LETTER: Animals will suffer if shelter moves

Transferring animal control functions from Mission to the Fraser Valley Regional District will cause harm.

Transferring animal control functions from Mission to the Fraser Valley Regional District will cause harm – to the animals, to dog owners of Mission and to loyal personnel in Mission who have been carrying out this function.

It will cause serious long-term harm to relationships between the substantial animal-loving community and council.

Mission will lose all control of the activity and also lose the ability to respond to complaints. The mayor has argued that FVRD is very responsive to Mission concerns. Having served on a number of joint committees at FVRD, I cannot agree. Regardless of opinions on responsiveness,  Mission can always be outvoted.

The mayor stated there would be a “get out” clause in any agreement. This is somewhat disingenuous, as the Mission animal control facility will have been sold and the staff dispersed. So, in practical terms, such a clause is meaningless.

The concept of keeping dogs in a cage, in a vehicle all day is cruel. The vehicle may be air-conditioned but the stress level on dogs would be substantial.

Chilliwack is a long way away and not reachable by public transport. The offer to “drive the dog back” is not a suitable solution. For instance, if there is any doubt of dog identity (lack of collar or tag) this will not work.

Given the distance to Chilliwack, adoptions of dogs by Mission residents simply will not happen.

There are significant differences in fees, charges and fines. FVRD can impose charges of up to $1,000. Fines of this magnitude should not be imposed without proper due process. Due process does not exist at FVRD.

It is understood that council decisions cannot always be popular, but this decision would cause great bitterness among the significant animal lovers’ community. It is unlikely that bitterness would quickly dissipate.

Much good that this council has achieved is likely to be submerged in feelings of betrayal.

This is a really bad idea that would have significant unfortunate consequences. Please don’t do it.

Ron Taylor