A Toronto Humane Society board member is taking a leave of absence after 51 cats were seized from a home she owns in Hamilton. The board discussed the status of Ferne Sinkins during an emergency teleconference on Wednesday. “They decided it would be good for her to take a leave,” said THS executive director Garth Jerome. “The leave is the first step and we’ll see how matters develop from there.” At Ms. Sinkins’s request, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized the cats on Tuesday. One animal was euthanized. Others needed veterinary attention. Ms. Sinkins had lost contact with the tenant, Robert Gould, a 69-year-old pensioner who lived in the Victorian home for free. Five years ago, she agreed Mr. Gould could live there rent-free as long as he looked after cats that Ms. Sinkins, then CEO of Toronto Cat Rescue, was retrieving from local animal pounds. But after a tenancy dispute in May, Mr. Gould began barring his landlord from the house and Ms. Sinkins had no way of checking on the cats. She stopped bringing food, which Mr. Gould says accounts for the cats’ poor health. Ms. Sinkins agreed to step aside while she deals with an OSPCA order for all the animals to undergo veterinary evaluation. She’ll also use the downtime to prepare for a Dec. 9 court date where she’ll make a case for Mr. Gould’s eviction. She intends to sell the home as soon as he’s out.
*The Globe And Mail