Friday, December 4, 2009

What the heck is the Animal Care Review Board?

A decision was handed down today by the Animal Care Review Board which ruled that only one of the four animal taken by the OSPCA on June 2nd were in distress.

Panel casts doubt on some cruelty charges against THS staff

The board found that the three of the animals, including two elderly cats with dental problems and a feral cat with mouth ulcerations and bloody diarrhea, were not in distress because they were under the care of head veterinarian Steve Sheridan. Is that the same Steve Sheridan who has also been charged with animal cruelty?

Isn't that kind of like saying the sheep are safe because they are being looked after by a wolf?

Of course the ACRB being an "animal care" review board wouldn't think like that now would they?

Or would they?

This is from THS own website, Shocker—Animal Care Review Board to The Toronto Humane Society: “Give back two puppies to the man who hit one till she cried”. I've copied the page here in case a certain someone tries to remove the page from the THS site:

(click on image to enlarge)

In case the above image is hard to read, here's an excerpt: In its decision of October 19, 2006, the Animal Care Review Board (a McGuinty agency that oversees humane societies) failed to protect two Dalmatian puppies from being hurt again, despite a witness the Board found to be “honest” who gave sworn testimony that the dog’s guardian “threw it (the female puppy) roughly to the boardwalk and hit it (her) repeatedly”.

It seems that one moment, the THS is trying to create some public outcry against the ACRB, and now, that the roles have changed, the THS is lauding them.

What's the definition of a hypocrite?

So the same board that returned a pup to a heavy fisted owner has given the green light to the way the THS vet, Sheridan, handled the animals under his care. Wow. I'm so not impressed.

My opinion is that the ACRB made a crap decision with regards to the Dalmatian puppies and they made a crap decision turning down three of the four animal cruelty charges against the THS.

The ACRB should stop with the doublespeak and change their name to Animal Don't Really Care Much Review Board.


Laura HP said...

"The board denied the THS's requests for $952.55 in staff wages and $115.85 toward Kiki's care. The THS had requested the OSPCA reimburse their legal bills as well, but the review did not award these costs."

...What? They neglected Kiki the cat so that she didn't see a vet for two weeks, and then they expected the OSPCA to reimburse them for actually giving her vet care?
Also, kind of convenient for the THS to have this decision - about June - released right now. This thing gets weirder and weirder.

Social Mange said...

Exactly. The Animal Care Review Board is an Ontario government agency. It appears from the bios of the agency members (click on an underlined name to read the bio) that only one has any animal experience.

Some of their tenures are ending in 2011.....hmmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Shiller, at $500/hr., couldn't take the time to read the THS disclosure, have witnesses to rebut their testimony, challenge their facts. - despite having several vets in the courtroom who were glad to help out, and others with material information. He allowed Romeo's and Sheridan's waysay about numbers and distribution of animals and staff to go uncontested. He could have called Vivian Unger, a THS Vet who might have contradicted Sheridan - too lazy and cocky, thinking his questions would sufice. Shiller didn't stop the badgering of witnesses by Pelle, let it go far to long. Shiller didn't understand the science, veterinary medical science, and could not rebut because he didn't take the time to familiarize himself with it, despite all the people available to help him.
I was at the trial, Shiller was arrogant, allowed Pelle to testify and insinuate and did not rebut. Shiller was invoking criminal procedures which are irreleavnt because he was unfamiliar with civil procedures. Pelle was, or claimed to be, and Shiller deferred rather then appear to be ignorant. Please - how silly is it that in the whole courtroom for the ACRB, no one had their civil procedures book to refer to in all the disputes, and for 4 days of trial, despite the fact that this came up over and over again. For Pete's sake there were several Blackberries in the courtroom and people could have looked them up on e-laws where they are publically available.
Worst of all Shiller understood the stance the THS was going to take that it was a Companion Animal Hospital, that the animals were under the care of Sheridan (A vet) - in short that the animals were not in distress because they were covered by the vets act which is an exemption to the OSPCA Act. Shiller could have gotten the THS CAH floor plan to demonstrate that the animals were not in the clinic, therefore not subject to the vets act, was too lazy to.
Maybe the OSPCA will learn from this. Shiller says he's confident that the current charges will stick, they are of a criminal nature. Well, in criminal trials, and because the OSPCA chose to make this all so sensationalist by forewarning cameras so that they could get a photo-op of Trow on film being handcuffed, the burden of evidence is reasonable doubt, not the civil (ACRB) case which is balance of probabilities.
Because some but not all Board Members are charged with OSPCA offences, and not all, they can easily claim judicial bias.
Because only one supervisor, Andy, and not all the rest of the supervisors were charged with animal cruelty, and not all, they can all claim bias and get off.
Because only one two managers (Romeo and Gary), but not all the others, they can claim bias and get off.
Because none of the OSPCA Agents there reported anything, and many were supervisors and certainly had more then plenty of oppourtunity to see so they cannot claim ignorance, and because they have not even been fired under the OSPCA by-laws, because the OSPCA allows them to impersonate Peace Officers when they are suspended, if they weren't charged and are still there, and now say they saw animal cruelty, why did it take them years to come forward?
That will be the THS defence, and it is a powerfull one, because so many managers and supervisors and senior administrators and workers and volunteers are involved, it's one huge corrupt mess. The oppourtunists who spoke at the last minute are still oppourtunists, there wages were bribery, they are susceptible to bribery, they would rather not testify against Trow and the gang because they don't want to incriminate themeselves.
Whatever people think about donation money being spent to defend alleged animal abusers, they are allegations only, until they are proven guilty or not guilty. Otherwise, let's dispense with due process, make the accusation evidence and just have lynch mobs.

Anonymous said...

Please acutally take the time and read the ACRB decisions. The dalmation case with Smith was cut and dry, that was a good ruling. A disgruntled neighbour claimed that a women hit her own dog, the women denied it, the examined dog showed no signs of abuse, was well cared for. (She, my information is, has no criminal record, Smith has with pardoned for an offence.
Smith, at the time, worked at the THS shelter as an OSPCA Agent, and you can get an idea of the shelter and the animal neglect from the 2006 Chung article and the IG report.)
If you don't agree with that decision you have fasisct tendencies where any accusation, the more extreme the better, without evidence and simply judged on the severity of the allegation, is to be indictable.

Fred said...


1. If you want to continue using my blog to voice your rants you might want to consider slowing down when you write because most people don't know what the hell you're going on about and that's too bad because it seems you've got some good points to make.

2. You're right about the ACRB decision regarding the pup getting hit. I should have done better research into it. I still don't think the the Dalmatian case is as cut and dry as you think though there certainly is reasonable doubt wrt the claim of abuse.

3. Since you seem to be really good at researching stuff then please research what I've written under Comment Policy and adhere to it starting with coming up with a name for yourself.

4. You're right in that I do have fascistic tendencies, as do we all, you included obviously, and I'm going to exercise them right now by deleting any future comments from you unless you smarten up and stop your emotional tirades. Sometimes you make a good point but you don't have to spit in everyone's faces when you speak.