As a constituent of your ward, I am writing to you about the city’s Core Service Review. Specifically, I am concerned about the idea of privatizing Toronto Animal Services.
TAS is an important part of my city. Thanks to the work of TAS, the city has a good reputation for animal rescue, and Torontonians have a reliable resource for retrieving lost pets, adopting new pets, and reporting injured or dead animals. It’s important to me that injured or deceased animals are treated properly when they are picked up, especially as injured or deceased animals could be someone’s pet. We are an animal-loving city and this is a service in which we can take pride.
Animal shelters cannot be a profitable business when run properly. An adoption fee cannot equal the cost of housing, feeding, providing veterinary care, spaying/neutering, vaccinating and microchipping. If animal services is contracted out to a private business, the only way that business can turn a profit is to cut corners, raise euthanasia rates and neglect animal care. Montreal is currently experiencing this with the private pound ‘Berger-Blanc’, which has recently been exposed as a neglectful, cruel and inhumane shelter. With private shelters, there is also much less oversight and more chance for cruelty to continue unseen.
On the other hand, the city of Calgary is often held up as the gold standard in animal control. Calgary has kept their animal services public and has strongly enforced licensing for pets. This has allowed them to create a shelter system that is lauded throughout North America as humane and effective. It’s clear which system we should be trying to emulate.
I believe that Toronto Animal Services is an integral part of this city, and must be kept public. Privatizing animal services will result in cruelty, an increase of stray animals and a lack of resources for pet owners. Please do the humane thing and vote for care, not cruelty – vote to keep animal services public!