenges become more adoptable and offenders develop skills to be more productive in society. This will enhance adoption revenues as well as offset labour strain devoted to training and animal care.
Another initiative, which has been endorsed by the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association, has permitted the Society in partnership with its Chief Provincial Veterinarian to make application to open a veterinary clinic as part of its shelter in Halifax, with potential other clinics to open in future. This process has taken 2.5 years to develop and will not only further reduce veterinary expense, but release the associated cap on intake, which necessarily is affected by budgeted veterinary costs. And, most importantly, this initiative also opens a new revenue stream because services will be offered to low income families and other rescue groups. The equipment for the clinic has already received approved funding and infrastructure improvement costs are modest. This initiative will make veterinary care expenses even more predictable and stable, and secure additional revenues.
A final program is very unique. The Society has partnered with the provinceâ€™s lead wind engineer and been approved through the Department of Energyâ€™s COMFIT (Community Feed in Tariff) program for three applications representing 14 megawatts of wind power installations. The Society has secured the eligibility status through its role in providing community benefit (in provision of its mandate in the corresponding communities where the installations will take place). As a result, the Society will start to earn dividends in 2014 with no financial risk or investment.
Financial Condition and the Future of Enforcement In 2012, the Society made numerous proposals to government concerning funding challenges for the enforcement program. For years, the Society has underwritten an ongoing operational deficit to support cruelty investigations with investments. The final proposal prompted a meeting with the Minister, Deputy Minister and key staff of the Department of Agriculture. Ultimately, the Department declined the SPCA’s funding proposal, which included an opportunity to relieve the Department of expenses, while also securing long term financial viability for the Society. The SPCA proposed to adopt the responsibility farm animal welfare and associated cruelty investigations from the Department of Agriculture at a cost savings to Agriculture in exchange for $100,000 annually. This would have permitted government to save money and tax dollars and/or allocate funding to alternative areas of need; ultimately helping the Government of Nova Scotia meet its goal of a balanced budget. The Society is now currently reviewing the future of the enforcement program and a full suspension of services is possible on or before the end of 2013. Cost Support It is important for stakeholders to understand that the Society is invested in long term approaches to ensure its vital mission and mandate can continue to be achieved. However, it is important to also understand all dimensions of the Society’s current financial condition. Currently, neither donors nor government are sufficiently funding the enforcement program. All other SPCA missioncritical programs have self-sustaining funding mechanisms. The Society receives $3,000 annually from the Department of Agriculture. All other revenue to fund the SPCA’s mission and mandate is secured through adoptions revenue and fundraising programs. The operating budget for 2012 year was $1,011,944 with a projected deficit of -$188,928. The Society was able to reduce this shortfall to -$146,046 through additional cost cutting and fundraising, however a sizable deficit remained and other unpredictable costs to the Society emerged due to market conditions. As in previous years, the Society offset this deficit with investment income; however investments will effectively be gone by the end of 2013. As donor programs continue to mature and other revenue streams come on line, the Society still perceives challenges in managing the increase in demand for services. The Society continues to decrease expenses, while increasing scope and this is not a model that can be maintained without financial support. The Nova Scotia SPCA is challenged by the perception that the SPCA is, or should be, government funded, because of the “police-like” services of inspectorate, and the Society’s legislated mandate and accountability to the Department of Agriculture. Other Pressures The pattern of contraction of expenses and increase in services is not sustainable. Case volume is too high, and non-emergency complaints are necessarily de-prioritized resulting is less responsiveness to non-acute cruelty matters. These concerns alone represent grounds for program review. Such a review is currently underway in Ontario with a view to more appropriately fund the enforcement program for that province and the ED of the Nova Scotia SPCA is actively participating in this process. Bottom Line The Society will need to consider the future of the enforcement program this year. Reserves will soon be exhausted and the enforcement program is the only program which is not self-sustaining. Because government has declined core funding and donor revenues are insufficient, the future of the enforcement program is at risk of a full suspension. A preliminary operating budget has been approved for the first quarter of 2013. This budget includes a status quo operational budget for the inspectorate. No increases have been budgeted to address increasing labour strain due to case volume, though 2013 is already showing a trend of a higher case volume than 2012. A total budget has been established with a deficit of projected of $239,311. Currently reserves will cover this deficit for 2013; however it will leave the Society vulnerable to other market forces including the unpredictability of donor funds forecasted, thus putting other essential programs at risk. Prudently, the Society has agreed to make a decision about the future of the enforcement program prior to the end of the first fiscal quarter (March 31, 2013).
Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements The Society will publish an annual report and present audited financial statements at the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2013. Copies of these will be forwarded to the Department of Agriculture and published on line. Report Prepared by:
Kristin Williams Executive Director Nova Scotia SPCA (902) 835-4798 x 228 firstname.lastname@example.org www.spcans.ca
APPENDENDICES AND REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Funding proposal to Agriculture: http://www.spcans.ca/documents/news/core_funding_proposal_october_2012.pdf SPCA Statistics and Reports: http://www.spcans.ca/about-us/statistics.html October is Proclaimed Cruelty Awareness Month: http://www.spcans.ca/documents/GEN_cruelty-proclamation_2012.PDF Animal Protection Act: http://www.spcans.ca/images/files/amended%20animal%20protection%20act.pdf SPCA Financial Statements, Minutes and Reports: http://www.spcans.ca/about-us/minutes-and-reports/2012.html SPCA Policies and Bylaws: http://www.spcans.ca/about-us/policy.html SPCA Organizational Structure and Governance Model: http://www.spcans.ca/about-us/organizational-structure.html
2012 Cruelty Investigation Statistics Reporting Period:
January 01 to December 31/12 Complaints investigated this Year: Number of Animals Affected:
Geography HRM Annapolis Antigonish Assist Only Cape Breton Colchester Cumberland Digby Guysborough Hants Kings Lunenburg Pictou Queens Shelburne Yarmouth
684 35 14 5 232 82 67 39 5 69 124 85 64 21 41 65 1632
Establishment Apartment 264 Business 10 Car 51 Kennel/Breeding 9 Other 26 Outside 35 Pet Shop 5 Residence 1220 Sales 12 1632
Infraction Abandoned Abuse Assistance/Help* Hoarding Inadequate Shelter Inside Hot vehicle Inspection Neglect Owner Surrender Proh violation Sick Animal Stray Tied Out Unsanitary
217 193 10 25 70 50 1 651 2 4 9 6 336 58 1632
In 2011: In 2011:
Validity Pending/Open Justified Reasonable Transfer Unfounded Assist Only
* Includes Assistance - non investigation
33 184 528 9 780 98 1632
Bird Cat Dog Fish Horses ** Lizard Other*** Rabbit Snake
28 2686 2033 0 0 3 59 273 2 5084
Increase over 2011: Increase over 2011:
Status Abandoned Cat Abandoned Dog Abandoned Other Returned Cat Returned Dog Returned Other Seized Cats Seized Dogs Seized Other Surrendered Cat Surrendered Dog Surrendered Other
** Passed on to DOA *** Other includes, but is not limited to: hamsters, goats, rodents, ferrets, mouse
33 10 0 0 0 0 59 22 0 325 59 12 520
Activity Statement Taken Verbal Advise Given Order Issued Recheck to be done by Recheck Completed Court Appearance Animals Removed Animals Returned Voluntary Surrender Charges Laid Verbal Warning Issued Dog House Require Given Summons Served Inspection Conducted Warning Letter Sent Summons Served Appearance Notice Arrest Warrant Issued
8 68 43 152 89 10 36 1 103 3 14 120 2 1 28 2 1 1 682
Assist Only 6%
Status Pending/ Open 2%
0% 0% 0%
Abandoned Cat 0%
Seized Cats 63%
Outside Pet Shop Residence
2686 600 2500 500
300 217 200
100 10 0
Lizard Other*** Rabbit
Geography Shelburne Yarmouth 3% 4% Queens 1%
120 103 100
80 68 60
28 20 8
0 Cumberland 4%
Colchester 5% Cape Breton 14%
Annapolis Antigonish 2% Assist Only 1% 0%
Nova Scotia SPCA Animal Cruelty Convictions Year 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009
Name S. ORR A. ELLIOTT E.PARNELL (1) T. ROBERT (1) G. BENOIT (2) D. BAILEY (2) M. TUPPER (3) T. TUPPER (3) Y. BEKKOUR
County Hants Annapolis Lunenburg Lunenburg Digby Digby Kings Kings HRM
2010 2010 2010 2010
A. RICHERT (4) F. RICHERT (4) R. HEARTZ J. JACKSON
Lunenburg Lunenburg Colchester Colchester
2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011
K. ALADYL C. MALONE G. SPYRIDIS B.J. KNOCKWOOD R. PARRIS C. MUISE B. MacKINNON
HRM Shelburne Colchester Colchester Colchester Yarmouth Cape Breton County
2012 2012 2012 2012 2012
F. MacDONALD T. LUNN D. HELKENBERG S. TALBOT P. SHEARER
Cape Breton County Hants HRM Cape Breton County Annapolis
Note: Numbered subjects were charged together and are related to the same offenses.