Saturday, June 13, 2009

Absolutely surreal at Toronto Humane

Tip o' the hat to One Bark At A Time....

Kate Hammer and the Globe and Mail have a story about sick cats at THS being hidden from OSPCA inspectors. Read it here.

The visual one gets from this is tragically funny. Sick animals being bandied about, shoved under desks and behind file cabiets, staff creeping about like thieves in the night. If this is true, this is not only an offence under the OSPCA Act, it's immoral, unethical and utterly reprehensible.

When is Canada Revenue Agency going to conduct a forensic audit of THS?

When are the McGuinty Liberals going to get off their duffs, put our money where their always-open-mouths are, and conduct an investigation for breaches of the Corporations Act?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Disappointed by the Supreme Court of Canada? You bet'cha.

I am disappointed and saddened by the Supreme Court of Canada's decision not to hear the appeal of the Ontario Liberals' unfounded, unjust, vague and shoddy "pit bull" ban.
Cried at my desk when I heard.
I can't believe that the Supreme Court didn't see this law for what it is. A law that makes people into second-class citizens when they have done no wrong. Solely on the basis of the property they own - their dogs. No basis in fact or science.

This Ontario Liberal unfounded, unjust, vague and shoddy law must be repealed. It was passed when the Ontario Liberals' public approval rating was extremely low.
This law was passed in complete defiance of the knowledge, experience and judgment of canine experts.
This law made law-abiding people into second-class citizens.
This law killed dogs of all ages - adults, seniors and puppies alike - solely on the basis of their shape.
This law caused law-abiding people to move out of Ontario to keep their dogs safe.
This law broke peoples' hearts when it killed their dogs. Their innocent dogs.

Every MPP who voted for this law has the blood of innocent dogs and puppies on their hands.
And should have shredded Charter rights on their conscience.
If they have one.

Perhaps not. Perhaps political ambition causes moral corruption and ultimately moral bankruptcy.

But it ain't over.
I'm not going to roll over and play dead.
Many, many people I know aren't going to roll over and play dead.

Since the courts have abandoned us, it's time to get political.
Join a party. PC or NDP, I don't care, don't bother with the fringes.
We are going to throw the McGuinty Liberals to the curb in the next election.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fast side note

The Toronto Humane Society story has gone international. There are hits on this blog from the U.S., the U.K. and Europe coming out of Google searches of Toronto Humane Society.

Tabloid journalism lives!

I just read an article in the Toronto Sun about a dog attack and if it weren't for Peter Worthington's well-known, unjust and unfounded hatred for "pit bulls", the article would have me peeing my pants as I fall about laughing.

"bloodthirty" "savage" "appeared out of nowhere" "tried to Taser it three times but no effect". Hell, why not say it swaggered? Was it wearing gang colours?

Sheesh. This is junk food journalism. Whatever happened to the standards of journalism? Objectivity and factual reporting? This piece makes me think of the Worst Opening Line contest. So many holes in it, it resembles Swiss cheese.

The piece misses the point completely. This was a dog attack. The victims are the dogs, all of them. The responsible party? The attacking dog's owner, who had to know of his dog's aggression, had the dog offleash and apparently ran from the incident. So - irresponsible ownership (I'd say criminally irresponsible, but I think that belongs to the courts).

Did the Toronto Sun slaver over the bloodthirsty attack of one dog on a smaller dog in High Park, that killed the smaller dog?

Did the Toronto Sun froth about the savage dog that bit off a groomer's nose?

Does the Toronto Sun spin Peter Worthington's statements about his own dogs' propensity for fighting?

No. They weren't "pit bulls".
Do I know the dogs' breeds? Yes.
Does it matter? No.

Breed is irrelevant. Responsible dog ownership is all.
And a few courses in responsible journalism wouldn't hurt, either.

More on Toronto Humane

One Bark At A Time has a nice analysis of the differences and similarities between Toronto Animal Services and Toronto Humane Society.

To me, there's another big difference and yes, it's about the money and reporting lines. Toronto Animal Services is answerable to city council and ultimately the taxpayers of Toronto. TAS has a budget which it has to answer for. Toronto Humane Society should (note the qualifier) be answerable to its members. It doesn`t appear to have any form of financial control, nor be answerable to its members; I know of one member who asks hard questions every year at the AGM and Timmy just screams at her and refuses to answer. I`d like to know if the members receive the financial statements of THS with their annual meeting mailing.

THS seems to suffer from abdication of responsibility starting at the top, the board of directors, and the attitude has permeated down through the ranks. One board member is quoted as saying that she knows Tim Trow lacks management and people skills (paraphased) but supports him while the euthanasia rates are low. Huh? Stop drinking the purple Kool-Aid and give yourself a shake, lady. Insulting, haranguing and alienating staff, volunteers and donors is acceptable? Watching the debt-to-assets ratio sink annually until the organization vergss on insolvency is acceptable? Letting animals die in their cages is acceptable? Not working with rescues, and keeping animals incarcerated for most of their lives is acceptable?

None of those are acceptable to me. Perhaps I am holding THS to higher standards than the board of directors, who seem to have set the bar very low.

Addendum: My deepest thanks to the Globe and Mail and Kate Hammer for the series of articles on THS. People have tried over the years to get some light shed on the dark goings-on at THS, and the media have resolutely refused to investigate. Is this the start of a new trend in Toronto journalism, real investigative reporting? I'll be thrilled if it is.