Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Time running out for JSPCA

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), teetering on the edge of the abyss, is only a short step away from plummeting.

The Supreme Court ordered the JSPCA to leave its current premises in 2013 after the Government listed the property on which it has resided for 20 years for sale, and the deadline for the move is close.

The society has only five months until the official November 1 deadline rolls around, but it has even less time before it comes up against its real deadline: that point after which the actual moving process will be not be feasible to complete before November.

As much as Managing Director Pamela Lawson wishes it were otherwise, moving as large an operation as the JSPCA will take "two to three months, at a minimum".

Said Lawson: "After August, well, the actual chances [of a successful move] are slim to none."

She noted that the reason behind such a lengthy moving process is that "it has to be done in stages".

Keeping sections of the JSPCA active while others shut down to move is necessary in order to ensure a steady stream of income into the scoiety.

"If we don't make money, we don't survive," Lawson stated bluntly.

In the event that the JSPCA is unable to complete a transition to a new location, Lawson worries about the future of the animals living there.

She said she "would certainly hope" that the animals would not face mass euthanising, offering the alternative that the Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary services "come in and take care of the animals".

When asked if the Government could find another shelter for the animals, Lawson laughed.

"Where is this other shelter? I might have to start using it!"

Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips and others have pledged their support to the JSPCA in the past to help it find a new home; however, Lawson was unable to officially say yes or no when asked if the purported supporters had helped the JSPCA, only saying "if they have, I haven't heard of it".

- George Tomblin