The NWT SPCA says it will be reviewing security protocols at its animal shelter off Deh Cho Boulevard following an apparent water-tampering incident.
Last Thursday, an employee with the non-profit organization noticed an unknown substance in the facility’s outdoor water tank.
Nicole Spencer, president of the NWT SPCA, believes something was poured into the container after employees left the site.
She says she doesn’t know what was put inside the 800-litre tank, but that the incident has raised serious concerns because of how many animals drink the water in it.
Spencer believes the incident would have gone undetected if it weren’t for Sue, an employee with the non-profit.
“She was filling up a blue pale and noticed, with the contrast between the blue and the water, there was a white, oily substance in the water.
“There was some solid material in it. It was white and actually looked like wet toilet paper but when I felt it, it was like fat or skin of some sort.
“It had that kind of texture combined with the oily substance in the water. It also had a smell to it like a household oil or fat.
“There was a lot of nasty stuff poured in there.”
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The shelter has the capacity to hold up to 40 dogs and 10 cats, according to the NWT SPCA website.
Spencer says the tank has since been emptied and cleaned out. She told us it’s disheartening to think that someone went out of their way to tamper with the facility.
“The scary thing is people would come onto our property and put something into our water system that could potentially harm the dogs.
“It could’ve just as easily been something very harmful and we would not have caught it.
“Myself and other board members have feared that someone could hurt the dogs because no one lives out there and they’re alone during the nighttime.”
Spencer says the incident has raised legitimate security concerns at the shelter. She told Moose FM there are cameras on site, but that they weren’t facing the outdoor water tank at the time.
Now, the organization is considering more surveillance equipment and even fencing.
“I think what we’ll do initially is put a gate across the driveway into the property and maybe that will deter people from going in afterhours.
“This is kind of the second major thing that has happened so I think we really need to consider the security and amp that up a little bit.”
The first incident Spencer was referring to occurred two years ago, when a five-week-old puppy was stolen right from the site.
Spencer says police will be notified of the water-tampering incident. She’s hopeful increased security measures at the facility will make life safer for animals under their care.