03/15/2012 03:14 EDT | Updated 05/15/2012 05:12 EDT

BC SPCA loses Surrey contract

The BC SPCA is laying off eight to nine employees after the City of Surrey awarded its kennelling contract to Commissionaires B.C.

SPCA spokeswoman Lori Chortyk says that means the organization will no longer house strays taken off the streets.

Losing the Surrey contract is not a huge financial loss for the organization, says Chortyk because they have been breaking even providing the service and the focus of their operations is cruelty investigations and animal adoption.

"We would have been happy to continue our partnership with the City of Surrey, but we don't see ourselves leaving the community or not partnering with the city in other ways," said Chortyk.

She says it has acquired a new facility and plans to open an animal adoption and education center in Surrey this spring.

"Obviously the more services there can be for animals the better for us," she said.

Commissionaires BC already has an animal control contract with the city of Abbotsford.

The BC organization is a branch of the larger national Commisionaires agency, a privately run not-for-profit security firm that provides employment to former military and police personnel, according to its website.

It was founded in 1925 and is one of the Canada's largest security firms with more than 20,000 commissionaires providing security for government and private institutions.