Open letter to South Peace SPCA and residents of Dawson Creek

 I am responding to your urgent notice on Facebook directed to Dawson Creek residents.

Like many seniors, I do not access Facebook, so my letter to the editor seems the best forum to challenge your position.

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I have already expressed my concerns through what I feel are more appropriate avenues, in that I have spoken to Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer regarding SPCA staff actions and have made a written submission to city council. 

I await further discussions on conclusions of the review of Bylaw 4122. Nonetheless, your very biased notice is out to the public, stating “it’s time to speak up about your challenges and concerns in regard to roaming cats!”

Bylaw 4122 Animal Responsibility is under review. It was amended in 2015, among other issues, to insert the wording “and cats” throughout. Perhaps you are involved and I believe your input would be appropriate, but I do not feel it is within your purview to endeavor to influence city bylaws in this manner.  It should be done in an unbiased manner -  not offering ideas for things to complain about. 

I for one strongly disagree with your position that cats are a nuisance causing all kinds of damage and must be kept indoors or cooped up and caged, tied or leashed when not indoors. Your solution is to totally contain our cats to prevent them from doing so. 

My objections include:

1. my cat on my property is causing no damage and bothering no one - yet you want to seize him and fine me because my property is unfenced because he may want to leave the property

2. you believe the cost of a structure to contain him is very inexpensive - I suggest you not make assumption about what people can and cannot afford.

3. you suggest that a cat is only safe at home indoors or in a securely fenced area - that may warrant consideration in a large urban centre - - Dawson Creek has the appeal of a small town-like city We have wildlife wondering frequently through down - I consider that a bonus ofliving here. 

4. you stated to council that the SPCAs actions are complaint driven, you did not state you were actively soliciting public complaints. Bylaws are the purview of City Council, not the SPCA, please go back to being an organization I supported and respected, one that serves the sick, neglected, abused, and homeless animals.” 

To city council - I sincerely hope you will put aside the dislike many of you have stated for cats, and continue to honestly and fairly represent all residents of Dawson Creek, including us cat lovers and not simply endorse recommendations of the local SPCA. I would suggest bylaw 4122 needs to have the 2015 amendment rescinded, not further enhanced. Cats are not dogs, and do no deserve to be treated as though they were.

To residents - the SPCA says its time to speak up - I agree - speak up not only with complaints but in support of reasonable action - heavy on the reasonable. Speak up not only to the SPCA, but also city administration - perhaps council. They after all - were elected by us to represent us.

S.L. Siemens

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