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

Charitable Reg. #:13470 4741 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements available only upon request.



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



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 74 cents are available for programs.

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About Nova Scotia SPCA:


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, including the provincial headquarters in Dartmouth.

Nova Scotia SPCA’s 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 SPCA 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, which aims to reduce the number of feral cats and the stress they place on shelters and rescuers, 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, spay/neuters, and ultimately a home.

Through its Cruelty Investigations team, Nova Scotia SPCA 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.

Results and Impact: 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 reported that its trap-neuter program in the HMR region — which traps feral cats, neuters or spays them, then releases them a day after recovery – prevented of an estimated 54,600 unwanted cats over the next 3 years. In 2014, the Cruelty Investigations team removed 697 animals from harm.

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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 Review

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%81.5%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 use a 12-month period because expenditures were not broken out between the provincial headquarters’ branch and the amalgamated branches.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 16

Avg. Compensation: $59,940

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2015

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Charity Contact

Website: www.spcans.ca
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