SPCA International founder Pierre Barnoti out as head of Canadian SPCA in Montreal
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2008:
MONTREAL–Canadian SPCA president Pierre Barnoti has
reportedly taken an indefinite sick leave, pending replacement, and
board president Michel Poulos and treasurer Howard Scholzberg have
resigned, CTV-Montreal reported on April 2, 2008.
Acting president Nancy Breitman disclosed to CTV that the
Canadian SPCA is $4 million in debt, and is in danger of bankruptcy.
Founded in 1869, the Canadian SPCA is the oldest in Canada,
but has historically served only Montreal and nearby suburbs. It
operates shelters on the island of Montreal and in Laval, just north
Early in his tenure Barnoti tried to establish control of
humane investigations throughout Quebec. Province-wide authority
over humane investigations was eventually given to a new
government-created nonprofit corporation called Anima Quebec, under
auspices of the provincial department of agriculture.
Barnoti, Poulos, and Scholzberg departed after recent
former board member Neil Halsey and three other Canadian SPCA members
on March 19, 2008 called a special board meeting to address issues
including Barnoti’s failure to produce an annual report for the
2006-2007 fiscal year in a timely manner.
They had requested access to the Canadian SPCA membership
mailing list, which they were entitled to see under the Canadian
Corporations Act, and were finally allowed to see it, but only to
take notes, they said in a joint media release. They were not
allowed to copy the list.
A meeting to select Barnoti’s successor was scheduled for April 9.
Barnoti had headed the Canadian SPCA, also known as the
Montreal SPCA, since 1995. He claimed to have increased the donor
base from just 700 to 127,000, but his aggressive mailings were in
2006 denounced by other Canadian humane societies from Nova Scotia to
Edmonton. Using the Canadian SPCA name and soliciting donations to
be sent to local post office boxes, the mailings were said to give
donors an erroneous impression that the organization is active
While that controversy simmered, Barnoti formed a nonprofit
organization calling itself SPCA International in the U.S., with a
New Hampshire post office address. SPCA International rapidly
negotiated mergers with several small U.S. animal charities, as
ANIMAL PEOPLE reported in November 2007, acquiring their history and
record of achievement while SPCA International itself was still less
than one year old.
In one instance, SPCA International created a program called
Baghdad Buddies which closely resembled the Military Mascots project
founded by Bonnie Buckley of Merrimac, Massachusetts, but which
Buckley believed might jeopardize the connections through whom she
helps U.S. soldiers to bring pets home from Iraq.
Barnoti is now expected to make developing SPCA International
his fulltime occupation.