Editors Note: The letter below was sent to Abbotsford Today and it included the referenced presentation to Council as an addendum. We have verified the presentation text and offer both here for your review.
On Monday evening I attended Council meeting. I was specifically interested in a presentation that was being made to save our animal shelter here in Mission.
Ms. Diane Davies made a very passionate and well-informed plea to save the shelter here. She even offered a very workable solution to Council (which included $10,000) but it was very obvious to me that Mayor Randy Hawes and our council members do not care that animals are going to be sent to Chilliwack once the shelter here is closed. In the past three years more dogs have been euthanized than adopted out of the Chilliwack shelter. This is not acceptable to me and definitely should be a concern to everyone, whether you own a dog or not. How many people realize that if their dog gets loose they are going to have to travel to Chilliwack to retrieve it? What happens if that dog own is a senior who does not drive?
It also was very apparent to me that Council was paying no attention to what Ms. Davies had to say even to a point of ignoring her. She wasn’t thanked for her presentation, she wasn’t told that her suggestion would be considered. Nothing. Nothing at all was said to her. It was as if she hadn’t been heard.
We left very disappointed.
Text of the Presentation made to Council by Diane Davies:
“Mayor and Council, before I begin, I would like you to be aware that I have been involved with the dealings of the Chilliwack Shelter, Abbotsford Shelter and FVRD, for quite some time.
Regarding the Chilliwack Shelter, there is some pertinent information and statistics you should be aware of . This is no disrespect to Trina or the FVRD, they are simply facts. For instance, in 2011, 21 dogs adopted, 16 euthanized, in 2012 21 dogs adopted 26 euthanized, in 2013, 10 dogs adopted, 23 euthanized, I am sure you can see that this is definitely not the direction any facility should be going. I have brought this to the FVRD’s attention, and am waiting for Abbotsford to forward me stats on 2014 and 2015.
Although the FVRD state they have just taken over in 2014, the BC Commissionaires are still being contracted by them. Also, having just visited two days ago to Chilliwack, there were definitely things that needed to be improved and were extremely disheartening.
First, very few people want to drive to Chilliwack, myself included. There are no signs directing you to the Shelter. When arriving at the facility, it was locked with no one in sight, although it was supposed to be open. I waited for a while, then called. A girl (not overly friendly) opened the gate and let me in. When inside the office, I was informed no public is allowed in the kennels to view the adoptable dogs. The shelter is always on permanent lock down. Four girls were crammed in a small office all texting on devices, while the dogs were locked in the back, barking, running up and down in their kennel and no one bothered with them.
Any City or Municipality that accepts a contract, should ensure the contract is being taken care of properly, especially when it involves the lives of our Dogs.
MAYOR, COUNCIL AND STAFF
Thank you for allowing me to speak. I am here representing over 800 of your constituents. We have recently been made aware that Mayor and Council has voted to send our Dog Shelter to FVRD in Chilliwack.
We want to make you aware that we are not in favour of this move. It simply is too far to go, and no explanation is going to change that. We also do not like that FVRD will be allowed to take over the contract without our Mayor and Council at least appointing a “staff member” to ensure the safety of our Animals. We are extremely concerned that FVRD continues to accept contracts for Dog Control in the Fraser Valley, while not having large enough facilities to accommodate their ambitions.
The Chilliwack Shelter is too small to accommodate Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Kent, and whomever else they decide to squeeze in. We request that Mayor and Council revisit this decision.
A wiser move, would be to lease the Mission property to FVRD. The Mission Shelter could then be renovated as was done in Chilliwack, and a contractor could then be hired by FVRD. To show that we, the taxpayers of Mission care, we also offer $10,000.00 to assist in putting Mission on the map as having an Animal Shelter worth visiting.
This will take time, effort, and in the beginning financial support. However, FVRD, other Municipalities using the facility, You, the Mayor and Council could do this and leave your footprints behind. Even if Animals are not your prime interest, your constituents should be.
Now, when I met with the FVRD about the Abbotsford contract, both Barclay and Stacey (FVRD representatives) agreed that should they decide to take on another contract, they would most likely need a bigger facility closer to Abbotsford. When I found out Mission was going to Chilliwack, I again met with them and expressed my dismay due to overcrowding. They admitted, although not ideal, their current premise would suffice until they could build something elsewhere, or add on at Chilliwack. There is not enough property to do what they are envisioning.
However, if Mission stepped up, this would be the ideal solution for the FVRD to operate on both sides of the river. Abandoning the Mission Shelter, especially the land allocated to the animals is not what your voting public wants. We truly feel sending our dogs to Chilliwack is not in their best interests, as well as not in our best interests. Had we known about this before the election, our votes would not have been given to you, and most definitely will not be in the next election.
Please consider the above plan. Respectfully Submitted….Diane Davies and 800 plus Citizens of Mission Electoral District.