Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty

PO Box 38073 Stn Burnside
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1X2
CEO: Elizabeth Murphy
Board Chair: Jim Kochanoff

Charitable Reg. #: 13470 4741 RR0001
Sector: Animal Welfare
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: A

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements available only upon request [ Audited financial statement for most recent year ]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to The Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #16

Avg. Compensation $59,940

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 1
$40k - $80k 5
< $40k 4
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2015

About Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty:

Founded in 1877, the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Nova Scotia SPCA) runs animal shelters, offers medical care and conducts cruelty investigations to fight for animal welfare across the province. The charity has 11 branches, located in Dartmouth (provincial headquarters), Cape Breton, Antigonish, Pictou, Colchester, Hants, Kinds, La Baie, Lunenburg, Yarmouth and Queens. In May 2016, all branches were merged with Nova Scotia SPCA.

Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ major program is its shelter services, which accounted for 53% of program costs in F2017. The charity distributed 76,900lbs of pet food across its provincial shelters with focus on low-income communities, first nations communities, and rescue groups. In March 2017, Nova Scotia SPCA launched its Open Admission Program trial, whereby it accepts animals regardless of their health, breed, behavior, or available space. The charity took in 83 animals through the program and plans to extend the program across the province in 2018.

Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals runs an animal hospital in Cape Breton, clinic in Dartmouth, and a mobile clinic that offer spay and neuter services for low income families. Veterinary services and medications made up 26% of program costs in F2017. The charity performed 6,555 surgeries in F2017 for animals in need. In F2017, the mobile clinic travelled over 12,000km and served 1,007 cats. The charity had 464 puppies and kittens enter its Prevent Unwanted Pets program, which provides unwanted litters with vaccinations, vet checks, spray/neuters, and ultimately a home.

Through its Cruelty Investigations team, Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has the mandate to enforce animal protection laws and conduct animal investigations in the province. The officers are on call 24/7. Cruelty Investigations made up 20% of program costs in F2017. Nova Scotia SPCA reports that its 18-officer team responded to 1,615 calls of suspected mistreatment in F2017, down 2% from the year before. In F2017, the team acted on behalf of 4,652 animals of which 533 lived in extremely neglected conditions.

Impact and Results: In 2016 across all branches, 4155 cats, 737 dogs, and 42 other species were adopted for a total of 4,934 adoptions, up 3% from 2015. The charity's trap-neuter-return program in the HMR region-which traps feral cats, neuters or sprays them, then releases them a day after recovery-prevented the existence of around 54,600 unwanted cats over the next 3 years. In 2014, the Cruelty Investigations team removed 697 animals from harm.

Financial Review:

Nova Scotia SPCA is a Medium-sized charity with donations of $2.2m in F2017. Administrative costs are 10% of revenues and fundraising costs are 16% of donations. For every dollar donated, 74 cents go to the cause, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Nova Scotia SPCA funding reserves of $2.3m can cover only 66% of annual program costs, indicating a funding need.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Nova Scotia SPCA for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 12, 2016 by Joeyanne Cheung.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.4%13.9%16.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 15.8%16.2%18.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 66.2%81.6%87.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,186,9921,675,7081,300,806
Goods in kind 0011,000
Government funding 295,600304,850240,000
Fees for service 1,949,6871,472,842554,348
Investment income 45,89538,65912,083
Total revenues 4,478,1743,492,0592,118,237
Program costs 3,447,8112,755,0551,137,212
Administrative costs 458,690481,154348,723
Fundraising costs 345,051270,944236,564
Other costs 00(95,000)
Cash flow from operations 226,622(15,094)490,738
Funding reserves 2,283,7042,246,725997,669
Note: Ci included investment income and gain on marketable securities in investment income, increasing total revenues by $46k in F2017, $39k in F2016, and $12k in F2015. Program cost coverage is overstated in F2016 and Ci could not accurately adjust the program costs to show a 12-month period because expenditures were not broken out between the provincial headquarters’ branch and the other branches.  

Comments added by the Charity:

In 2011, the Society saved 8,005 animals through cruelty investigations and through intake via its provincial network of branches. The Society addressed 18,000 calls to its provincial office concerning the welfare of animals in the province. In 2012, we anticipate helping more than 11,000!

2012 Results (January to July, 2012)

    • Intake is up 16% over 2011 for the same period


    • Adoption rates are up by 25% at the Provincial Animal Shelter and 21% for the entire province


    • Each branch has developed additional foster based capacity and are utilizing pet retail stores to add profile to adoptables and increase animal flow


    • Cruelty investigations are again on the rise over 2011 and there has been a 33% increase in intake related to animal cruelty


    • The inspectorate has a 100% conviction rate


    • Investigative costs are 92% more efficient than government counterparts in the Department of Agriculture and 63% more efficient than the next more efficient provincial SPCA polled


Awards and Recognition

International Summit on Urban Animal Strategies

    • Wellness (2010): Palliative Care Foster Program


    • Education (2010): Girl Guide Education Program


    • Leadership (2010): In Recognition of Executive Director’s Leadership in Welfare Sector


    • Communication (2011): Youth Art Contest


  • Homing (2012): Off-site Retail Partnership


Iams Local Heroes Canadian Contest

  • Sheltering (2010): Palliative Care Foster Program

Chamber of Commerce

  • Top Newsmaker (2011)

Advocacy and Education

The Nova Scotia SPCA remains actively engaged with all stakeholders that have a role to play in the protection of animals. In 2010, the Society helped to usher in new animal welfare legislation and in 2011, effectively advocated for additional amendments. These changes have resulted in improved functioning of the legislation, greater authority for the SPCA’s inspectorate and enhanced flexibility for courts to assign penalties.

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