I just read Peter Worthington's latest treatise attempting to defend Toronto Humane Society.
Then I checked the calendar. Nope, it's not April 1st.
I don't give a damm whether honchos from each of the OSPCA and THS duke it out barefisted in a parking lot.
What I do give a damm about is animal welfare. Not animal rights, because that opens the door to having our right to own a pet animal of any kind legislated away. Welfare - adequate food, shelter, medical care, socialization, training. Domesticated animals have to live in our world, it's our responsibility to ensure that they are prepared for it.
What I do give a damm about is animals receiving medical care when it's needed. An animal shouldn't die in a worker's arms because some honcho wouldn't approve sending the animal for emergency veterinary care. An animal shouldn't die in agony in a cage because of some whacko notion.
What I do give a damm about is not institutionalizing animals for years in tiny cages. We reserve incarceration for human criminals. How would you like to live in a tiny room for the rest of your life, with your toilet right next to your food and bed, with no room to move and nothing to occupy your mind and your time? Why should animals be treated like criminals and spend years in tiny unnatural spaces going quietly cage crazy?
What I do give a damm about is animals being adopted out without being first spayed or neutered. There's no need to ensure future inventory; stupid, irresponsible humans will look after that.
What I do give a damm about is an organization taking criticism as an opportunity to improve, not an opportunity to spend donor dollars on lawyers.
What I do give a damm about is transparency and truth.
What I do give a damm about is what the Toronto Humane Society is.
And what it isn't.
There is only one way to change things. Become a member of the Toronto Humane Society. It's only $30, give up your takeout coffee for a week. Then, educate yourself. Ask for a tour of the shelter, the WHOLE shelter. Examine the financials. Ask questions. Ask HARD questions. Don't be put off. Attend members' meetings in person. And VOTE.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan...The times, they are in need of changing.
NOTA BELLA: A reader advised by comment that it looks like the annual membership fee has gone up to $40. Thank you for that information.
Addendum 1: The Windsor-Essex Couty Humane Society has disputed a statement in Peter Worthington's article and requested a correction. IMHO a correction never actually corrects an error in a media article since hardly anyone reads corrections, so erroneous information is out there forever. What happened to fact checkers? What happened to journalists investigating information before publishing?
Addendum 2: Howcome the organization was Toronto Humane Society and Hospital in November 2009 press releases, but reverted back to Toronto Humane Society since then? Enquiring minds want to know.