In the next few days, the story behind what lead to the deaths of the animals at the Toronto Humane Society will likely make itself known and there will be much debate and discussion and perhaps more rage and tears. People will want to know who to blame and why it happened. If the whole truth comes out, some people may be surprised, some not. Some will take the facts at face value and say I told you so. Others will try to come up with alternate theories which conform to their world view and say I told you so. But none of that is about the animals. That's about propping up our own beliefs and winning the prize in the who's right who's wrong competition. I know because I've been there.
The only things that matter are the animals remaining in that facility and making sure what happened on Friday doesn't become an institutional habit. Friday has shown all of us what happens when the people who actually care about the animals don't work together towards something and instead fall at each other like enemies.
I believe there is only one feasible way forward for the THS and that is to get rid of the present board, hold elections for a new board and rebuild.
The one major obstacle to that is the refusal of the present board to resign. The way the board is acting, they would rather see the THS rot than give up their status and power. If they feel that by resigning, people will think they are admitting to having betrayed the animals, well I can only say that if Friday is any indication, then for them to stay in power is proving the exact same thing.
Whether or not one thinks the board is directly responsible for the present condition the THS is in right now, they are certainly responsible, just by their continued reluctance to step down, for keeping the THS mired in the state it's in. If the board resigns or is forced out, the THS can move forward. With them in place, this will not happen. If you believe the animals at the THS deserve a better chance, the board must go.
Many feel the OSPCA must go as well. I believe the OSPCA will leave but only once the present board is gone and elections are held for a new board. The OSPCA, with the full backing of the courts, will absolutely not allow the THS to return to the way it was. Some would argue that even if the board leaves there is no guarantee that the OSPCA will leave. I don't agree but I'm pretty sure that the best way to make sure the OSPCA stays at the THS is to allow the present board to stay in power.
Either way, the board must go in order for the THS to heal.
But that's only the first step.
Protesting is easy. The hard part is building. The hard part is working cooperatively with others towards something which is not readily apparent nor easily achievable. Creating a real Humane Society is not a cakewalk and it'll be apparent very quickly who is up to the task and who is just talk and if it turns out that most people are just talk, then a new THS ain't going to happen or it's going to happen on someone else's terms. If you want the THS the way you want it, you have to build it.
More on that soon, I hope.