Our recent report, A Snapshot of Companion Animal Welfare in BC reported that there are approximately 170 community based rescue organizations operating in BC. When you include the BCSPCA and municipals shelters, the number increases to well over 200. Despite the large number of organizations that are tasked to improve the lives of animals in our province, our system remains broken, often in crisis mode and with little resources and capacity to move toward a more effective and sustainable model. Many involved in animal welfare and rescue work in isolation, and over the past couple of years there has been an acknowledgement among many that it is time to do things differently.
To do so, we partnered with the BC Humane Society and invited organizations to join us for an all day discussion on how we can increase our impact by working together. On May 8, 2016, 27 people from 21 organizations came together to begin the important work of coming together to increase the impact we can have on the lives of animals in BC.
What inspired us to be here
Many different things inspired us to be here. From wanting to create meaningful change, to building and improving relationships, participants all believed that it was time to do things differently and coming together is an important first step.
There was the recognition of the value of working together to improve the lives of animals in a meaningful way. Specifically, by working together we will have a much greater impact in:
- Increasing organizational capacity
- Shifting societal values, and
- Reaching remote and under resourced communities
Outcomes of the day
Meeting participants agreed that there was a need to form a coalition. The coalition could become a single voice for animal welfare in BC.
Participants identified the type of work that could be accomplished together (listed below in now particular order)
1. Helping people keep their pets through legislative changes, supports to low/no income pet guardians, and access to remote and rural communities
2. Access to resources, such as qualified trainers
3. Education and Advocacy
4. Create professional standards for operations and practice.
Many of us left the meeting inspired and with a sense of hope that we really can make a meaningful and sustainable difference in the lives of animals.
It will be important to keep momentum on this very important endeavour, and so we will look to form a small committee to help define membership and create a terms of reference. Our goal is to create a three year plan that will provide us with direction and goals and help to secure the much needed resources to ensure we are creating a coalition that has the capacity to accomplish what we set out to.
Together we can make a difference!
Victoria Humane Society
West Coast Rottweiler Rescue
A Voice 4 Paws
Surrey Animal Resource Centre
Small Animal Rescue Society of BC
In Memory of Maggie May
Pets Matter Foster Care Society
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society
New Westminster Animal Services
Grey Haven Exotic Bird Society
Crocked Leg Ranch Rescue Society
Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association
The Journey Home Dog Rescue
Dhanna Metta Rescue Society
BC Humane Society
Okanagan Small Dog Rescue
Lakes Animals Friendship Society
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation is a BC animal welfare charity dedicated to creating sustainable animal welfare and purposeful animal protection in British Columbia.
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