Funding Improve Proposed for Saskatoon SPCA
A recommendation to increase funding to the Saskatoon SPCA (SPCA) for pound services in 2022 will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development & Community Services at its meeting on Tuesday, April 12.
The City of Saskatoon and the SPCA have had a longstanding relationship to ensure pound services – the capture and hold of stray companion animals for up to 96 hours – are available to the residents of Saskatoon. The SPCA is an organization able to provide pound services and is also suited to provide extra animal services such as pet adoption, animal shelter and education programs.
Through a lease agreement* and Pound Services Agreement, the SPCA Provides pound services for the City. In turn, the City permits the SPCA to provide its own extra animal services out of the City-owned facility on Clarence Avenue South. Beyond the 96 hours required under the Pound Services Agreement, the animals then transition to the subsequent shelter services, which have always been fully funded by the SPCA.
A recent review of the current funding structure for pound services delivered by the SPCA was undertaken collaboratively by the City and SPCA Administration and determined that the total amount allocated in the 2022/2023 Operating Budget for pound services is not meeting the current costs to deliver the program. Administration is recommending a 50 per cent increase in total funding to the SPCA for pound services in 2022 to $698,000 to more accurately reflect the cost of the pound services operations.
“We know that the SPCA has the experience and expertise to provide adequate animal care to animals dropped off at the pound, and an increase in funding will allow the City and the SPCA to continue this longstanding relationship to ensure pound services are available to the residents of Saskatoon,” says Lynne Lacroix, General Manager, Community Services.
If approved, Administration will continue working with the SPCA to determine the actual funding required to deliver pound services for 2023 and will also review funding options and service level changes that may be implemented which could reduce the costs associated with pound services. A report on a detailed plan and future level of funding would be presented in advance of the 2023 budget approval.
*In 2005, when the SPCA was experiencing financial difficulties and needed help to address the situation, they approached the City about purchasing their land and building to provide some much-needed funding for operations and ensure the ongoing provision of pound services for Saskatoon. The City agreed to the purchase and in addition, invested $100,000 into capital improvements to the facility.