By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - It was a council vote that had the city’s former feline mayoral candidate purring – at least, according to his spokesman.
© Metro Halifax file photo
A vet technician takes care of a cat following surgery.
Regional council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve funding for the SPCA’s spay-neuter clinic, fulfilling a pledge most made to Tuxedo Stan during the last campaign.
“I think a giant purr,” said Dr. Hugh Chisholm, Tuxedo Stan’s representative at the council meeting, after being asked for the famous feline’s response.
The $40,000 will be used to cover capital costs associated with the new surgical clinic, already built at the SPCA’s shelter in Burnside.
“It’s a great day for cats,” said executive director Kristin Williams. “HRM has really demonstrated their support for animal welfare with a progressive strategy that’s really been developed by the community.”
Williams said the shelter will carry out an estimated 3000 surgeries annually, 1000 of which will be for low-income families and rescue groups.
She said the program and fees will be application-based, and is ready to start performing surgeries immediately.
“We’re at the onset of breeding season, so if we’re not ready now, we’re going to miss getting ahead of the curve this summer,” said Williams.
Several councillors said during the debate that one-time support wasn’t enough to fulfil the municipality’s obligation to contain a burgeoning feral and stray cat population.
“This is far overdue…I do not believe this goes far enough,” said Coun. Bill Karsten. “When I first read this, I wondered, are we passing the buck to the SPCA, are we skirting our responsibilities?”