Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Furor at Toronto Humane Society

If you live in Toronto and haven't been sequestered, you've probably heard about the furor at and about Toronto Humane Society. The Globe and Mail has a series of articles that started May 30th about conditions at THS - May 30, June 1 and June 2.

One Bark At A Time has done a series of posts about this, and the last post is probably the best. The THS operates solely from donations, people are cancelling their donations. Who is going to suffer? The animals.

I strongly recommend that anyone concerned about THS and its future - it is about 100 years old - apply for membership. It's 30 bux, very little to give to ensure the welfare of the animals and have a voice in the Society's operations.

I hope the Board will quickly process and approve the membership applications. It is past time for serious changes at THS. Cool heads and logic must reign. People must be willing to step up to the plate to serve on the Board and identify a suitable manager for the shelter with the necessary people and financial skills and a passion for restoring the Toronto Humane Society to its former position as a premier animal welfare agency.

1 comment:

Sunny Reuter said...

The OSPCA investigating THS - some background info via excerpts from Peter Worthington’s article in the Toronto Sun May 15, 2006:

“there's big trouble within the OSPCA if anyone looks closely. Many board members are upset that public donations and grants from the government are spent on buildings and facilities rather than on animals and curbing cruelty and abuse.”

“In their letter to McGuinty and Kwinter, eight (original resigned) board members noted that the government is well aware of the problems (at the OSPCA) and urged that their resignation be regarded "as a request for intervention ... to suspend the bylaws of the OSPCA, suspend the board of the OSPCA, and appoint a representative of your government to work with the CEO of the Society pending the promised update of the OSPCA Act."

Re: THS 2005 euthanasia rates: chief inspector Mike Draper wrote Tim Trow, president of the THS, and admitted "a private investigation firm" was hired to "obtain statements from a number of (THS) employees." .... Criminal charges (by the OSPCA against the THS) were threatened.”

moving forward......

Excerpts from Peter Worthington’s article in the Barrie Examiner November 2008

In 2006, the OSPCA board of directors resigned (twenty nine of them), virtually en masse. ... the OSPCA's (current) 12-person board of directors is not chosen by public vote of members, but appointed.

“The solution is simple: The government should take a hard look at the absolute control exercised by the OSPCA, and bring the police powers of its inspectors under control of the attorney general.”

“The McGuinty government seems reluctant to challenge the OSPCA, and recently gave it a $5 million windfall” (and 1.8 million before that).

“the way Bill 50 is written, a private charity has police powers to prosecute, is accountable to no one, is immune to the ombudsman, and is protected from access to information legislation. (Bill 50 grants the OSPCA warrantless entry). Not to disparage individuals who are inspectors, but their mandate and the OSPCA's style are more mindful of a secret police than a body serving the public.”

Additions are bracketed.

There are no good guys and no bad guys. Just a government that has given the OSPCA -a charity - unprecedented police and advocacy powers along with the right to oversee itself and other charities. The OSPCA is not subject to FOI.

At some point the province must step in.

Neither the THS or the OSPCA with their millions of dollars in public donations can be held accountable other than through the Charity Act.

Grave allegations against the OSPCA exist also. Please read:

Enough with the public and legal mud-slinging. Bring in some independant oversight.

Sunny Reuter