BC SPCA creates new position in Vernon to fill gap from shelter closure | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BC SPCA creates new position in Vernon to fill gap from shelter closure

FILE PHOTO - A BC SPCA animal cruelty investigator is pictured in this undated file photo.

BC SPCA has created a new position in Vernon in an effort to fill the gap left behind when the animal welfare group permanently closed its shelter in the city.

Nicholas Weeda now serves as the SPCA's community services coordinator in Vernon and he says he's there to ensure that services aren't diminished as a consequence of the closure of the animal shelter.

On Nov. 17, 2023, the Vernon animal shelter was shut down due to concerns relating to the building's structural integrity. The closure of the centre has worried many community members concerned with animal welfare.

"My role is basically to maintain and ensure that the programs that the BC SPCA offers in Vernon continue to be successfully delivered," Weeda says.

READ MORE: Volunteers picking up pieces after Vernon SPCA's withdrawal

"Other aspects of my role include things like volunteer and foster coordination, community engagement, hosting events, public relations and relationship building with community members as well as local organizations and local businesses."

Weeda concedes there was an outcry from the community when the Vernon shelter closed but he says a community focused approach to animal welfare is a viable solution.

"This community-based approach, while there could be some resistance to it because it's different, I believe will be successful," he says.

"We definitely live in an ever-changing reality since COVID-19, and how we provide our services doesn't necessitate a brick-and-mortar format. As things continue to go in that way, a community-centric approach to animal welfare will be a very viable solution."

He says there are SPCA shelters "nearby" in Kelowna and Salmon Arm.

READ MORE: BC SPCA shelter in Vernon closing its doors for good

Weeda reminds Vernon residents any concerns relating to animal welfare should be reported to the organization's animal helpline.

"What happens when a caller calls in, the staff there is really well trained and they take down all of the information into the system and certain people will be contacted and from there, those who are in positions to assist will take action from there."

Go hear for more on the services the SPCA offers in Vernon

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