LETTER: Keep animal control in Mission

Betraying our companion animals and their guardians at their time of need

To be able to offer some insight about various animal shelters, I have been visiting local shelters including Maple Ridge, Mission Animal Control ,and a tour of the FVRD facility.

It is heartening to witness these municipalities including stewardship of their animals seriously but more so, that citizens have supported local councils toward adopting needed bylaws, and  either contracting with the BCSPCA, local humane society or a municipality owned facility.

Even FVRD has had the wisdom to venture investment in a 24-cage dog facility, and is recouping some of their investment by selling facility services of animal control to less astute municipalities, notably Abbotsford, Chilliwack and now pending Mission.

It is disheartening to witness such draconian and retrograde governance emerge at Mission, which in recent years  purchased a five-acre parcel of rural land and pound facilities. Sadly, this new council has the audacity to ignore opposition and plans to dispose of this property, for short-term minimal savings.  The saddest commentary is the lack of diligence, conviction and forthright commons sense by others on council to recognize the folly of this unwise action being enabler. It’s characteristically intransigent and ill-advised poor judgment, against wishes of 716 opponents signing an online petition, over 74 per cent of Mission Record poll respondents.

The current facility is a clean, well-equipped and well-maintained facility with lots of potential to expand to include a new cat facility adjacent the existing building.

Monies exist in various surplus accounts to accommodate building this new modern structure. As well, should such a venture be commenced, many donors and fundraising ventures can commence.

The expectation we have of elected leaders is to reflect some compassion, vision, flexibility and a willingness to consult and to work in concert with citizens, whether  the ham-fisted takeover of the Heritage Park, or now the unwise  selling of valuable municipally owned land and betraying our companion animals and their guardians at their time of need, creating a three-quarter hour drive to Chilliwack when a short trip locally would benefit all. Ironically, past councils had the vision, and a new council can arbitrarily undo it all, which flies in the face of good democratic stewardship and governance, that frankly ought to be prohibited.

George F. Evens