Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tre Smith of the Toronto Humane Society arrested

I interrupt my account of this week's exciting jury selection process to pass on the news that Tre Smith of the Toronto Humane Society was arrested this afternoon for (im)personating a peace officer and also for perjury.

Another OSPCA officer, Mark Beauchamp, was also arrested for obstructing a peace officer when he tipped off THS management that there was going to be a raid on their facility back in June.

From The Globe and Mail, OSPCA arrests two of its officers:

"…The charges laid against our own Ontario SPCA agent indicate that we are serious about holding all investigators to the highest standard of conduct, not just those at the THS," said Kate MacDonald, chief executive officer of the OSPCA.

Staff inside the shelter told The Globe and Mail that the tip led to a massive cleaning effort in advance of the inspection and that they were then instructed by THS management to hide animals from the OSPCA.

I remember several times watching Tre Smith on television or in newspaper photos still wearing his uniform even after his license was removed by the OSPCA and wondering how he could be so brazen to do such a thing. A cop can't go around wearing a cop uniform, implying he's still a cop, if he's been taken off duty. And to do it in front of potentially thousands of witnesses and to have it recorded by media - well, that just ain't too smart. I think that's why I feel strangely sorry for Tre.

I've heard that when he first started as a volunteer at the THS many years ago, he was a pretty decent guy, putting a lot of effort in with the dogs. Somehow in his years as THS poster boy/OSPCA officer, something changed. Maybe it was some irresistible spell cast by Tim Trow's persona. Maybe it was self-generated. Whatever it was, things have taken a bad turn for Mr. Smith.

As for the charges against Mark Beauchamp, if they hold true, there's only one word for his actions: stupid.


borderjack said...

My jaw really dropped after this one. "Stupid" is a kind understatement.

How can someone who purports to promote animal welfare take active steps that he knew or ought to have known would result in misconduct being hidden from his own colleagues? Someone wearing an OSPCA badge makes one phone to ultimately prolong the plight of the animals in the THS from June to November? The only ones suffering here continue to be the animals - the only real witnesses who cannot speak on their own. Sad all around.

borderjack said...

I'm also disheartened by the few animals that were adopted since THS reopened. I had hoped for a flood of people wanting to take as many animals out of there as possible. In the bigger scheme of things, as much as things change, they still seem to stay the same.

Ian said...

Could this get any more bizarre?

Social Mange said...

borderjack, I've indirectly heard from one potential adopter that THS staff are still being pains about adoptions. Adoptions end an hour before the shelter closes, and staff won't take a few extra minutes to spring an animal out of that jail and get it into a good home.

Heather B said...

I`ve gone from angry to hopeful and now to wondering What the hell else is going on!? Mr. Smith got our attention when he saved that Rottie but he did go a bit overboard with the owner. And I cant forget the video. Did those young ladies get fired along with the bosses?
This is turning into a soap opera and the animals are paying big time for all the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I could never take this Tre guy seriously. I think it has something to do with his stint on that reality show (U8TV). Everything he does reeks of fame whoring. I trust that he loves animals, but he loves himself even more.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I adopted a cat from THS yesterday and the process was quick and painless. I thought the place looked a lot cleaner than when I was last there one year ago.

Anonymous said...

It may seem 'stupid' to you, but it might've been his way of standing up for what he believed in.
I applaud his efforts, I've seen him many times around the city and he is an extremely caring and nice person.

Fred said...

Anon, I'm referring to the alleged action of Mr. Beauchamp when I describe them as stupid. Why would you possible applaud the efforts of someone who snitches on his bosses so that they can't do a proper investigation? It can only prejudice the final outcome regardless of whether or not the THS had anything to hide.

borderjack said...

Anonymous: it was stupid enough to cost Beauchamp his job. Maybe he had legitimate disagreement with what was about to happen,or felt the THS was being targeted. Whatever the case, he went about it all wrong. As an animal lover, not only might his actions have caused harm to some THS animals that could have been helped sooner, but they've now cost him a job defending and protecting animals. I'm sure there were other ways to voice his concerns.

As for Smith, he has detractors and has made questionable choices (who hasn't?), but I believe his heart was in the right place as far as animals go. I disagree with the way his arrest was handled. Did anyone see Beauchamp arrested??? As media-savvy as the ospca has been throughout this raid, when they perp-walk arguably sympathetic characters like they did Smith, they start to walk a slippery slope. They could have arrested Smith as quietly as Beauchamp, or made the arrest public after the fact. The method of arresting Smith, with the media lined up, made me, for the first time in all of this, actually consider the politics between the two agencies. And I don't think that's a message the ospca should be emphasizing...they should take the high road, preserve credibility and stick with the animal care issues.

Anonymous said...

"I could never take this Tre guy seriously. I think it has something to do with his stint on that reality show (U8TV). Everything he does reeks of fame whoring. I trust that he loves animals, but he loves himself even more.


I agree. He may seem sweet and nice, but I have to say, from behind the scenes working with him, he's a total fame whore. He loves to play the big man in front of the cameras.

He loves his dog, he really does. But that doesn't make him *that* much less of a jerk.

Ian said...

Have people seen this?

Fred said...

Ian, and some people still believe in Santa Claus.

Terry Fisher said...

Brazen is right. Tre, Urlea, Robinson and Sheridan had their badges revoked when the OSPCA disaffiliated the THS. You can't very well have people who turn a blind eye to animal cruelty and neglect right where they work investigate it. I see that all these four OSPCA Agents and Inspectors were posing in the THS Magazine AnimalTalk in uniform. These are people with the police powers, in fact powers not granted to Police like warrantless entry, dressing as Peace Officers, appearing on SUNTV, the THS website, newspaper articles, etc...
Tre should and did get charged, but why not Urlea, Robinson and Sheridan? I am a former THS employee, I went down to the THS when I heard about the OSPCA raid, there was nothing to see. I passed by the local Pub, the Dominion, and talked to a couple of employees who were exhausted from cleaning the entire night before the raid because they had been tipped off as to the OSPCA raid.

Francis said...

Let's collate the THS legal jungle, paid by the THS.

- 10 to 12 arbitration hearings scheduled at the Ontario Labour Relations Board
- $1.5 million suit against Lee Oliver for defamation, breach of contract for whistle-blowing
- Appeal by the OSPCA of the ACRB Tribunal findings.
- Appeal by the THS of the ACRB Tribunal findings.
- OSPCA/McNaughton appeal to the Superior court to have the OPGT supervise the THS
- three criminal charges (2 of impersonating a Peace Officer, 1 of perjury) against Smith.
- OSPCA Agent Beauchamp charged with obstructing a Peace Officer
- THS challenging the OSPCA warrant of 27NOV2009.
- Board of directors charged with non-criminal provincial offences of animal cruelty.
- Trow, McCracken, Bernardino, Sheirdan, Bechtel charged with multiple counts of criminal animal cruelty, obstructing a Peace Officer
- $15 million suit against OSPCA and Strooband for negligent investigation and defamation

Way to squander donation money THS President Hambley.

Heather B said...

Ian, I read that drivel from Pete.
I have wondered out loud which of the persons charged is family. He sure doesn`t understand whats going on. I have sent letters to him several times but he still insists on bashing the innocent and siding with the power hungry money grubbers.

Anonymous said...

i feel that Tre carrying on the way he was is just another example of the THS mentality of them not having to follow the rules. i remember seeing a dog that had been put into observation (for the required by law 10 days) after biting on a third occasion be put back into the adoption area after 1 day..

George said...

Adding to the list of THS litigation, the author forgot the following
- THS suing the Hamilton HS for slander
- The Bandit appeal is ongoing

anything else?

Anonymous said...

Tre Smith is a well known and respected person who has the balls to stand up for animals. OSPCA's action is pure bullshit and no more than a pathetic cry for public media attention. How sad of the Ontario animal welfare today. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Have we as a society lost all decency? Tre Smith loves spotlight? Is this what our discussion is about? Here is a man who loves animals, who has build his life around protecting them so much so that he made it his career and that he fought so hard to protect one of them he put his career at risk. Oh, your right....he probably saw the cameras coming. All of you need to get your head out of your asses. There are laws that we are to follow but sometimes they just logically do not make sense. And sometimes laws have to be broken in order to protect or save a life. What if someone had killed a man that was about to kill someone else...would that be wrong? Its wrong to kill, but wouldn't it be right to break the law to fight for someone's safety? Have we as society all taken a back seat to this political bullshit? Stand up for what's right people. Stand up for what is morally right. Who cares if Tre Smith loves himself...isn't that what we are all suppose to do? And I don't hear anyone accusing Angelina Jolie about loving the spotlight while she is helping save children around the world. She's doing good...Tre's doing this world good - use your brain. We are not that simple are we? I find it so confusing that we live in a country that protects the "rights" of pedephiles and arrests people like Trey Smith. All you nay sayers really need to give your God Damn head a shake! WAKE UP PEOPLE, WAKE UP!