The Greater Moncton SPCA has rebranded as PAW, which stands for People for Animal Wellbeing, in a move made to differentiate it from other unrelated SPCA organizations in the province and reflect the new services they will be offering.
“Over the years we have evolved to be more than just a shelter. With some of our new community programs, we felt that a new brand was really going to allow us to sort of have that broader net of services that we can offer the community,” PAW President Christian Moger said in an interview on Thursday.
He said temporary programs like the community pet food bank, as well as a pet safekeeping program for people staying in domestic violence shelters, would become permanent as part of the organization’s new direction.
Jaime Olsen, a crisis intake worker for Crossroads for Women, says the new program could offer greater peace of mind for the women who stay at the shelter, as there is often a link between domestic violence and animal abuse.
“I would say half the people that come in sit there and go ‘if you don’t have somewhere safe for my pet, I’m going back because I’m not leaving them there,” she said.
The program was initially envisioned as a bridge for those waiting to access Safe for Pets Too, a volunteer-led program run in partnership with the New Brunswick SPCA, the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association and other stakeholders.
Olsen says the multi-day wait to place pets in the program, as well as it’s 30 day time limit, created challenges.
Safe for Pets Too coordinator Dr. Krista Foreman said in an e-mailed statement that there is a one or two business day delay before pets are taken in, and an extension for an additional 30 days after the initial 30 days is often granted.
“Especially with the housing crisis and what it is now, we don’t always have a place for them to go after 30 days. So having that more open-ended time frame has been really helpful,” Olsen said.
She said funding for the PAW program going forward is still being sorted out.
PAW is funded entirely by donations.
Moger said a fundraiser is in the works for September, after previous fundraisers were put on hold due to the pandemic.