Canadian SPCA retiring deficit, but not critics

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada– Parti
sans disagree vehemently over how far the Canadian
SPCA (a..k.a. the Montreal SPCA) has gotten in
resolving the economic and administrative problems
reported here last March––no surprise, given the
decade of turmoil surrounding Canada’s oldest humane
society. Founded in 1869, the CSPCA handles animal
control for most of the greater Montreal area.
According to public relations officer Johanna
Dupras, “a new management and accounting team has
restructured accounting procedures and reorganized
shelter operations, with the result that the deficit has
been halved over the past year. The objective is to
break even by December 1994.”

In June the CSPCA elected an almost entire-
ly new board, following the resignation of longtime
board president Joan Clark, and confirmed the January
1993 appointment of Claude Dion as executive director
Hired at $60,000 (Canadian) a year, Dion reportedly
demanded a retroactive raise to $90,000 after his con-
firmation, and is believed to have settled for $72,000.
A hunter, he takes a conservative line on animal
issues: Dupras’ duties, say former board members,
were recently redefined after she criticized rodeo.
The Animal Defense League of Canada
meanwhile amplified charges by former CSPCA board
member Alexander Wolf that the CSPCA uses a faulty
gas chamber at its Laval shelter. Wolf, who heads the
Coalition for Reform of the Montreal SPCA and peren-
nially pickets the CSPCA main shelter, said he and
three witnesses observed the defective chamber on
August 28, 1993.
“While a member of the Board of Directors
in 1988-89,” the CSPCA board replied on September
16, “Mr. Wolf’s tenure was marred by infighting,
intrigue and internal dissent. His major contribution
seems to have been to create controversy and confu-
sion which sapped creative energy and left a demoral-
ized staff and a legacy of turmoil. It was during this
same period that the seeds were sown which led to the
serious problems facing the Society today.”
Two months later, nearly 14 months after
retiring the use of gas for euthanasia in Montreal, the
CSPCA retired the Laval gas chamber. Euthanasia at
both facilities is now done using sodium pentopheno-
barbitol when veterinarian Michel Pepin is present, or
the paralytic drug T-61 when he is not. Touted as a
humane alternative to gas and decompression circa
1980, T-61 kills by inducing effects similar to those of
decompression, and is no longer considered acceptable
by most humane organizations.
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