I woke up at 7am on September 2, 2015 from a nighmare. I was locked in a cage with a cold concrete floor and I couldn’t escape. There was sobbing and terror all around me.
This was not one of my better dreams and the acid in my stomach caught fire as I remembered today was the day. The glimmer of hope to find a place to keep my dream of BCFS alive. Today was the day of the big meeting.
Time to put on my game face
The meeting to determine the fate of Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary was set and we were notified that the Welland SPCA had been invited. My past experiences with the SPCA could be construed as somewhat less than favourable, so you can understand my trepidation and downright panic.
Power in Numbers
On September 2nd, 2015 the President of BCFS went to the meeting armed with the Operation and Adoption Coordinators. We walked into the board room at the Wainfleet Township Hall to five new faces.
The representative from the OSPCA sat in her uniform and offered a cautious smile and her hand to shake. Was she being friendly?
Forgive our hesitation, we aren’t used to this kind of welcome. Sitting to her right was the head of the Welland Humane Society and SPCA who smiled warmly as he shook our hands.
We were paranoid – was this a tactic to lull us into a false sense of hope?
We were also introduced to the Town Planner, Chief Building Inspector and the By-Law Enforcement Officer.
Then the Mayor walked in with her shampoo commercial hair and wowed us with a bright smile. She lit up the room with a comment about loving the country lifestyle of Wainfleet.
It felt like we were on a reality TV show. It was very surreal.
The first question: What does BCFS do?
We pulled out calendars, magazines, pamphlets, business cards, media information and pie charts. We talked about helping animals. About doing a small, but very quality job of improving lives.
Saving the world one animal at a time…
We handed over letters from our large and small animal vet and the SPCA duo smiled and said we see no problem with BCFS.
What? Say that again?
“We would classify you as a kennel and do an annual inspection. Is that okay?” said John, the head of the SPCA in Welland and District.
The BCFS team had a moment of hysterical deafness.
They laughed. We laughed. We were laughing. What?
Zoning – The Catch
So, what’s the catch? Zoning and Building Permits are the catch, but they were willing to work with us.
We are not zoned correctly to be a kennel, but if we go through the process and pay the $2000 we can change our zoning to include kennels. It takes a couple of months, a great deal of time and several meetings, but they are willing to work with us.
We may have to alter our building permits, which is more money, but a small investment to continue our good works.
Welland Humane Society and SPCA.
They’ve offered BCFS the use of their training facility and would like to share resources. They’d like to give us some information regarding international rescue.
They are going to give us a kennel license – which means no more dog bylaw limit issues.
If you’d like to send a big shout out to thank the Welland Humane society or are looking for a friend to adopt check out their website: Welland Humane Society
They want to work with BCFS.
I am at a lovely, wonderful and peaceful loss of words….