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New top dog at Cape Breton SPCA

SYDNEY — The manager of the Cape Breton branch of the SPCA has resigned.

Elizabeth Murphy, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said Jeff Dursi recently submitted his resignation, citing personal reasons.

"I was just up there for a visit because we were going through our shelter audit," she said.

"Basically, it was decided after meeting with Jeff, given the needs of the branch to reach some pretty significant goals in the next three months, his last day would be Oct. 1."

Dursi was hired in February 2013.

"It helps with that transition because we need to move pretty fast with the construction of the hospital and some financial goals we have."

Construction of a $181,000 spay and neuter clinic is expected to begin soon at the shelter.

Murphy said Monty Crawley, the bylaw enforcement supervisor, indicated his desire to act as the interim branch manager.

"After consultation with staff — we already know he’s an asset and has great a relationship with everyone — we agreed he'd be the perfect person to act as the interim manager until we can complete a hiring process."

Although there will be a search for a new manager for the Cape Breton branch, it won’t be immediate, Murphy added.

"We're not going to be searching for a replacement immediately because it's not really fair to bring someone in while we're trying to get the hospital out and get a few things done."

Murphy said the clinic that's going to be built onto the shelter is going to make a huge difference in the community.

"The veterinarians have been so supportive, it's a really great partnership and I’m really excited."

Crawley was first hired as a special constable 12 years ago. He left the branch in 2008 for other employment but returned in 2012 in the enforcement division and later became bylaw enforcement supervisor.

Crawley, 40, of Whitney Pier, said he loves working at the Cape Breton branch and is proud of the strides the shelter has made.  

"The atmosphere here is great, people leave with a positive attitude. We get compliments on how friendly the staff are."

Crawley said the Cape Breton shelter is far ahead of where it use to be.

“There’s still a bit of a hill to climb but we are seeing the peak.”

He said the new clinic construction is the next exciting venture for the shelter.

"That's our No. 1 goal right now, to get that clinic up and running."

Crawley said this will be a great start to tackling the problem of abandoned and unwanted animals in the area.

"I believe it's going to be a major milestone for Cape Breton."

Dursi could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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