Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pet Valu Pulls Sponsorship From OSPCA

In response to the mass killing of over 300 animals at the Newmarket OSPCA, pet product retailer Pet Valu has revoked its sponsorship of the organization.
In a statement released this afternoon, Pet Valu says they do not condone the OSPCA's actions:
 "Pet Valu has always supported various rescues and organizations that act on behalf of animals to ensure a quality of life that otherwise would not be available to them. We were very saddened to hear about the mass euthanasia at the OSPCA, and although we don't know the exact specifics of why these animals have to be put down, we will be following this very closely.
However, effective immediately, Pet Valu has removed itself as a sponsor of the York Region OSPCA. While this is not immediately apparent on their website, we have directed them to remove our logo and name as soon as possible."

The Latest Coverage

Protesters gathered at a Newmarket animal shelter Wednesday, outraged over its decision to euthanize hundreds of animals with ringworm.

The epidemic prompted the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) to make the controversial decision to euthanize all 350 dogs, cats and small animals at its now-closed shelter. But the board later decided some would be spared.

Staff began the euthanasia program Tuesday, which sparked anger among volunteers and animal lovers across the GTA who are questioning why the potential pets couldn’t be placed in foster homes for treatment. Despite calls to Queen’s Park to save the animals, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he won’t intervene.

“I feel like there really isn’t anything we can do standing here except for get the word out and get people down here. If we can enough people, maybe they’ll listen,” said protester Kim Jinou.

Another protester, identified only as Dave, was arrested and charged with trespassing when he snuck onto the compound twice and shot video of one of the animals.

“This is wrong and people start need to start standing up,” he said.

As many as 50 animals have been saved because they have been found to be ringworm-free. The disease is treatable, but OSPCA spokeswoman Rosaline Ryan said in the shelter environment it’s very hard to control.
OSPCA officials said the situation also became a health concern for humans after six staff members contracted the parasitic skin fungus.

Extra security was brought in Wednesday to monitor activity around the shelter in the form of York Regional Police officers after the OSPCA received death threats. Private security guards are also watching over the shelter.

**Taken from cbc

Activists Hold Vigil For Ringworm-Infected Animals
Animal activists rallying outside the York Region SPCA where more than 300 ringworm-infected animals are being put down say their protest will not cease until the cats and dogs are saved.
Shelter officials confirmed Wednesday morning that about 20 of the infected pets have been isolated in the hope that they may respond to treatment, but that plans remain to euthanize other sick animals.
Picketing outside the Newmarket, Ont. facility with cardboard signs, bamboo crosses, flowers and drums, about a dozen activists called on politicians to intervene.
"McGuinty is going to suffer from not reacting to this…If I knew a lawyer who could make an injunction here, I would have this stopped. Why don't they just stop and rethink what they're doing? There is a way to stop it," one protestor told CTV News.
On Tuesday, Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci said he supports the conclusion of experts that euthanasia is necessary.
Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection that is easily spread to humans. Six shelter workers have contracted ringworm.
Dr. Jim Berry, a New Brunswick veterinarian and member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, said it is extremely difficult to rid cats and dogs of ringworm when they live in a closed, warm, moist environment such as a shelter.
"In a shelter where we're dealing with dogs and cats which people know as pets, people are thinking individual animals. The reality is the medicine involved and the decisions involved often come down to a population basis," he said in a telephone interview with
"It does not sound nice to depopulate or euthanize (about) 350 animals, but strictly speaking from a health perspective point of view, that may be the most humane, the most rational decision to be made."
Officials from both the Toronto and Durham Humane Societies decried the decision of the SPCA officials to put down the animals, pointing to their previous success containing outbreaks.
Two uniformed York Regional Police officers are monitoring Wednesday's protest.