Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The end of an era

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.


Anonymous said...

RIP poor poor dog. It's a sad situation all around. For the poor child who was mauled and for letting this dog suffer too long

RIP Bandit..may you find redemption in Heaven


Heather B said...

Goodbye Bandit. You wont be forgotten.
BSL did this to you. Trow just made it worse. You can run free in the sun now .
See you at the Bridge, my friend.
You are loved.

Marcie said...

Heather BSL had nothing at all to do with this. Bandit is actually one of the high profile dog attacks that started the pit bull ban. Tim Trow & the current board of directors did this to Bandit. Not the OSPCA & certainly not Bill 132. Bandit bit that boy and was in the custody of the THS before the ban was put in place. There should of been policies in place to help him. There could of been a very different ending to this tale, the whole thing makes me really sad. Hopefully a new THS will be responsible and work towards making sure that animals with any behavioral issues are rehabilitated, not just stuck in a cage for years on end only to be put to death without any chance of ever living a real life.

Ian said...

I guess we`ve owned a lot of pit bulls over the years.We just didn`t know it.We`ve had numerous Lab mixes and they pretty well all looked like Bandit.Poor dog and poor kid.Sounds like he didn`t have much of a chance from the get go.It appears that some Adult didn`t handle things very well way back when.Not too many dogs just attack for no reason.

Anonymous said...

Bandit wasn't a full pitbull. He was a mix.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who was ever around the THS knows that Bandit wasn't kept in a cage except at night and it was a large caged in area. He roamed around Tim's office (the board room) all day mingling with the staff and guests who came to meet with Tim. He was also regularly on the roof of the THS, running around.

Bandit had a pretty decent life at the shelter. He was the best treated animal there. But, if you want to believe that he was stuck in a tiny cage, then go ahead and believe the lies.

As to Tim's motives. No one will really know. Both Tim and Bandit lacked patience for kids.

Anonymous said...

Fred, thanks for summing this up so eloquently.

I also met Bandit. A big brown dog that accepted a scratch, but I could not read his deep golden eyes.

Bandit was failed too and unlike Smokey, Tiger, Peti, Socks, Captain and Janey, he was used.

Godspeed, Bandit.

Anonymous said...

...and once again, a dog loses his life because people have failed him all along. The owner (or owners) did nothing to socialize this dog they brought into their (and their child's) life...Tim Trow also did nothing to rehabilitate/socialize him , as he said he would. Dogs are like children, some of them will be perfect little angels since the day they are born and never cause any problems, and others will have definite challenges that need to be worked on. Think of all the kids that have ADHD, behaviour problems, learning disabilities, anger issues...we don't just give up on them, do we? As a society, we try to provide as much help & support as we can for we should.
Dogs don't rate that kind of respect or compassion, though, do they?...even though for thousands of years they've been our companions, police officers, soldiers, shepherds, done search & rescue, helped the blind and other disabled people...I could go on & on...but the one thing they don't have is a voice box so they can't explain why they did what they did.
Yes, Bandit made mistakes (if a dog is even capable of 'mistakes') but how many humans make mistakes and the justice system gives them chance after chance because they can explain what happened or they simply lie about what happened.
Just yesterday, I was crossing a was just after dusk, I look around, see no traffic and start to cross. I'm halfway across and out of nowhere comes this huge, black, gas-guzzling truck (without his lights on)...he looks right at me but instead of slowing down, he deliberately speeds up (for his own amusement, I guess), missing me by inches. I think this qualifies as 'aggressive' behaviour. Of course, if he had hit me and I was lying there dead or injured, being a human being, (with a voice) he could look at the police and in all (mock) seriousness say "Oh my God, officer, she stepped right in front of my truck and I didn't have time to was totally an accident". There were no witnesses closed.
Okay, I've rambled enough, but for those of you who are interested, please google "the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Washington state". The guy who owns this place, Steve Markwell, is doing an amazing job with dogs who have been deemed "dangerous, aggressive & unadoptable" by other people and by the courts. I really love this guy's attitude and philosophy and we DESPERATELY need a facility like this here in Ontario...if I had the money, I would start one tomorrow...and it would be in memory of Bandit, Smokie, Tiger, Peti, Captain, Socks, Janey & all the other 'misunderstood' dogs. Check it out.

Heather B said...

Marcie, If Bandit had been any other breed , he would have been euthanized many years ago. He was just a pawn in another game
Yes, he harmed a child , two to be exact. I`m not arguing. But this crap shouldn`t have gone on and I do blame BSL and Trow for prolonging the inevitable. If Bandit was adoptable,according to Trow, why wasnt he? Because he couldn`t be trusted.!But he still deserved love. His owner should have done the deed herself after the first bite or kept her tiny grandkids away from Bandit. Just sayin`.No longer matters. Its over .

Rachelle said...

There were at least a couple years where Bandit lived in a cage. I worked at the THS for two years and that was before Tim took over the lunchroom as his own office. At that time, I would only see Bandit occasionally; he was not the 'office dog' although Tim would sometimes take him into meetings with him. I remember a time when Bandit chased after the office cat and all hell broke loose. Tim was freaking out and yelling at him. Luckily the cat just barely escaped the room. Bandit may have had a much better life in the shelter than the other dogs there but Tim was doing him no favours by being so short-sighted by not having someone work with him to correct any potentially dangerous behaviour. Teaching a dog to 'sit' and 'stay' doesn't really cut it when they have the history Bandit had. The Board said that they hadn't discussed Bandit in years. Seems obvious there were no sincere attempts to get Bandit rehabilitated. Did Tim think we was going to be the THS president forever? Did he think Bandit would live out the rest of his life at the shelter? This is just one of the many examples of the illogical and short-sighted thinking of the THS board.

Anonymous said...

Bandit did have a pretty decent life at the shelter, when he wasn't biting other animals, confined in the "run" in Trows office or biting people. But having a cage in Trows office is nothing to brag about. That's as cruel as anything I've heard. Not to forget for the last few months he has been in a cage, with no chance of ever leaving the shelter. Not a cage in Trows office. He was in a cage in the back hall alone, separated from the other dogs & most of the people. Terrified & miserable. What a great life! Anyone who thinks being Trows office dog is a special treat should really give their head a shake. Bandit was screwed from the day he met Trow, it was never about Bandit it was about Tim giving the finger to everyone outside the THS' walls.

Tiny cage, big cage, no cage at all. Who gives a shit. The point here is that this dog lived in a shelter without getting to be a "normal" dog for years on end just to be put down because Tim & the board were all to lazy or just too stupid to attempt to rehabilitate him. Tim & Bandit were a great pair. Both have unpredictable tempers, lashed out & left a terrible legacy behind for the THS.

Anonymous said...

How did Trow get away with all that he did for so long?

FrogDogz said...

Did you see the front page of the Sun?

What is WRONG with those people?

RIP, Bandit.

Social Mange said...

FrogDogz, Peter Worthington who is a big cheez at the Sun, hates "pit bulls". Nevermind that he owns two JTs that are dog aggressive and fight with each other; he seems incapable of seeing the hypocrisy of condemning one type of dog while owning two specimens of another type of dog which exhibit aggressive, unacceptable and uncontrolled behaviour. Duh.

Social Mange said...

Peter Worthington at the Sun is (was?) also a big Tim Trow supporter. Don't know if he still is, but he was.

FrogDogz said...

I can't wrap my head around the kind of malicious mind that could dream up a headline like that. It's the kind of over hyped crap I thought went out of style in the forties.

Peter Worthington should be forced to spend eternity in hell, crafting hpyerbolic headlines about his own punishments.

"Idiot Editor Rolls Rock Up Hill"
"Hack Writer Swallows Own Eyes"

You get the idea.

Fred said...

There's something bipolar about The Sun to say the least. On the one hand there's Worthington singing praises to everything Trow and then on the other they push out shit headlines like the one you mentioned about a dog Trow kept for so many years. I wonder if Worthington will ever be able to connect the dots.

Anonymous said...

The owner failed to euthanize bandit after mauling her child, then the THS failed to euthaize him because he WAS part pitbull. Wow - the THS - supposed great pitbull activists, who, it turns out, kept vicious dogs for years, adopted them out to bite and come back, had them living in decrepit conditions, unvetted, watered or fed or walked.
Trow took that dog, used it for publicity, appealing to the self-indulgent animal-loving-people-haters. He claimed to rehabilitate the dog, didn't have the dog muzzled and on a short leash as per court order because he was "a good dog". I cry for the people hurt by Bandit, for the lack of oversight of the OSPCA and TAS/TPH and the WSIB and CVO, for the tens of thousands spent on this dog at the expense of other animals, for the loss of reputation to pitbulls and the boast to Breed-Specfic Legislation. Now you have these dog rehabilitating charlatans who for $200/hour will supposedly rehabilitate your dog, saying that if they had Bandit they could fix him. What scammers.
He was not an abused dog but was aggressive nonetheless, as a small percentage of some dogs will be. You either bemoan this and euthanize some animals, or deny it and allow people and other animals to get bit, mauled or worse.