Nova Scotia

Sydney animal shelter loses free food

The animal shelter in Sydney is no longer getting thousands of dollars worth of free food because of an ongoing dispute with the provincial SPCA.

The animal shelter in Sydney is no longer getting thousands of dollars worth of free food because of an ongoing dispute with the provincial SPCA.

A new group is running the shelter, so it's not part of the SPCA's contract with IAMS, a major pet food supplier.

Mike Mombourquette, chairman of the Cape Breton Humane Society, calls it a big financial blow.

"We can certainly reapply as the Cape Breton Humane Society in May, but that's going to cost us anywhere from $800 to $900 per month for food now, whereas before it was free," he said.

Each year, IAMS supplies SPCA branches across the province with about 80,000 pounds of free cat and dog food.

The local group found out its supply would be cut off two days after the provincial SPCA moved in to take control of the shelter.

CBC News obtained a series of emails from Proctor and Gamble, IAMS' parent company, to the Sydney shelter.

The first one said the SPCA requested that Sydney be suspended from the food program. In a later email, the company said the local shelter could apply in May to be considered separately for a spot.

Food on hand

Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said the shelter has a couple of months' worth of free food on hand.

She said IAMS decided to cut off the shelter, not the SPCA. She said the matter could have been avoided if the local group surrendered the facility as the SPCA requested.

The Nova Scotia SPCA is preparing to go to court over the shelter. It claims the facility wasn't adequately cleaned and animals weren't receiving proper care.

The local group denies those claims.

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