Shelter encouraged by potential legislation protecting animals
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
Staff member Amanda Cormier having a little fun with Kat and Fred. The Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter helps over 100 dogs and 125 cats find new homes each year.
AMHERST - Nova Scotians have had enough with the lack of punishment handed down to the people committing animal cruelty and the government is stepping in, promising new laws and tougher penalties.
“I am all for anything that can benefit the animals,” Marilyn Williams, president of The Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter, said.
But the time has to be now to do something, there needs to be more legislation, more enforcement, Williams said.
“Right now, not enough is being done. They’re tying the hands of the canine control officers. They’re not allowed to go in and do anything about these things, they have to be able go in and remove the animals.”
Williams remembers hearing several reports over the winter season about dogs being neglected and being left outside in the cold.
“To me that just doesn’t cut it. No dog should be outside 24-7 in my eyes.”
Williams said it’s a not easy to implement change but it has to begin somewhere.
“For one thing animals can’t talk. They can’t speak up for themselves. It’s not until people like us start saying enough is enough and we have to do something about people who aren’t looking after their animals.”
The L.A. Animal Shelter is a locally funded organization run mainly by volunteers working hard to bring better lives to these animals.
“We operate on a very, very tight budget because of very high veterinary costs - consisting of surgeries, medication, etc.,” she said.
Robynn Hatton, staff employee at the animal shelter, has fostered and adopted animals her whole life. She said she doesn’t understand why people choose to do this to animals.
“Obviously it’s not good, it makes me very angry. It’s frustrating, it just boggles my mind.”
Hatton said she’s very encouraged to see the government take a stand for animal wellbeing.
“Right now there are not a lot of animal laws. It would be really good if there were more in place.”
Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said they are excited by the government’s announcement regarding the legislative reform and look forward to working with them.
“The Nova Scotia SPCA shares the government’s goal of not only enhancing the effectiveness of our legislation but its enforceability as well.”
As for the animals at the shelter, Hatton said they can make great pets.
“They’re very loyal, you just have to be willing to work with them.”