Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Reader Says What Many Are Thinking.

I ask only 1 thing of you Ms Macdonald. When you kill the next dog, look deeply into their eyes. Know that it is looking back at you, with a heart completely filled with nothing but love and trust. Tell him you are killing him because he has ringworm, although treatable, he's not worth the time or expense. He'll forgive you, animals are like that. As he closes his eyes, to go to a better place, walk out of the room, and sign your resignation. It's the least you could do for him on his deathbead. After all, all he wanted to do was love.

 ***Dedicated to Shannon (pictured), Sago, and all the other furry angels awaiting a loving home.

A Great Summer Event!


The 10th Annual Dachshund Picnic
Lion’s/Cold Springs River Walkway Park
Thamesford, Ontario

On Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 we will be celebrating our 10th Annual Dachshund picnic in Thamesford, Ontario along with over 4,000 other dog lovers from across Canada.  This is Canada’s largest gathering of Wienerdogs!
What originally started as an event to help educate people about the unique personality traits of the Dachshund and why so many of them were ending up in rescue caught fire so quickly that it evolved into a one of a kind event that supports both Tiny Paws Rescue and Homeless Pets.  These are two non-profit rescue organizations that have saved and successfully re-homed over 1,400 pets in 2009 alone!   
The event is fully staffed by dedicated volunteers and will host several events including the ever popular Wiener Races.  To date there will be over 60 booths registered to participate at this event. 
Please check out our website at http://www.wienerfest.ca/  If you have any questions about Wienerfest or the non-profit rescue organizations supported by this event, please call Janet Fehr at 519-473-6661 if you have any questions.
We hope that you will join us in Thamesford on July 3rd for our 10th Annual Wienerfest!

The Latest Step...Back Peddling

TORONTO - A mass euthanasia of hundreds of dogs and cats has been halted after days of emotional protests outside an Ontario animal shelter, but not before 99 animals were put down because of a ringworm outbreak.
While the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals initially said it had no choice but to destroy 350 animals at its Newmarket, Ont., shelter to prevent community spread, on Thursday the society said it had "miscommunicated."
"We put the message out — euthanizing 350. I'm standing here telling you it was wrong," society chairman Rob Godfrey told a news conference in Toronto.
"There will be no mass euthanasia."
Word of the mass cull late Monday sparked an outcry among the public and politicians. Enraged animal lovers descended on the shelter carrying placards with "Murder" and "I'd rather be a stray than sent to the OSPCA" scrawled in bold letters. Others chanted "Stop the killing."
Extra security was brought in after 15 animals were stolen from the shelter, and police kept watch over the protesters for days — ticketing two people for trespassing.
At the provincial legislature the Opposition called for a stay of the euthanization, but the government said the matter was out of its hands.
Although the program was stayed the fate of 114 animals remained unknown.
"We are taking every step that we possibly can not to euthanize anymore animals, but we don't know that as we sit here today," said Kate MacDonald, the society's chief executive.
The society said the 114 animals — 23 dogs and 91 cats — will undergo testing and will either be transported to other facilities or isolated at the shelter.
Ringworm, a skin infection caused by a fungus and marked by circular lesions and hair loss, is not lethal but experts say it's difficult to obliterate in facilities with many animals.
The strain which ravaged the shelter hasn't been identified yet, and Godfrey said there will be an investigation.
Of the original 350 number the society said 96 animals fostered out to other volunteers and staff had left the facility before the initial outbreak.
Eight turtles are also in the mix, but are not susceptible to ringworm.
"It's a good day to be a turtle," quipped Godfrey.
An additional 15 animals, which are still under investigation and officially don't belong to the shelter yet, are in portables outside the shelter and three dogs are slated for euthanization for behavioural issues.
The society blamed the outbreak on human error. Protocols for identifying ringworm in animals were not followed, but the oversight was not wilful. Volunteers may not have been trained to change gowns when entering different rooms, MacDonald said.
Six staff members were also infected as was a family member of one of the employees, which prompted the initial fears from the society that the infection could become a public health concern.
On Thursday Godfrey, in announcing the mass euthanization would not go forward, said the outbreak "could still be a public heath risk."
There were reports that major corporations have yanked financial support for the OSPCA, but Godfrey said he wasn't aware of such action.
Godfrey also said the decision to euthanize close to 100 animals was not motivated by an effort to keep costs down at the shelter.
"Money had nothing to do with this," he said, adding if an investigation proves otherwise, he would resign.
Acting deputy premier Dwight Duncan said the government welcomed the decision to stop the euthanization, but that did little to pacify the Opposition.
Conservative Frank Klees, the member of provincial parliament for the riding where the shelter is located, demanded the government admit they "got it wrong too."
"By washing their hands of this issue, and not insisting on a second look at this plan," 99 animals were euthanized, Klees said.
He also demanded a change to legislation to allow government oversight of the society.

*Taken from CFTK

Now The OPSPCA Is Stating That ONLY 99 Animals Were Put Down...99 TOO MANY!!!

NEWMARKET, Ont. - The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) has decided to stop its plans to euthanize all of the ringworm-infected pets at its shelter in Newmarket, Ont.

The move comes after public outrage over an earlier decision to put down all of the 350 animals.

With the emotional demonstration entering its third day, OSPCA chairman Rob Godfrey announced the euthanization would be stayed and the remaining animals assessed.

"While we will go through and test all these animals to make sure they have not been exposed to ringworm, this is an extremely optimistic day, that those animals will have a fighting chance to survive," Godfrey said.

While 99 animals have already been killed, 96 others have been fostered out before the outbreak. The remaining 140 animals will remain inside the shelter and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The outbreak has been traced back to an animal that arrived at the shelter on February 27.

Officials said money had nothing to do with the decision to put down the 99 animals. They said those animals were worst-case scenarios and that it was recommended by veterinarians that they be euthanized.

OSPCA officials also admitted that they have to be a better job on two fronts: One, making sure the staff and volunteers are properly trained, and two, communicating to the public.

They said they miscommunicated to the public and the media that all 350 animals would be out down.

Godfrey also said extra security was called in to guard the Newmarket shelter after 15 animals were stolen.

Meanwhile, two protesters outside the shelter were arrested and charged with trespassing.

On Wednesday, some volunteers expressed their anger at what they called unnecessary and drastic measures of putting down infected animals at the shelter.

Staff members were being heckled by protesters as they came and went from the OSPCA. One woman held an orange cardboard sign that read, "What kind of animal shelter is this?"

Animal lovers who gathered at the shelter also hammered small wooden crosses into the ground

Ringworm is a contagious skin fungus that affects animals and humans. If the disease is caught early, it can be treated.

The shelter has been trying to contain the outbreak, but it spread out of control.

OSPCA officials said on Tuesday that healthy animals will not be put down. However, given the aggressive strain, it is highly unlikely an animal inside does not have it.

OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald said tests are being done on all of the animals, and that the euthanization process has begun for the worst cases.

"Of course, we are not euthanizing an animal that is healthy. It is just unlikely, according to our vets, that there will be a healthy animal inside that facility," MacDonald told reporters.

She said proper protocol was not followed when this infection was first detected about three weeks ago, which allowed it to spread to epidemic proportions.

Tanya Firmage, acting director of animal care at the OSPCA, said this has become a public health issue.

"It is a treatable condition [...] but when we're looking at the number of animals we're talking about, it's now at an epidemic level," Firmage said.

The OSPCA held a meeting with its volunteers, and after, many of them left the building in tears.

On Tuesday, the volunteers shared their stories about the animals they cared for and how frustrated they are that there's nothing they can do to help.

Megan, who has been a volunteer for about one year, said she is desperate to do something to help the animals.

"A bunch of us said that we would put our names down to take animals that came back testing negative, and they said that's not possible," Megan told 680News.

This issue has become an emotional one for many people. Some high school students even skipped class to protest at side of the road, across the street from the shelter. They chanted "stop the murder" and held signs.

OSPCA officials said they have received e-mails and phone calls of a threatening nature from people.

Toronto Humane Society spokesperson Ian McConachie told 680News they've called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to launch an investigation into this unprecedented situation.

"Ringworm is treatable, it's nothing that's easy to get rid off, it does require some effort," Ian McConachie said. "I think a better solution can be found, rather than euthanizing all these animals."

It could be a few weeks until the shelter is completely sterilized and reopened.

No Mass Euthanasia At Animal Shelter: OSPCA

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals now says there will not be a mass euthanization of animals at a shelter north of Toronto.
Earlier this week, the York Region shelter was closed and staff were sent home after an outbreak of ringworm infected the animals. It was reported all 350 of the pets were to be euthanized to stop the spread of the disease.
But on Thursday, a spokesman for the OSPCA said the fate of the remaining animals will be decided on an individual basis.
Rob Godfrey, chair of the animal protection agency, said most of the animals — about two-thirds — will be re-examined and treated on a "case by case" basis. No determination will be made on whether to euthanize the animals until they have been examined, he said.
About 230 pets — most of them dogs and cats — will be treated for ringworm infection. According to the OSPCA, 96 animals are already being cared for by volunteers.
"There's great optimism" that most of the animals will survive, Godfrey said.

Pet lovers protested

Earlier this week, the OSPCA said its veterinarians and experts decided the way to deal with the ringworm epidemic was to destroy the dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals in the Newmarket shelter just north of Toronto.
That led to protests from people who thought the action was too extreme.
Even Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty got involved in the controversy. He said Wednesday that "when you're talking about animals and animal welfare, it's something that can be very emotional, that can be very near or dear to the hearts of people."
The OSPCA said the outbreak was caused by human error — that protocols for identifying ringworm in animals were not followed. The shelter will undergo a thorough cleansing and an inspection to ensure the ringworm is eradicated before it reopens for adoptions.
In the meantime, new trailers have been brought to the site to help house staff and animals. Some of the infected pets will be cared for by volunteers, veterinarians and other shelters.