Group will help Moncton SPCA volunteers with new fees

The Volunteer Centre of Southeast New Brunswick is working with the Greater Moncton SPCA to make sure new fees don't prevent anyone from helping out.

Earlier this week, the SPCA announced volunteers will soon have to pay a fee to walk the dogs and play with the cats while the animals wait for adoption.

The controversial membership fees are required to bring in a more rigorous training program, shelter officials said.

But some people argued giving their time should be enough.

"I think what our role with the volunteer centre is, is to ensure that anyone who has the interest to help, to build the capacity for them to volunteer," said Annette Vautour-MacKay, the executive director of the volunteer centre.

"So we would certainly want to partner with the SPCA," she said.

"There's a number of different directions that we can take certainly in supporting them in creating a strategy to build that capacity within their organization. I think that that's what we would want to … whether it's sponsorship, or whatever situation — I wouldn't want to predetermine what plan it would be.

"But certainly to look at strategies to ensure that anyone who wanted to volunteer within the organization would have that opportunity."

There are other volunteer groups that charge similar membership fees or dues, Vautour-MacKay added.

The SPCA membership fees come into effect in January.

A full annual membership will cost $20, which includes voting rights at the shelter's annual general meeting. A half membership will be $10 and will only cover volunteering.

The shelter is also asking people to bring in their own leashes to walk the dogs.

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]