MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about shelter pet adoption in the Legislature

Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about shelter pet adoption in the Legislature. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Today is also National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Having a pet to love and to be loved by unconditionally is a special gift that lasts a lifetime. Finding that pet in a shelter makes for an extra-special bond.

The Comox Valley SPCA is a mid-size shelter with one manager, six workers and up to 40 dedicated volunteers. Staff member Jed McPherson told me they handle about 700 animals at our shelter every year, with about 450 adoptions, including cats and dogs and a hundred other animals, like a bearded dragon, snakes, a pot-bellied pig and other farm animals. You can even foster kittens and puppies.

Forty-four B.C. SPCAs across the province support each other to care for thousands of animals. When there’s a big seizure, like when 120 cats were retrieved from one double-wide trailer, they are shared amongst many shelters. They share their donations too.

Sick and injured animals are nursed to health before being put up for adoption. Tooth care eats up most of their medical budget. With their updated model of care, the shelter is more home-like with larger kennels, communal space for the cats inside and large play areas for the dogs outside. The animals are less stressed and show better, resulting in fast turnaround — so fast that their website is updated every 45 minutes and stays have dropped from 40 to ten days.

Adoption fees save families hundreds of dollars compared to getting animals elsewhere. It includes the spay or neuter, vaccines, pest control, a free vet exam, a trial bag of food and six weeks of pet insurance. Cost: $173 versus about $700 for a female cat, and only $354 for dogs.

My shelter dog and cats brought me life-lasting joy. Bring joy to your life by visiting a pet shelter today.