Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Toronto Humane Society now in purgatory

(Thanks to redstarcafe for the quick pick-up on this one)

Ontario SPCA suspends Toronto Humane Society's Affiliate status

Newmarket, ON (Tuesday, June 02, 2009) - After an emergency meeting of the Ontario SPCA Board of Directors, the Toronto Humane Society's status as an Affiliate member has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation launched as a result of allegations brought forth in a series of Globe and Mail articles. The investigation is ongoing.

The suspension means that Toronto Humane Society will not be able to conduct cruelty investigations and will not have authority or protection under the Ontario SPCA Act.

The allegations in the Globe and Mail articles suggest that Toronto Humane Society is permitting the unnecessary suffering of animals with a restrictive euthanasia policy and permitting animals to be in distress. Additional allegations include improper management of staff, volunteers, resources and finances.

"If the Ontario SPCA receives a credible allegation of animals in distress, we are required to investigate under the Ontario SPCA Act," said Hugh Coghill, Chief Inspector for the Ontario SPCA.

"The Ontario SPCA may also review an affiliate's status at any time to ensure that they are in good standing and that their conduct is in keeping with the organization’s mandate and by-laws," said Kate MacDonald, CEO for the Ontario SPCA.


The Toronto Humane Society is one of nearly 50 community SPCA and Humane Societies in the province of Ontario. Though independently operated, the Toronto Humane Society is accountable to the Ontario SPCA through the Ontario SPCA Act. The Ontario SPCA is the province’s leading animal welfare organization. Representing its Branches and Affiliated Societies, the Ontario SPCA is accountable to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Ontario SPCA Euthanasia Policy:

The Ontario SPCA takes the issue of euthanasia very seriously. It is only done when there is no other humane option available. Reasons the Ontario SPCA euthanizes include: terminal illness or injury where there is no possibility of recovery, behavioural problems that pose a threat to other animals or humans, stray or feral overpopulation, disease transmission, and old age where the quality of life is impaired by major loss of functions. Sadly, in some cases animals may be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. Overcrowding threatens the lives of all the animals in our care due to stress, weakened immune systems and increased risk of disease transmission. This requires the Society to make difficult decisions about euthanasia based on health, physical, emotional and psychological suffering, and the best interests of the hundreds of animals receiving lifesaving care in a single facility.

Ontario SPCA Provincial Media Contact:

Kristin Williams
Public Relations Manager
1-888-668-7722 extension 305

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ouch, I gotta say that "stray or feral overpopulation" bit gets me thinking of sheriffs and their deputies in parts of the world that aren't The Big Smoke, cuttin' down puppies and kittens, instead of spaying and neutering (yes, I know OSPCA now has Spay Central in Newmarket and planning another in Barrie), but the wording was evocative (at least for me).