From today's court decision by Justice Brown in the Superior Court of Justice - Ontario:
The Board of Directors of the TBS has dropped the ball big-time on the issue of what to do with Bandit. The Board's confused postiion on "Bandit" is not a good start to implementing a settlement which was supposed to put a new face on the THS. Those who run the THS - the Board - have to get their act together. Much time, effort, and expense has been spent over the past two months by all involved in this application. After all that, for the THS to come before the court asking to keep "Bandit", or seeking "directions" for a problem which is not a problem because its soulution lies in the hands of the THS Board, signals to me that the Board perhaps has not yet recognized its obligations to the public and under the defined animal care regulatiory regime, and that I was premature in giving the Board credit for having done so in paragraph 19 of my April 1 Reasons.
Let me be blunt, since the more nuanced language of my April 1 Reasons seems to have been lost on the THS Board. If the Board of the THS truly intends to turn over a new leaf, then do so. Stop playing games ... It is time for the THS Board of Directors to start acting professionally in its governance of that organization.
I dismiss the motion by the THS to vary the Settlement Order to permit it to keep "Bandit". No operational conflict exists between my order and the orders of the courts below, including the stay. Two clear options are open to the Board fo the THS - either put down "Bandit", as section 3 of the Destruction Order permits, or immediately file a notice of abandonment of the appeal of the Destruction Order and turn "Bandit" over to the OSPCA who can then deal with the dog. Whichever option the THS decides to choose, it must be implemented by 5 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 15, 2010. If I learn that "Bandit" remains in the possession or control of the THS after that deadline, I will reconvene a further hearing on my own motion pursuant to the court's broad jurisidiction to supervise charities.
From the Toronto Humane Society:
We do not agree with His Honour’s comments about the Board’s attitude or its judgment but we respect the Court. We are in compliance with His Honour's order of April 1st. There are no animals remaining at the THS shelter.
Bandit has been euthanized to the dismay of many THS members, staff and volunteers who cared for the dog over the years. The staff and Board of the organization thank those who worked hard for a different solution.
We have turned the page and we are focussing on the future. Under the direction of Garth Jerome, the THS expects to resume its position as one of Canada’s leading animal welfare organizations.
Bandit represented the best and the worst of the former Toronto Humane Society under the helm of Tim Trow - all the promises made and all the promises broken. I wonder if anyone will ever know why Trow took this dog under his wing, notorious for having mauled a child, promising to rehabilitate him but mostly just keeping him alive in his office.
Only Trow and Bandit will ever know the true bond established between Trow and Bandit - if the dog ever became a pet or if it was kept alive as a big fuck you to anyone who thought they could tell Trow how to behave. In those last few moments the two of them had together, when Bandit ran at a police officer who had entered into Trow's office, and had to be pepper sprayed down, I wonder if Bandit was protecting the only man who had ever protected him or if he was just protecting the space for himself or maybe he was thinking, please, please get me out of here.
I only ever saw Bandit twice. The first time, a few days after the raid, he was being walked down a back hallway, a rotund, lumbering brown dog not looking at all notorious. From a distance, he looked more like a Lab than a Pit Bull. He looked like a dog and that was all.
The next time I saw him, it was through the cage door of his kennel. I looked at him and he stared back. I was waiting for a reaction, a lunge at the door or a wag of a tail but there was nothing. We just looked at each other and I could not read him.
Whatever you have done, Bandit, whatever was done to you, I hope you are finally able to rest in peace.