Celia Durst

Celia Durst

Little support for new animal shelter

District should look after homeless people before homeless animals: Nundal

Mission council is barking over plans to develop a long term care plan for abandoned cats and dogs in Mission with stakeholders.

The issue was triggered by the Fraser Valley Humane Society, which currently operates a cat shelter from the corner of N. Railway Avenue and James Street. The society has been in existence since 1999 and the facility is at capacity with 29 cats and kittens, a chinchilla and a guinea pig. Eleven animals are in foster care, and there is a list of Mission families requesting the shelter take their animals.

The rented building is also aging and inadequate, according to Celia Durst, FVHS executive director, who asked council to consider building a new cat shelter and adoption centre.

District staff also reviewed Mission’s animal control centre on Woodward Street in Silverdale and determined both groups could benefit from a new facility.

FVHS currently receives $25,000 fee for service grant from the district and the Mission Animal Control program costs $300,000. About $215,000 of revenue is made from the sale of dog licenses and general taxation makes up the difference.

“Given Mission’s expected growth, it would be prudent to begin looking at what future costs could be expected and begin to put the estimates into the budget process starting with the 2015 budget,” says Mike Younie, director of development services, in a report to council.

Coun. Larry Nundal simply stated Mission doesn’t have the funds for the endeavour, and suggested the district should address the issue of homeless people first. He also didn’t want to take funds away from other district projects.

“There’s no money from taxpayers for these purposes,” said Nundal.

Coun. Dave Hensman agreed approving a long-term plan would put the onus on the district.

“We have other things to deal with,” Nundal added. “It’s not our issue … We have RCMP asking for more five officers, the fire department asking for this and that. I want to deal with what we have first before taking on other projects.”

Coun. Nelson Tilbury was the only councillor in support of the proposal.

“The plan could be considered once it’s complete and it seems we can still reject it,” he stated.

Councillors Jenny Stevens and Jeff Jewell were absent from the last council meeting.