Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dark thoughts

I wake up. It's dark. I hear the faint snoring of Stella and Rocky over on their dog beds. I turn towards the clock, knowing that the act of looking at the time will only wake me up further but look anyway. It's 3:30.

I think about the stories I heard last night. There was the one about the English Bull Dog that died in her hands and another about the kitten shaker, about the hungry baby raccoons and the dogs that live their lives out in cages, about walking Bandit ("Everybody here likes him") who is fine most of the time and the guy who died from a cat bite, about working in a state of constant stress and paranoia.

I was at a meeting with the group which is arranging the Toronto Humane Society protest for next Saturday. They talked about strategy and agenda. They tasked out poster pasting and petition gathering. They talked about attendance numbers and letter writing campaigns. They talked about getting the message out at Woofstock this weekend and at the dog parks in the city. And in between the organizational talk, there was the talk about what it was like to work at the THS.

What I heard last night was so much worse than what was reported in the Globe and Mail articles and if it had only been a couple of people who were telling those stories, well, I might have attributed possible exaggerations due to bad blood but there were too many there in agreement. Their stories were real enough, full of words like "feeling helpless", "no training", "getting fired", "starving", "sick", "filth", "blood", "pain". After a while, I was thinking the words they were telling me didn't convey the full impact of their experiences at THS. I could empathize, sure, but it wasn't a shared experience for me, not like it was for them, recounting among friends and ex-colleagues, a common past.

But then I wake up at 3:30 in the morning and can't get back to sleep so, yeah, maybe their words did have an impact.

I hope they can get their stories out there. Toronto needs to hear those stories firsthand from the people who were part of it and who saw what happened there, what continues to happen there.

The Toronto Humane Society must change or be changed.

Tim Trow and the cronies must go.

Click here to view the pamphlet.


Anonymous said...

Oh Fred, waking up at The Hour of the Wolf is awful, especially with the pressures of the THS protest and Woofstock.

Deep breath!

Anonymous said...

It is so true, Fred. I'm very glad that Kate Hammer is writing the articles, but what is in the articles doesn't even hold a candle to the truth of what's going on behind there. And I'm going in for "training" tonight. God knows what they'll teach us.

Kitten shaker?

Fred said...

Anonymous, God knows what they won't teach you. As for kitten shaker, it'll come out eventually or maybe you could ask Tim about that. Make sure there's lots of people within earshot.

onequarterdal said...

The Hour of the Wolf is an appropriate description for reaction to the evening details.