Under sunny skies this afternoon animal lovers gathered in Lions Club Park in Newmarket to remember the 102 animals killed last May by the OSPCA. The OSPCA York Region Shelter south of Newmarket planned to euthanize all the animals at the shelter (over 300) due to an alleged serious ringworm outbreak. A huge outcry and protests by both the public and Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees stopped the unnecessary killing, but 102 animals were already killed before the OSPCA stopped the mass killing.
A memorial tent was on site at the park today, with photos of some of the 102 animals killed in May and a guest book for condolences. The park was full of dogs - small and large, all basking in the the warmth of a glorious fall day. A special surprise guest - a 40-year old Arabian horse named Prince owned by Kat Chapman led the parade of animals across the street to St. Paul’s Anglican Church where each animal received an individual blessing from Rev. Sheppard. Ms. Chapman had rescued Prince from a neglected and abused life and nursed the beautiful horse back to health. Dave Walker - Co-Chair of the Richmond Hill K9 Klub opened the event with a thoughtful speech, followed by event organizer Lynn Perrier of Richmond Hill and Sunny Reuter who lost her dog in 2003 when the OSPCA seized and killed it while Ms. Reuter was on vacation. Volunteers and attendees of the event told the Newmarket Free Press that they are committed to fighting for animal rights in Ontario and will continue to gather signatures on petitions to change legislation. Thousands of signatures have already been collected on petitions from all across Ontario. The petition asking for a review of oversight and accountability of the OSPCA can be read and downloaded from OSPCATruth.com
*Newmarket Free Press