As many of you may remember, in mid-January the Sask SPCA illegally raided the no-kill shelter of Sask Alley Cats and removed many cats, turtles, a dog and an iguana. When they knew the shelter operator was set up at the Center Mall hosting one of many adoption weeks the shelter is known for, the SPCA smashed the basement door in and over an approximate 8 hour period shoved many cats in pairs into carriers and then returned them to the SPCA after 10 pm. (10 hours with no food or water)
In April, the higher Court of Appeal determined the entry and seizure of the animals were in fact not legal and the dog and iguana were ordered returned. Unfortunately, many of the cats in their care were put down or supposedly adopted out, although no proof of that has been provided. No charges have been laid.
The SPCA did leave 23 cats at the Elrose shelter and since then more cats have returned to the shelter. It is business as usual, but this ugly affair has made the fundraising fall extremely behind budget. With over 40 cats in foster care, we are asking for your help.
Since the SPCA illegally raided the shelter, they have been asking for donations to “help the Elrose cats” but what they aren’t telling you is the money is not for the cats but for the thousands of dollars already spent on legal costs, and many more thousands that will be awarded by the courts for punitive damages. Sask Alley Cats has no legal costs. The Merchant Law Firm has been handling this case pro bono. They even recognized from the beginning that what the SPCA did was both wrong and against the Charter of Rights. While we wait for this to be settled in court, the animals need your help now.
How can you help:
- Adopt a cat who desperately needs you in their life. All cats are already spayed/ neutered, vaccinated and come with a 3-month health warranty.
- Donate supplies such as cat food (we predominately use Acana Wild Prairie) or clumping cat litter (we normally go through 4- (8kg) boxes from Wal-Mart every week)
- Donations of cash can be dropped off at an approved volunteer in Saskatoon, Martensville, or Osler. Call the office at 306-831-CATS (2287) for the number of the volunteer closest to you.
- Cheques made out to Sask Alley Cats can be mailed to the Elrose shelter at Box 621 Elrose, SK S0L 0Z0
- Credit card donations can be called into Marquis Road Veterinary Clinic at 306-764-3461 (let them know you are making a donation towards the Sask Alley Cats account).
Important facts you may not know:
- The Animal Protection Act clearly states that the owner must first be contacted when an animal is thought to be in distress, and only when the owner cannot be found, must the SPCA step in to relieve the animal in distress. The courts clearly stated they did not believe the SPCA when they said all the animals were in distress and were appalled that the SPCA clearly made no effort to contact the owner although the SPCA said they knew the owner of the home was at the mall function.
- The SPCA often uses large seizures as a fundraising measure as people often respond during “sudden disasters” and most money raised is used for wages or legal costs… not the animals.
- The SPCA often uses legal blackmail and extortion to intimidate pet owners… “pay the seizure costs and you can have you pet back” (can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. The seizure costs the SPCA asked Alley Cats for was over $10,000 in the first 3 days, and went up by almost $700.00 every day). “Or sign this waiver giving up your pet and we won’t charge you”. Most people can’t afford the lengthy legal costs and the animals are normally put down after 3 days unless a court orders otherwise.
The dog seized in January from the Elrose shelter was a Shepherd/ Malamute mixed breed named Jasper, weighing 103 lbs. The SPCA recorded that he lost over 32 lbs in the first 3 weeks while in their care, but no medical care was provided. Upon his return in April, as the courts ordered, Jasper had lost over 40 lbs at the SPCA (almost half his weight). Immediate medical care was given and x-rays showed he was so impacted with stool, that it would appear it had been days or weeks since a bowel movement. Urine tests showed a severe bladder infection, and blood work showed an immune problem brought on by parasites or food fed to him by the SPCA. Examination also showed that he had a bleeding ulcer also caused by the SPCA.
- Unlike other agencies there is no outside panel that watches the SPCA or investigates claims of cruelty from within. They are a power unto themselves and even the Saskatoon police are hesitant to investigate them for animal cruelty.
- Saskatchewan Alley Cats is a registered charity that has been saving cats across the province for almost 15 years. They often handle cases the SPCA would ignore including hoarding situations in Kindersley (116 cats), Whitebear (25 cats), Shellbrook (23 cats), Wakaw (15 cats), and Domremy (25 cats) to name a few.
- Saskatchewan Alley Cats has two vets on payroll at any given time and has a death rate of less than 5% compared to the SPCA’s which reports close to 75% death rate each year.
- Saskatchewan Alley Cats has no paid staff and all money raised is for the welfare of the animals.
For more information, contact Saskatchewan Alley Cats at 306-831-CATS (2287) or use our Contact Page.