Animal Advocates Watchdog

The controversial CEO of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Vancouver Sun May 26, 2003: SPCA mum on top dog leaving post.The chief executive officer, who introduced a no-kill policy across B.C. in 2002, has left the organization.

by Amy O'Brian

The controversial CEO of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals left the agency Friday under circumstances that are not being revealed.

Lorie Chortyk, spokeswoman for the agency, confirmed yesterday that Doug Brimacombe is no longer employed by the SPCA, but would not say whether he resigned or was fired from the top job.

"There's not a whole lot we can say right now," Chortyk said.

"Basically, what's happened is Mr. Brimacombe is no longer in our employment."

Brimacombe made several policy and structural changes while he was CEO, including a provincewide no-kill policy in 2002 that led to overflowing shelters and panicking workers.

In 2001, SPCA delegates voted to do away with its local boards and executive directors, meaning all employees of the society's 32 branches and 38 shelters reported directly to Brimacombe. Before the vote, each branch was run as an independent unit.

Earlier that year, the executive director of the Vancouver regional branch was fired after it was revealed he was earning more that $203,000 a year, with benefits.

Chortyk was adamant Sunday that there is no scandal behind Brimacombe's departure and said she cannot release details about the arrangement for legal reasons.

"It's nothing scandalous. There's no wrongdoing." she said.

"We're not trying to be evasive, it's nothing particularly sensational. It's just that we have to allow them -- the board and [Brimacombe] -- to make their arrangements.

Brimacombe came under fire recently for how he handled an investigation into the death of a dog at the Victoria shelter, but Chortyk said it had nothing to do with his departure.

"That's just totally unrelated to him leaving." she said.

"I appreciate that it's awkward when we can't say why [Brimacombe has left the society].""We'll be able to say everything we can by Wednesday, hopefully."

NOTE: To date the B.C.SPCA has yet to "say" anything to the public with regards to Doug Brimacombe's departure.