Kamloops stray cat kennelling contract with SPCA delayed for months | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops stray cat kennelling contract with SPCA delayed for months

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A new contract between the BC SPCA and the City of Kamloops for kennelling stray cats has been expired for over four months while renegotiations are on the table.

The society has had a contract with the City to provide kennelling services for stray cats for the past decade, as there is a historical and ongoing problem with feral cat colonies in the area.

The last contract agreement between the partners expired on Dec. 31, 2023. The society has been trying to renegotiate a grant increase for the new contract term for over a year in order to cover growing costs of animal care.

“It is important to understand that the community grant department funded the BC SPCA’s original agreement with the City of Kamloops and we have not increased our costs to the City since 2016,” manager of municipal animal contracts for the BC SPCA Corrie Bownick in a media release issued by the society on April 16.

“Animal care costs, however, have continued to go up year every year and we’re now asking the City to recognize and compensate us as a proper kennel contractor for these important services.”

The society made a presentation to a City council committee on April 16 with the goal of reaching a mutual agreement on kennelling services for stray cats. A report by the City was issued the same day outlining the services the society provided in the previous funding term that ran from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2023.

“Issues arising from colonies of stray cats along the river banks and throughout the community combined with the lack of knowledge, skill, or ability from a staff and facility perspective to adequately respond to and care for felines has highlighted a huge gap in service,” the report read. “The stories of people finding companionship in adopting many of these felines are endless, and the service delivered over the term of the funding agreement have well exceeded the amount funded.”

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The BC SPCA took in 194 felines in 2023 and 140 felines in 2022.

While the society was continuing to provide kennelling services past the expiration date of the contract, they stated in the April 16 release they would not continue to provide kennelling if a new contract wasn’t signed by end of April.

On May 1, the society made an addition to the release, stating there would be no disruption to the service, adding "details of the tentative agreement between the BC SPCA and the City of Kamloops will be released by the City at a later time." 

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A spokesperson with the BC SPCA told iNFOnews.ca, May 14, they would not be releasing further information until the society was “ready to issue a statement.”

Community services manager with the City, Will Beatty, said he could not provide information yet on the pending contract or when new information will be provided.

“We’re optimistic about discussions and I think the SPCA will provide rational with continuing services, that is all I can say for now,” he said. “They have continued their services and we’re optimistic we’ll come to a favourable agreement.”

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