Archive for the 'OSPCA OUTBREAK' Category

New counts

Thirty-eight new charges laid against former THS leadership.

Those facing a new set of charges include former THS president Tim Trow, current president Bob Hambley and all but one of the current members of the board of directors. The new counts of animal cruelty pertain largely to cats allegedly found in distress by the OSPCA.

“Charges being laid during a contested election have a brackish odour,” said Frank Addario, a lawyer for the charged board members. “Particularly when they are legally dubious and based on information that is stale.”

The OSPCA said the charges were delayed because the THS impeded access to relevant documents.

Watch Brian Shiller, Hanna Booth, Kate Hammer, and Liz White discuss THS, OSPCA, etc. with Steve Paiken on The Agenda’s Pet Politics episode.

Dogs vs. women, children

Protests in Windsor, Newmarket met with misgivings.

The sexual mutilation of Tyson, the Windsor dog, is indeed a sad story, said Lee Lakeman, spokeswoman for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres in Vancouver. But where is that fomenting crowd when rapists and abusers of women appear in the same courthouse, she wondered.

“I would want that kind of unqualified support for women who are assaulted,” Ms. Lakeman said. Calling for “justice” for Tyson “dumbs down the word justice,” she said.

Separate roles

Ontario opposition MPPs suggest OSPCA be divided into two.

“It’s our belief that a charity should not have policing powers — not over itself or any other organization or entity,” Klees said. “The OSPCA should have to decide if it’s a charity with a mandate to prevent cruelty to animals or if it wants to be in the business of inspection and enforcement.”

The Conservative MPP wants the government to amend existing legislation to separate the roles of care giver and enforcer, either by dividing the OPSCA into two separate entities or creating a new agency to handle enforcement.

NDP Justice Critic Peter Kormos said concerns about a possible conflict of interest were raised when the OSPCA was given enhanced enforcement powers last year, permitting its officers, for instance, to enter premises such as zoos and pet stores to ensure care standards are met.

The privately-run agency was tasked with policing itself because it also provides animal care, Kormos said.

Weird society

A letter re: OSPCA protests.

What a weird society. More than 100 protesters want charges laid against the OSCPA for “causing unnecessary suffering, pain and death to the animals under its care.” I wonder how many of those people eat pork coming from those “torture camps” where a female pig lives a life in a cage so small it can’t even turn around or lie down into a comfortable position.

The misery some animals have to endure before they make it to our dinner plates sounds to me like a higher priority on the scale of animal abuse that needs our attention. I would stack a pig’s level of conscientiousness or emotional sophistication right up there with dogs and cats.

I am still a conflicted carnivore. The romantic notion of a hunter bringing down a noble pig that has lived a good life is long gone. But, I wish we could step back a bit from our business model that raises our food animals in such a despicable, horrible environment that squeezes the most profit and productivity without any compassion.

It is amazing to hear about the tears, despair, anger and outrage directed at people trying to humanely manage the lives of certain animals and the deafening silence in response to institutionalized systematic animal abuse.

Russell Pangborn, Keswick

 I wrote a letter to The Star that was somewhat similar to Russell’s:

The OSPCA’s response to the ringworm outbreak at its Newmarket shelter is indeed upsetting, but it needs to be seen in context.  Every day, shelters across Ontario “euthanize” animals that don’t even have ringworm due to lack of space.  Three out of every four cats admitted to the Lincoln County Humane Society, for example, never leave.  In 2008, the Kingston Humane Society put down 1092 cats and dogs out of 3000 admitted.  And in 2007, Toronto Animal Services killed 55% of the 8991 cats and dogs it took in.

Moreover, every year millions of animals are slaughtered in Canada not because they are ill, and not because we’ve run out of room for them, but because we like the taste of their flesh.  These animals are as capable of, and as interested in, living meaningful lives as the animals in our shelters and in our homes.  I am not suggesting we throw up our hands at these statistics and our contradictory reactions to them.  (Nor am I suggesting the above-mentioned shelters are not doing their best with the resources they have access to.)  Rather, I’m suggesting that the news from Newmarket is yet another indication of  how important it is that all of us reevaluate our relationships with non-human animals.

Probably I shouldn’t have used the word “flesh”.

Don’t judge

In defence of the OSPCA.

It is unfortunate that so many animals’ lives were lost, but it’s not the end of the world. The OSPCA did what it thought was the responsible thing in humanely destroying these animals to prevent the spread of ringworm to the outside community.

They were being fiscally responsible, too. Ringworm can take three to eight weeks to treat in a single animal in isolation. With more than 300 infected animals, staff at the shelter were looking at a nightmare that could have closed the shelter for months, if not longer. Who would have filled the shelter’s role for the next two to three months of quarantine?

What’s more troubling is the fact that there were 350 animals in the shelter in the first place. Where were the protesters two weeks or two months ago? If they cared so much, why weren’t they speaking out then or offering to give them homes?

Responsibility

The OSPCA controversy in context.

There would be fewer animals in the Newmarket shelter and, indeed, in shelters around the province, if people took more responsibility for their pets, if they spayed and neutered their dogs and cats to prevent the birth of unwanted animals and if they recognized an animal isn’t something you bring home on a whim.

But the complacency of some people about the lives of dogs and cats was evident even amongst those who turned up in Newmarket to protest.

On Tuesday, an outraged Keswick man showed up at the shelter to try and retrieve J.J., a cat he told reporters he had surrendered to the shelter three months ago. Now, he was outraged that the animal was infected with ringworm and claimed J.J. was fine when he was left at the shelter.

Yes, and maybe that cat, and many other animals, would still be fine if it hadn’t been abandoned at a shelter in the first place.

Protests

A walk for tougher animal cruelty laws in Windsor . . .

“Hopefully this is the start of many little rallies, not just in Windsor but all across Ontario,” said Tammy Deslauriers, the protest organizer. A Facebook group she started, “Windsor dog abuser sought,” had over 6,500 members as of Saturday afternoon.

Deslauriers said she’s hoping to take her case to Ottawa and strengthen the laws.

“I want life,” she said of a possible penalty for abusers. “These are lives. They have blood in them. They have a brain.”

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin called on the Harper government to introduce a bill toughening animal cruelty laws. His own private member’s bill, he said, will likely never make it through Parliament. The bill would set a ten-year maximum sentence for abusers and re-define animals as sentient beings.

. . . and a funeral in Newmarket.

A moment of silence was held Sunday outside a Newmarket shelter for the animals euthanized by the OSPCA as a result of a ringworm outbreak.

But amidst the tears and despair was plenty of anger and outrage.

More than 100 protesters, many dressed in black, called for the resignation of the board of directors and urged York Regional Police to lay criminal charges against the organization for causing unnecessary suffering, pain and death to the animals under its care.


@AIC

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