Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Toronto Humane is at it again.

According to Kate Hammer's article in the October 26th Globe and Mail, THS is again squandering donated money in court. To what end I do not know, unless THS wants to operate without any oversight of its animal treatment practices. That's what I get from the THS lawyer's comments.

If THS were a public company that lost 25% of its revenue in a year, the directors and executives would be out on their ears. Howcome THS still continues as though nothing has changed?

A friend of mine is not surprised by THS's non-response to her repeated faxes requesting information that any executive should be able to provide off the top of his/her head. The text of her third fax follows. I do not consider her questions unreasonable.

Any organization that wants public money and public trust MUST be transparent in ALL respects. THS seems bound and determined to be secretive and unresponsive. Is this what the THS has deteriorated to, a secret society trying to be answerable to no one instead of being a transparent and trustworthy animal welfare agency?


After attending the annual meeting of members on September 30 and further to my faxes of October 9th and 16th I have a number of questions not addressed at the meeting which I ask you to answer.

1. Please provide a matrix showing the dates of directors’ meetings and the attendance of each director at these meetings.

2. Please advise of any reimbursement paid to each director for expenses incurred for attending meetings.

3. Please advise of the names of the directors who comprise the Executive Committee and any other committee of the board of directors such as an audit committee.

4. Please provide a matrix showing the dates of committee meetings and the attendance of each director at these meetings.

5. Please confirm that each director is within the 60 km residence radius.

6. Please advise of the criteria used for selection of management candidates for the board.

7. Please advise why new board members were not proposed for election.

8. Please provide fuller biographies for the board members. For example, Mr. Walters was stated to be a businessman. Please advise as to whether he operated his own business(es) and provide details such as as the name(s) of the business(es) and their disposition on his retirement; if not, please advise of the position he rose to in the business from which he retired.

9. Please advise why the names and biographies of the directors and executive officers are not published on the THS website.

10. Please advise why the financial statements are not published on the THS website.

11. Please advise why the membership webpage on the THS website has been disabled (for two weeks at the date of writing). Addendum: I am advised that the membership webpage has been disabled since August 18, 2009. Why? As at October 28, 2009 the membership webpage is still disabled.

12. At the meeting, you stated that there was no succession plan for management of THS. Please advise whether you are now working on succession planning.

13. Please advise why you did not address the $3M drop in revenue between fiscal 2007 and 2008.

14. Please advise as to who is responsible for overseeing the financial records of THS and the audit; in essence, who acts as chief financial officer for THS.

15. Please explain why the financial statements show long term commitments as an aggregate without any breakdown, specifically for the Victoria Park adoption centre.

16. Please explain why the financial statements do not set out the amount paid to Cornerstone (the organization you named at the meeting) for fundraising services.

17. Please advise whether management candidates are presented for election as a slate, or individually.

18. Please advise why the Secretary had not prepared a complete ballot for election of directors.

19. Please advise why the Secretary did not know where to obtain a copy of the THS investment policy.

20. Please advise whether THS has issued an apology to Linda MacKinnon for the THS member’s comment about Ms. MacKinnon.

21. Please advise whether THS has issued an apology for the behaviour of Ian McConachie at the meeting.

22. Please advise why the presentation on feline URI was not on the agenda. Please also advise whether the people investigating URI at THS are examining whether the HVAC systems for dog and cat areas are separate, and whether Bordetella bronchiseptica is being considered along with calici and mycoplasma.

23. Please advise whether THS will publish the individual salaries and non-cash compensation of the five highest-compensated executives.

24. In early October, over 50 unaltered cats were advertised for adoption on the THS website. Why are these cats not speutered before being advertised for adoption?

25. Please explain why you do not differentiate between backyard breeders and legitimate breeders when promoting your breeder licensing scheme.

26. Apparently the THS now adopts animals for a tax-deductible donation. Do you believe that adopting for a “what you can afford” amount results in giving animals to homes that can afford food and necessary veterinary care for the animals? Has the Canada Revenue Agency cleared this method of procuring donations?

I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.