Nova Scotia

Sydney animal shelter settlement coming

There may soon be a negotiated settlement in the dispute over control of the Sydney animal shelter.

There may soon be a negotiated settlement in the dispute over control of the Sydney animal shelter.

Kristin Williams, the executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said the two sides in the conflict are expecting to reach a settlement soon.

"It is good news, at least at this time, because we're very close to being able to say that this matter is closed," she told CBC News on Thursday.

"We can't say that for certain yet. There's nothing in writing but we are very close."

The Nova Scotia SPCA dismissed the board of directors at the former Cape Breton branch in the fall, citing substandard care of the animals as one of the reasons.

The local group refused to hand over control of the building and renamed itself the Cape Breton Humane Society.

In January, the Nova Scotia SPCA won the right to take temporary control of the Sydney animal shelter in advance of a larger hearing on who should permanently run the facility.

That hearing had been scheduled in Supreme Court for next week.

"The parties have been working hard over the past several weeks to try to bring about a settlement, which would be in the interest of all of the parties involved," said Robert Sampson, the lawyer for the local humane society.

Sampson said a settlement would render next week's scheduled Supreme Court hearing unnecessary.

The lawyer representing the provincial SPCA said the court has been notified of the negotiations.

"It's been a very slow process and we've all had to be extremely patient, so I really don't want to speculate in terms of the timeline," said Williams.

"I do have a very positive disposition towards the ability to settle this. I think that's where we are. We've very, very close."

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