Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not good enough

"Smokey paid his dues to that shelter at the very least he could have had a run in the park before they killed him."

There were lots of tears at the Toronto Humane Society today as staff and volunteers discovered that five well liked Pit Bulls were euthanized last night along with one other dog and nineteen cats. Rumours had been floating around last night but the identities of the dogs put down could not be confirmed until this morning.

Both the Toronto Humane Society management and the OSPCA are defending the euthanasia decisions but getting consistent reasons for the euthanasias is difficult. Initial responses were that the animals were all put down for health reasons but it was obvious to everyone who knew the dogs that they were not unhealthy. Aggressive behaviours and assessment test failures coupled with unadoptability were also brought up as reasons. This also did not sit well with staff and volunteers who believe these dogs to have been non-aggressive and adoptable.

Some of the THS staff planned to stage a short walkout today in protest but those plans were canceled when possible repercussions were mentioned.

I didn't have any problems with the dogs myself the day I helped Mel Laking take their photos several weeks back. I especially enjoyed the company of Captain and Smokey who were highly affectionate dogs.

All of these dogs also had shelters or rescues willing to take them in. I was involved in finding one of those shelters through the help of Best Friends Animal Society so I know this to be true. They would have been moved out weeks ago but for legal concerns around transporting them through the province (because these dogs, Pit Bulls, are of course banned in Ontario). We were in the midst of working out an acceptable transport plan when the euthanasias took place.

I am very disappointed.

These dogs should have been given a chance and that chance would have been so easy to give.


Ian said...

This doesn`t answer my question on the other post.
I thought perhaps I had missed the reason.
This is just sickening.
Has that other dog(Bandit?) been killed that had bitten and had been ordered killed?

Social Mange said...

Said it before, I'll say it again.

These dogs' deaths can be laid directly at the door of THS board and management, who refused to work with rescues and kept the dogs incarcerated instead of moving them out of the province years ago.

Anonymous said...

It is disgusting to watch what the people in charge of the THS and the OSPCA have done to destruct this shelter. The staff, the volunteers, the public, the critics, and the animals have become nothing but chess pieces in this PR mind fuck.

It is impossible to get a straight answer out of anyone who has any control over this situation. There are many people who are willing to help fix it but everyone who has a say in anything at the Toronto Humane Society (the THS board, THS management, and the OSPCA) refuse to give people information without clouding it with PR statements and finger pointing.

Is this the very best we can do for the animals at the THS? Is this where animal welfare is headed in Toronto? I am sick to death of people with political agendas attempting to put a spin on every single occurrence in that shelter. These two organizations are killing the THS together. This isn’t reform. This is devastation.

Anonymous said...

I read that statement on the THS website earlier today and thought it sounded ominous, although, of course, they didn't give the I come here and read this...this is exactly what I was afraid of months ago when the OSPCA took over. They've gone from the extreme of hoarding and not euthanizing any of the animals (even the ones who were already dying & suffering) to the other extreme of killing ones that didn't need to be ( I don't know about the cats but clearly these dogs were wanted...they had homes and rescues to go to). Can't these people find some middle ground?
I didn't even know these dogs personally (I live too far to volunteer) and I'm upset...I can't imagine what it's like for those of you who did know them. To go in there and find empty cages and your friends gone? I would have freaked out. My heart goes out to all of you who petted them, fed them, brought them for walks, etc. The thought of those poor innocent dogs not even knowing it was their last day...I can't even think about it.
I think the morale of the staff (the ones who care, anyway) and volunteers will be at an all time low after a stunt like's just so disheartening.

Laura HP said...

This is extremely confusing and bizarre. Why were they euthanized if they had rescues waiting?
Does anyone know why the 19 cats were put down? It just seems so weird that they got all of them at once and announced it like this.
I have no idea what the hell is going on there anymore.

Thε Countεss said...

I am highly disappointed as well, Fred. But mostly, I am very hurt and feel sick that none of the big shots ever took the time to get to know these dogs. You know yourself that they were affectionate and sweet. They deserved a chance, and people were willing and wanting to give them that chance. The Board and whoever is in charge OSPCA/THS robbed them of a chance at life outside the shelter.

Anonymous said...

A part of me thinks the board made this decisin to add more fuel to the fire. Why on earth would it be done so fast, right before an anti-OSPCA protest & just days before transport? These dogs we're used as pieces in a game, what the board of the THS & the OSPCA seem to be missing is that there are no winners in this game.

"These two organizations are killing the THS together. This isn’t reform. This is devastation." Really that sums up everything I could of said at this point about what is happening at the THS.

Anonymous said...

Days ago the OSPCA had a press conference to dispell rumours and assure people that they were on the up and up and now this?
I guess it is true that they kiss you before they fu$# you!
These poor dogs and cats. How many are next?

Social Mange said...

These dogs were always pawns in a game we don't understand because we're not playing and will never get to play.

They were pawns while alive at THS, and their lives became merely pieces used in the game.

They deserved better.
So do we.

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake, this was an OSPCA driven decision. Justice Brown has given them complete control over all animal welfare decisions.

Garth Jerome had to publicly agree to their demands if he wants to have any say in how the shelter is run in the future.

Several of the THS Vets are firmly onside with the OSPCA. Time will tell if any secret deals have been reached.

It's odd that the OSPCA will kick up a fuss if an animal misses a meal or its cage isn't cleaned asap. But, they have no problem euthanizing animals that have the slightest issue.

Their criteria for euthanisation is very broad. They don't believe in rehabilitation. They should change their name to the OSEA.

The OSPCA has spent over a half million in legal fees and investigation costs to take over the shelter.

The thing that they'll never get into their heads is that the THS is funded by people who want to keep animals alive unless they absolutely must die. The city of Toronto has Animal Services which work efficiently to keep their numbers down like an OSPCA shelter.

The THS successfully adopted and sent to rescues over 150 pitbulls over the last four years.

Who would have thought that people would look back fondly to the days of Tim Trow? He treated people horribly, but at least he did his best to keep the animals alive.

Anonymous said...

Justice Brown needs to be held accountable for this. He has given the OSPCA control of all decisions for animal welfare at the THS.

Amy said...

It is completely inexcusable and unfathomable to me to euthanize healthy, adoptable animals who have rescue or adoption lined up. My heart breaks for these 5 dogs - they deserved so, so much better. God bless their sweet souls. I hope they are romping around up in heaven - a much kinder place than the cruel world we live in.

Rachelle said...

This whole situation is getting so sickening. To see the animals being used as pawns for personal gain of others is just completely disheartening. The Board and OSPCA clearly each have their own agenda and of course, nobody knows what the hell that is; one can only speculate. Volunteers and staff don't know what to believe one day to the next. I feel that it's just a matter of time before the THS shuts down. Unless they start taking in animals, there probably won't be any left in a few months time. Just me speculating because that's all I can do with the confusing messages/lack of info we're getting these days...

Anonymous said...

Similar to the THS' "new" euthanasia policy, the OSPCA states on its website that "As a rule, with no exceptions, the only animals that can be humanely euthanized are those suffering from a terminal illness, with no prospect of a decent quality of life, or those animals that pose grave harm to themselves, other animals, and humans."

Can either of these Ministries of Love then explain why these dogs died?

Miz Minka said...

This just makes me SICK. I don't understand how or why the THS is still allowed to continue to create hell on earth for companion animals.

I hope the people responsible rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

I visited the THS just over 2 weeks ago and asked about the dogs and the pits that were there. I was told they were going to homes outside of Ontario. Then I met one being walked in the back. The volunteer said the dog was a sweetheart and the pittie came over and greeted me warmly.

They also said the THS was not allowed to take any animals in at that time. This is heartbreaking.

Darlene said...

I was hopeful to see people and the press at the protest today. I can only hope that these dogs and cats haven't died in vain. It's a small, stupid and very faint hope, but it's all I've got. I'm sorry we all couldn't have done more.

Please, everyone, fire off some e-mails to your MPP, the Minister of Community Safety and the Premier of Ontario. The province has given this power to the OSPCA; they're the only ones who can take it away.

Anonymous said...

We must stop using the word "euthanize" in these cases. Euthanasia refers to
"the act of putting to death painlessly .....a person or animal suffering from an incurable, esp. a painful, disease or condition."
These animals were killed.

Evil Shannanigans said...

This really broke my heart, as a few years ago I experienced having two dogs I was involved at the HS here euthanized for no reason. Once again I will be emailing as many people as I can so some change can be affected. I just wish I didn't feel like it was all in vain

Thε Countεss said...

Are you kidding me?? Thinking fondly of the Tim Trow days?? You have got to be out of your mind, 'Anonymous'. Doing his best at keeping animals alive meant that Tim Trow would allow dying animals to suffer in the cages. I know this first hand as I did volunteer there for quite a while, and I demanded medical help for quite a few animals that were agonizing and obviously dying. They were left to die SLOW. Good job, Tim! You kept them alive while in serious need of euthanasia or medical assessment. Now, I am not taking sides nor do I really know who's to blame for the euthanasia of these dogs. But one thing I do know, the THS Board NEEDS to step down. I guess it is time to give up the status it gives them, not to mention the financial/legal security it gives them. What? You didn't know? Im sure most of you read about the thousands of dollars spent on legal fees for members of the board and staff. They're only still on board because they dont want what's right for the dogs. Just what's right for them. Unfortunately, the animals pay the price. True words someone said: the animals are just pawns in this horrible attempt at chess.

Gina said...

I found the "DOGSTAR" memorial on the NYT blog page "Life Lessons From The Family Dog"
and just created stars for each of the dogs.
All of them are located together in one sky here:
I did it quickly so they would not be separated...
and each dog has it's own bookmark:
I did not know the dogs so it was odd for me to do this and those of you that actually knew them each (and the cats that were killed) could always go to the site and create a more personal memorial.