In 2012, the SPCA St. John’s rescued 1,531 injured, homeless, neglected and abused animals. We found loving families for 953 homeless animals (293 dogs and 660 cats), transferred ninety-one animals to coalition animal rescue organizations and reunited 117 lost animals with their families.
In addition to housing and caring for the animals that come through the shelter doors, the SPCA promotes responsible pet ownership and provides financial assistance for spay and neuter procedures. We are proud to have provided $30,000 in spay and neuter assistance programming in 2012 alone. Additionally, with the support of PetSmart Charities Canada, we began a spay and neuter program to help residents of Bell Island.
With an annual operating budget of over $500,000, SPCA St. John’s relies primarily on the kind support of donors. Only ten percent of our annual funding comes from government institutions; the rest is obtained through generous donations and various fundraising events such as our Walk for Animals, Howliday Fair, raffle ticket and calendar sales. In 2012, the SPCA opened a completely volunteer-run thrift store which has proved to be a huge success! In its first operating year, the SPCA Thrift Store generated $52,000 in profit to help animals in need.
The staff members of SPCA St. John’s include a Shelter Manager, Fundraising Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and five full-time Animal and Customer Care Attendants. As our organization is continually growing, we rely heavily on volunteers to meet the needs of the animals. Close to one hundred volunteers help at our shelter, the PetSmart Adoption Center, SPCA Thrift Store and other programs such as a team of volunteers who work with law enforcement to respond to complaints of neglect and abuse. The SPCA St. John’s couldn’t achieve such great success without their hard work and dedication of our volunteers.
The vision of the SPCA is to prevent animal cruelty; educate about humane treatment of animals; provide shelter and love to abandoned and abused animals; and encourage adoption to suitable homes. Through education and programming, we promote responsible pet ownership and encourage spaying and neutering, so animals receive the love and respect they deserve.
The roots of the SPCA in Newfoundland date back to November 9, 1888, when the society focused mainly on the welfare of horses who were used to pull heavy loads up steep hills from the St. John’s harbour.
Since then, the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals Newfoundland and Labrador expanded its mandate to help cats and dogs and operated for many years without use of an animal shelter. A compassionate university professor named Mrs. Hilda Smith oversaw the care of several unloved, abandoned and abused animals for many years.
In 1972, the SPCA acquired an old converted dentists’ office on RCAF Road, a building that initially lacked running water and electricity, to accommodate the animals in its care. For over twenty years, dedicated volunteers did their very best to help animals in need.
In 1993, our current shelter, The Lady Dunfield Memorial Animal Shelter on RCAF Road, was built thanks to the efforts of the Late Lady Sybil Dunfield, the wife of a former Justice of the Newfoundland Supreme Court. She created a fundraising group called the Animal Shelter League who held fundraising teas, card parties and other events to fund the building of the shelter. Twenty years later, we believe Lady Sybil Dunfield would be proud of the work done by the SPCA.