Fort McMurray SPCA: Voice for the voiceless

A DAY IN THE LIFE – The Fort McMurray SPCA

By THERESA WELLS, Connect Columnist

Senior Advocates, Pam Burns on the left, and Heather Landeen of St. Aidan's are working towards a new model for the seniors of Fort McMurray. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Senior Advocates, Pam Burns on the left, and Heather Landeen of St. Aidan’s are working towards a new model for the seniors of Fort McMurray. SUPPLIED PHOTO

One imagines that from the moment the lights flicker on in the morning the meowing and barking must be endless. The Fort McMurray SPCA is a busy place, after all, with all the resident cats and dogs setting up a cacophony of sound, but there are quiet moments when all is silent and the animals in their care are quiet and content. Such is the day at the no-kill shelter of the SPCA, a place I have come to know well in my life in this community.

In my own house, when I turn on the lights upon arrival home, I am greeted by a chorus of meows from a duo of cats that are as different from each other as is possible and still be the same species. One is fat and one is thin, one is an adventurer and one is timid, one is constantly in motion and one is always at rest, one is clingy and one is aloof – but the one similarity they have, other than being cats, is that I adopted them both from the local SPCA.

The SPCA does far more than adopting out animals, though. The SPCA is the organization that acts as a strong advocate for local animals, being the voice for a vulnerable part of our world that has no voice of its own. They provide a safe haven for animals that are entangled in a human domestic violence situation, as on occasion pets are used as pawns in these circumstances.

Education services, as well as a program designed to provide support to rural communities for spay and neuter clinics, creates opportunities to address issues before they arise, and works to eliminate the strays and unwanted animals that can end up doomed to life on the streets. Information on responsible pet ownership combined with a strong community presence allows the SPCA to focus on the well-being of local animals while also addressing the issues of animal abuse and neglect.

For many of us the SPCA is the place we go to walk a dog in need of attention or cuddle a cat in need of some love. Many of us find ourselves coming home with both a new appreciation for the work they do and on occasion a new friend who quickly becomes a furry member of our family. The reality is the Fort McMurray SPCA is much more, a place for education, for advocacy and for ensuring the future of our animal companions. The furry four-footed love I found through them? Well, that’s just a value added bonus!

– Connect Weekly –