Nova Scotia

SPCA in dispute over Sydney animal shelter

The Nova Scotia SPCA is trying to take over the animal shelter in Sydney claiming substandard care, but the people behind the Cape Breton SPCA say the animals are fine.

Cape Breton group refusing to comply with provincial group's order

The Nova Scotia SPCA is trying to take over the animal shelter in Sydney, citing substandard care as one of the reasons.

The provincial organization gave the Cape Breton SPCA until noon Monday to hand over control of the shelter. The deadline passed with no change.

"The provincial board of directors will be meeting this evening to discuss next steps," the organization said in a statement.

The provincial SPCA dissolved the local board and fired manager Patsy Rose last week. On Friday, it sent the Cape Breton group a letter explaining its demands.

The Nova Scotia SPCA says it has concerns about substandard care and inadequate cleaning at the shelter, and claims records have been falsified.

Volunteer Teresa McNutt, a member of the group Friends of the SPCA, supports the provincial organization's attempt to wrestle control away from the local group.

McNutt stopped taking photos of the animals up for adoption and posting them on a website.

"The puppies were dying faster than people were seeing them," she told CBC News.

McNutt said many puppies were sick with parvo virus, a highly contagious and often fatal illness. She said the shelter ran out of kits to diagnose the illness and many animals went untreated.

"They were getting sick," she said, "and because there were no test kits or staff refused to test the dogs, they were put down without being tested."

Rose denies those claims. She said some volunteers saw things they didn't fully understand and went over the heads of local management.

"People are saying things that aren't true," Rose said. "People are welcome to come in any time they want to see what the animals are doing and what this shelter looks like."

Rose and the board of the Cape Breton SPCA claim the provincial group has no authority over them.

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