Posts Tagged 'OSPCA'

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.

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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?

One dog’s interests

Kate Hammer on Bandit as symbol for Tim Trow’s THS.

Bandit will have been dead six weeks on May 30, the day on which a new board of directors will be elected to take control of the 123-year-old animal-welfare charity. While absent in body, he will be there in spirit, reincarnated as the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. While his plight symbolized the facility’s best intentions of keeping pets alive, it also represented the folly and hubris which led to mistakes made by then-president Tim Trow and his board of directors. All of them stand charged with animal cruelty.

“Bandit certainly represented Tim Trow’s emphasis on animal rights over animal welfare,” said Christopher Avery, a lawyer for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “That one dog’s interests were pursued despite the negative fallout for the breed, for the shelter and for all his victims.”

Violence begets violence

Man on parole for manslaughter charged with animal cruelty in Windsor . . .

Abeywickrema was convicted of manslaughter in 2007 after he stabbed a friend on New Year’s Eve 2005. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and faced a lifetime weapons ban, had to provide a DNA sample and had to seek treatment for substance abuse.

Abeywickrema was on a form of parole called statutory release, said Marian Costaris, parole supervisor for Correctional Services Canada.

. . . while University of Windsor researcher links crime rates to slaughterhouses.  (The print version of this story was accompanied by photos of Robert Pickton.)

“I have a graph that shows that as the number of slaughterhouse workers in a community increases, the crime rate also increases,” she says. Fitzgerald says she was inspired by The Jungle to study crime records in U.S. communities where slaughterhouses are located.

She became fascinated by studies of the environmental effects of slaughterhouses that mentioned crime rates, without explanation, seemed to go up when the factories opened in communities.

Fitzgerald carefully weighed the figures in order to see whether a link really existed. She found that an average-sized slaughterhouse with 175 employees would annually increase the number of arrests by 2.24 and the number of reports by 4.69. The larger the abattoir, the worse the local crime problem.

She controlled for factors such as the influx of new residents when slaughterhouses open, high numbers of young men — even the number of immigrants.

Every day

Dog abuser sought in Windsor.

After three decades of protecting animals from human abusers, Nancy McCabe thought she’d seen every nightmarish act people could dream up against defenceless creatures. She was wrong.

“My God, this is just so sad,” said McCabe, field operations manager with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“I can feel myself getting enraged. I just feel like I’m so mad. I don’t understand it. I don’t know what people are thinking. Every day it seems like it’s something else. It hurts. It’s taking a piece of my heart every day.”


@AIC

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