Excerpted from the Vancouver Sun June 22, 2012 written By Tiffany Crawford
Photograph by: Handout, Vancouver Sun
Sandra Simans, 56, is the founder of the not-for-profit organization “1atatime Rescue” and for the last four years has been operating an animal rescue shelter out of a Maitland Street house in Burnaby. Some of her rescues were beaten and tortured, while others are blind, missing limbs or ill. Simans, who rescues special needs animals from around the world, including areas ravaged by disasters like Hurricane Katrina, is devastated after the SPCA seized 47 dogs and 13 cats from her rental property in south Burnaby.A BC SPCA notice of disposition, dated June 14, says 47 dogs and 13 cats were seized from 5005 Maitland Street on June 13. It stated that the animals will be sold or destroyed within four days, as legislated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The notice said Simans had four days to dispute the seizure.
She appealed on Friday for help in finding a place where she can take care of the animals, some of which have highly specialized medical needs. Animals like eight-month-old Sammy Blue Jeans. Sammy is a two-legged dog who had been living on the streets of Taiwan. He was in a car accident when he was three-months-old. He has no hips and no tail and requires a special wheelchair Simans had constructed for him. She said Sammy was taken to the SPCA without his special wheelchair.
She fears the oldest animals, including four blind dogs, will be euthanized at the SPCA. “They can legally do what they are doing but the question is, morally do you really want to do this?” said Simans, her voice cracking with distress. “I’m constantly in tears and just beside myself,” she said on Friday. “We are a good organization. There are just no words for what is happening.” The company, 1atatime Rescue, was incorporated July 25, 2005 and has four directors. It has a registered address at 2919 East Georgia Street, according to the corporate registry.
Simans admits she was operating against a bylaw that prohibits that many animals in a residential home, but says she was doing “everything I can to save these animals.” She said the animals were well cared for by half a dozen volunteers and she faces no charges from the SPCA.
Last week, SPCA officials arrived at her house and told her she would have to move the animals to a new location because she was in contravention of a city bylaw. Simans said she found a gated property on one and a half acres in White Rock where she could take them. However, she said when she returned with the rental truck to transport the animals a city official told her the animals were being seized anyway. The city official told her she could only take two dogs and four cats, the maximum number allowed under the city’s bylaw.
The SPCA officers then seized the animals and took them to shelters in Burnaby and Coquitlam, she said. Simans was told to call back within 72 hours with a place to take them but was told she wouldn’t be allowed to have that many at the White Rock location either. Among the animals seized, said Simans, were nine elderly dogs orphaned when Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Atlantic coast in 2005, causing widespread flooding and destruction in New Orleans.
Visit the website: http://www.1atatimerescue.com/