Township taking pound services to OSPCA branch
LAKE OF BAYS - The Township of Lake of Bays is working on an agreement with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Muskoka branch for pound services, as its current provider will be shutting down.
The Animal Shelter for Huntsville is set to close on Sept. 30 due to lack of financial stability.
The services provided by the local OSPCA will be for dogs picked up in the Lake of Bays area.
The three-year contract will cost the township $2,400 for the first year, with an annual increase equal to the cost of living. If the dogs brought in require vet fees, the township will be responsible for the cost. The OSPCA will retain impound and boarding fees.
Lake of Bays staff will be responsible for transporting the collected dogs to the OSPCA’s location in Bracebridge.
“We’re kind of running out of options in this area,” said Mayor Bob Young at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The Huntsville shelter relied strictly on donations to stay operational, receiving no government funding.
Realizing the situation was becoming dire, staff and volunteers made a plea for residents to commit to donating $10 a month to help pay for food, medication, vet bills, supplies, staffing and administration, utilities and maintenance.
When the donations weren’t coming in they turned to the Town of Huntsville for increased financial support for pound services, which was denied for lack of a business plan that showed long-term sustainability. With an absence of funds the shelter had no choice but to cease operations. Since the summer, staff and volunteers have been working hard to find homes for the remaining animals.
The Animal Shelter for Huntsville will hold its final open house this Saturday, Sept. 15 from noon to 2 p.m. at 19 Bickley Country Dr.
There are still a number of cats up for adoption. For more information phone the shelter at 705-789-9709.