THEFT

January 13th, 2022

In November of 2020, the world was 9 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Miramichi SPCA barely had enough money to keep our doors open from month to month. We couldn’t hold our normal in-person fundraisers, we couldn’t sell tickets for cash prizes in local businesses; we felt terrible asking for money from our community, where everyone was already dealing with so much financial hardship from the pandemic. Our shelter is a non-profit organization and does not receive government funding; we rely solely on the fundraising efforts from our board and staff members, and donations from the public. Stress and anxiety were at an all-time high for everyone, and then the unthinkable happened – theft from our shelter operating bank account, by a trusted employee, of over $20,000.

Our world came crashing down as our senior staff and board had to scramble to figure out what to do to keep operations running. The animals in our care needed us to take care of them – food, water, medicine, heat, lights; they rely on us for everything. Our dedicated staff had their own bills to pay, and we had almost nothing to cover these costs. Staff were willing to take pay cuts, and work extra hours, our volunteer board (all of whom have full-time jobs) put in so much extra time and effort to find ways to reduce costs and help the shelter stay afloat. We had plans for that money to go towards new mini-splits, or new kennels for our cats, and instead it was gone in an instant, crippling our operations with it. We thought 2020 was a rough year, but 2021 was the year the Miramichi SPCA almost closed its doors, and we weren’t allowed to share it with the community because of the on-going police investigation.

Senior staff and our Treasurer were locked out of our bank accounts for months after the theft was reported. We didn’t know if there was enough money to pay bills from week to week. We couldn’t even accept e-transfer donations – something that would have helped us immensely. Staff were also forced to continue working with this employee for months after the theft, knowing what she had done, as the investigation continued. The other loyal employees of the shelter showed their true resilience, love, and dedication to the Miramichi SPCA, for managing to continue with their duties in the face of such selfish actions.

We believe the empathy, patience, and determination that resides in our staff and board members is what carried us through this trying year. We forged ahead with online fundraisers, trying to promote our weekly Kitty Kash 50/50 draw, donation events at local businesses, and tickets sales in these businesses as regulations allowed. We saw numerous Facebook fundraisers held in our name throughout the year, and we want everyone who supported us to know that the only reason the shelter is still open is because of YOU. The Miramichi SPCA cannot operate without the support of the public and we saw our community rise to that occasion.

Now that we can discuss the events that happened within our walls over one year ago, we are pleading to our wonderful Miramichi community once more for their support as we still have not recovered from this theft and need your support more than ever. We will not receive restitution for the theft and have been struggling to keep ahead of the bills. Donations can be made via e-transfer to or in a variety of other ways that are available on our website, https://www.spcamiramichi.com/donate/. You can also donate items directly at the shelter and leave them on the step or in the bin outside. Our animals thank you for your love, understanding, kindness, and support.

Stay safe everyone and thank you again, on behalf of the board and staff of the Miramichi SPCA.

January 19th, 2022

A Message from our Executive Director:

As I sit here at home on mat leave, I have time to reflect on the 14 years I've been involved with the Miramichi SPCA. I have seen so many horrible things. Things that make you question humanity. Things that make you question why you continue to do this job when it can cause so much heartache. But then I remember all the good. All the wonderful volunteers, board members, staff members, animals, and donors. Everything that restores your faith in the world. And I choose to continue to fight with these Fantastic People and these amazing unbroken animals. WE chose every day to continue to fight for those with no voice.

2020 started a horrible 2 years not only for our shelter but most likely for most of the world. Covid has tried time and time again to shut our doors. Fundraisers almost came to a screeching halt. The way we operated changed. We worked hard. We worked overtime. We moved as many cats as we possibly could to make room for more. We were just staying afloat. Then the unthinkable happened. Someone we trusted almost took it all away. For what reason? We'll never know. We have now changed everything about the way we do business yet again. Our already careful operations got tighter. We handed out large sums of money for even more protection. More security cameras, more enhanced computer systems, enhanced banking. Due to the bad judgment and uncaring attitude of one individual we had to take generously donated money away from the animals to make sure it won't happen again.

But you know what. We won't let this break us. We will continue to do everything we possibly can to thrive. In all these years there is nowhere else I'd rather be. No other career I can think of that would fill my heart anymore. No other career that can put the following on their accomplishments:

-over 4000 animals have come through our doors.

-We have nursed hundreds back to health after surgeries, illnesses, and injuries.

-we have trapped, neutered, and released hundreds of feral cats.

-We have seen hundreds of shy, scared animals Trust again.

-We have worked with some of the finest people for fundraisers.

-We have made lifelong friends with volunteers and other associates.

-We have met the most generous, caring people who donated time, money, and supplies.

-We have laughed together and cried together.

Thank you to each of you who are there for us. Whether you donate money or supplies, volunteer for fundraisers, play our Kitty Kash draw, adopt, foster, or offer advice. We appreciate you. You are the good in the world. You are the reason these animals get a second chance. You are what keeps them alive. For that, we can never repay you.

On behalf of the Animals, Board of Directors, and Staff, Thank you.

Jennifer Arseneault
Executive Director