Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tim Trow of the Toronto Humane Society arrested - updated 9:47 p.m.

It's done.

Police are about to arrest the Toronto Humane Society's president, chief veterinarian and three other senior staff members and charge them with animal cruelty, six months after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed widespread troubles at the shelter.


Following the Globe's investigation, the OSPCA suspended the THS's affiliate status and sent inspectors to the River Street facility. Insiders later told the Globe that they were instructed by management to hide some ailing cats from the OSPCA investigators.

Their animal cruelty investigation has continued for six months, during which the current board of directors passed a motion to renew their support for Mr. Trow, and Mr. Trow effectively re-elected himself as president by carrying more than 700 proxy votes signed over to him by members.


All of the above, as well as the Society's board of directors, are also being charged with five counts of animal cruelty, a provincial offence under the Ontario SPCA Act (as opposed to criminal charges).

From The Globe and Mail, "Toronto Humane Society officials to be arrested, charged with cruelty to animals".

We can finally stop holding our collective breathes.

Updates coming soon.

Update 3:30 p.m.:

Everything's live right now on channel CP24.

Update 4:15 p.m.:

Not much official coming out of the THS right now. I guess that's because everyone's in handcuffs.

Ian McConachie, ex-THS mouthpiece was intercepted by a reporter outside the THS building and he told her that "everything that happens with the THS and the OSPCA is political."

I suggest to Mr. McConachie that he start pulling that foot out of his mouth before it emerges from his ass. He's not going to be able to sell a lot of used cars with that large appendage sticking out the seat of his pants.

From CTV.

Update 9:47 p.m.:

All animals in the THS facility are now being health checked by vets including Hanna and John. Both THS locations, at River and at victoria Park will be closed to the public for the next 3 days while this goes on.

The OSPCA will be looking after the day to day running of the shelter for the near future.

Currently, the positions of the present board members are uncertain. They have all been charged with animal cruelty so, hopefully, they'll just quietly fade away in shame and disgrace.

The facility is closed to the public but the animals within are still going to be looked after with the help of cleared staff and volunteers.

The reality of the situation is that there is going to be turmoil at the THS, no doubt, and in all likelihood many extremely sick, overly aggressive, unadoptable animals who have been imprisoned in their cages for months, if not longer, will be euthanized but many many more will see better treatment, a healthier environment and most importantly, a much greater chance at finding homes.

People will be celebrating Trow's arrest tonight because that is the immediate news, but more than that, they will be celebrating renewal.


Redstarcafe said...

This is going to be one to watch.

Anonymous said...

I won't swear on your blog Fred but Holy #%&*!!!!!!This is some crazy news. Im heading over to cp 24 right now


Biscuit said...

holy crap! Charges against FIVE staff members?

Melanie said...

Marcie and I are soooooooo happy!!! Much needed changes at the THS are FINALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!

Miz Minka said...

Finally. :(

Heather B said...

Praise the Lord . And everyone who came forward to get this ass and his ass kissers out of there.
Now you can have an even better holiday Fred, if that`s possible.
This is such wonderful news for the animals, vets, volunteers and overworked staff at THS. I have to see what Worthington has to say about his buddy tomorrow.

Tigerspirit said...

Read that on the G&M website from halfway around the world and yelled "Hallelujah" so loud that it woke the dogs downstairs! Fred, and all the people who worked so hard to keep the pressure on, congratulations! You, and the Globe, proved that those who speak for the voiceless can make a difference.

Take a minute to mourn for all those lost before the authorities acted. Then take another to decide how you can help the ones who are still in there, and need you NOW.

The real 'beasts' are under arrest: what will happen to the animals in that shelter? Who will take over and care for them?

Ian said...

It was quiet for so long,I thought nothing would happen.

Jenn said...

Wow, thanks for the heads up! I'm totally shocked. I did not think this would be how things ended up, but just wow. I have to get onto some news sites now.

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed that this finally gets some changes taking place there.

Ironic that it happened on the day I finally got around to asking that my will be changed - eliminating THS from it and adding TAS as a benefactor of some of my millions.

Meaghan Edwards said...

Finally. Now they can't go on about how awful Toronto Zoo, Hamilton SPCA, etc are.

Anonymous said...

Hold your breath people, they have to be judged by a group of their peers. The question we should be asking ourselves is,"If all the staff, volunteers included have been told to vacate the property who is caring for the animals?" Remember, in the morning some has to be there to take over the supervision and staffing. I don't know how many animals they have in there, but I for one am a little concerned. Its' fine to jeer Trow and his minion of fools but the animal care and control issue has to be addressed now, not in 24 hours, but now. I can only assume the OSPCA has it's collective plan in place, given how cleverly they conducted the raid.

Unknown said...

Good news. Will be sending the OSPCA an email to thank them.

Jenna said...

Wow! Let's just hope that the welfare of animals is put first from here on in.

Thanks for your continuing coverage of this Fred. One to watch for sure.

Laura HP said...

I can't even believe this is happening. I can't believe changes are going to actually be made. Good luck at whoever inherits the mess over there.

Social Mange said...

McConachie didn't scream and swear and burst into tears? Has he been replaced by a pod person?

Charges against five officials AND the directors. Oh, happy day. The directors needed to be belted upside the head, along with the others.

Just don't let them use a single cent of donated money for their defense.

Shannon said...

This is huge and from a fired volunteer perspectives, great news for the animals.

Lynn said...

The OPSCA has control of the shelters for 72 hours to assess the animals and all their medical records. I am sure volunteers will still care about the animals and help out, if that is appropriate- especially now that the beasts have been taken away.
The Reform and Protest groups are hard at work.
Amazing analysis were done both on fred's blog and in the Globe,especially when done under threat of legal hassles.

Cathy said...

My cats and I are so relieved...

i kick shins said...

i was at the shelter tonight. it was the first time i'd been back in those doors since i left in march. there was a weird feeling in the hallways when i walked through those dog halls..

the animals are being taken care of. better so now then they were before..some were euthanized and some got the pain meds/iv fluids/whatever treatment they desperately needed.

renewal indeed!

Anonymous said...

I hope it is great news for the animals. Where the THS doesn't euthanize when it should in some cases, perhaps the OSPCA does euthanize more than needed. This whole situation is far too political and while I don't condone the actions of the THS, I think the OSPCA has an agenda.

It's is so sad that both these organizations allow politics to come into play rather than what is most important for the animals.

They should both take a lesson from the Durham Humane Society.

Joanne said...

Perhaps the OSPCA has its eye on the goodwill (and they do have some),coffers and once-lucrative fundraising ability of THS.... Trow and the rest will appear this morning and be released on their own reconnaisance. Then what, are they barred from being at THS? Is that terms of their bail because if not, after OSPCA is done, they can go right back there. If so, for how long? Despite being charged, he is still the President of THS and responsible for the day to day operations there. So, if Trow and his buddies are convicted (after paying their defence costs how?), does that mean that automatically he is removed as President of THS? I think that if you have a criminal conviction, you can no longer be an officer or director of a charitable organization. Then what happens to his law licence? If convicted (and that is a huge "if" since it seems even the most blatant of animal abusers seem to walk unpunished), he could potentially lose that licence. He is certainly not going to jail and probably will not even face a fine (and who would pay that?) Will a conviction carry a ban on having care, custody and control of any animals? If not, then perhaps, unless the directors wise up and remove him from office, he will be right back at THS. Who is paying the board's legal defence costs? Who authorizes those kinds of payments? I would assume the board or Trow. Is a non-profit obligated to pay for the defence of its directors and officers if they are charged with an offence relating to the running of the organization? Just some very cursory questions...there will be a lot more as the story grows.... Hopefully, the animals remain at the forefrong and their care and well-being is the primary concern of those left at the shelter.

Fred said...

Hi Joanne, you've listed a load of questions everyone involved wants answered. One part of the hoped for solution was for the agency in charge of charitable organizations, the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee, to step in and appoint a new board or some such thing but it seems the OPGT is saying it's not in their mandate to do that - which begs the question: What is their mandate? To regulate mom and pop bingo parlours? To eat lunch on the taxpayers dime? So far they've been a bag of useless in dealing with this particular animal welfare charity.

There are plans afoot, in terms of governance, which don't rely on any help from outside agencies to help sort things out at the THS but those will take a few weeks to get going.

As for whether or not Trow and cronies will be able to use the millions of THS dollars to spend on their lawyers, that's up in the air at the moment. There's no doubt in my mind that they'd be more than happy to use up all the funds dedicated to saving animals to saving their own skins.

The whole spew about how this is all politics and bad blood between the OSPCA and THS is of course only coming from the THS heads. The only real political thing about this is that most agencies, regulatory or otherwise, have been afraid to touch the THS because it's seen as a sacred cow charitable organization and it's a no win political move. The fact that the situation is considered political has only protected the THS crew from proper investigation in the past. Believe me, if this whole thing was only political and there was no substantive evidence to go forward with the charges, there's no way the attorney general or the police would have involved themselves in bagging this blistering hot potato. They would have just passed it along, like the OPGT.

Joanne said...

Trow is so ego-driven that you cannot even hope for him and the others to cop a plea here. He is going to want public vindication. When I saw him on the news this morning, I realized that he really believes that he is doing the right thing and that he has been wrongfully charged. Maybe he is laying the foundation for an insanity plea????? But in any event, he will want his day in court and this fiasco will take more funds from the animals' food, shelter and medical treatment. I am sure he will trot out several layers of lawyers to prove his innocence and not one dime of their fees will come from his pocket and this will all be for naught. He will not be convicted, not fined, will not spend a single solitary minute in jail and, in all likelihood, at least in my opinion, will walk away from this unscathed by the justice system. Sorry...but that is what I think will happen. I would be surprised if he is even removed from office.

Darling Magpie said...

I've only had interaction with one of the staff listed as charged and from a volunteer perspective, he was one of the most attentive supervisors on shift. Actively responding when we had a kitten in distress, ensuring we had supplies to carry us through the shift, even making sure we made it to our vehicles safely at the end of the night (late night/early morning kitten feeding)

So I'm a little concerned that he's charged, I guess we'll see what becomes of it :/

I also have no idea if volunteers are still permitted on property, no email has come from the coordinator regarding this development, our only real supervisory contact. I just hope the kittens are being fed on time like we're supposed to be doing.

Unknown said...

is the money for their defense coming from funds donated for animal care? If so, there should be something we as donors, can do about stopping this.

Melissa said...

I'm absolutely livid about these idiots using donated funds to hire defense lawyers. I personally believe that the donators should group together to file a lawsuit against these people, suing for the amount of money that was used for their defense case, and reinvest it into the animals under the condition that new people are overseeing them. How can legal action of this scope be done, as it requires many supporters? I'm sure several would sign on to participate in a case of this magnitude.

iain said...

It's INCREDIBLE that a monster like Trow has been let loose on the city's animals for so long.

Here in Englad we've heard about Trow and find it unbelievable he has been able to get away with this stuff for so long. The man should never se elight of day again.. and if he does, he should never, never be allowed to hold any position of responsibility.