Friday, July 30, 2010

50% of dogs in university vet program killed

The University of Guelph says more resources will be utilized in a summer program at the Ontario Veterinary College to cut down on the number of young beagles that die during training.
So far this summer, 10 out of 20 dogs have died in the VSTEP program that allows immigrant veterinarians to obtain their credentials to work in Ontario. The dogs, which are bred specifically for use at the college, have died as a result of spay and neuter surgeries.
"The institution has now, in terms of future surgeries, put professional veterinary surgeons with trainees," Chuck Cunningham, the university's director of communications, told QMI Agency Thursday.
He said it's important to remember the trainees are just learning how to do the surgeries, but additional resources in the future will help them keep more dogs alive in order to adopt them out.
The treatment of beagles at the college was called into question earlier this week when the organization Animal Alliance of Canada called out to its members to adopt the dogs.
Liz White of the Alliance told QMI Agency that up until now, the college would "anesthetize, sterilize and euthanize" the dogs. That meant that once the Veterinary Skills, Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) was over for the year, the dogs were destroyed.
White said her organization lobbied the university to adopt the dogs that survived the end of the program.
"Our intention is to get them all a good home," she said. "What lesson does this teach a veterinarian?"
The college will adopt the dogs out through its own program, and White is encouraging people to get their applications in now. She said so far, she's had about 100 requests from people from as far away as Vancouver and the southwestern U.S.
She did give the college credit for being very diligent in its adoption processes, which include interviews.
But she said there is a larger problem because the college continues to use live animals and is "not transparent" about how many are used for training purposes. White said if graduates are given the option to use cadaver dogs, the college shouldn't even offer a live option.
"Why are you giving this option?" she asked. "There is absolutely no need to do these live surgeries."
Cunningham confirmed that before this year, the beagles were put down at the end of the VSTEP program. He also noted the dogs are treated humanely ‹ they are walked regularly and socialized by volunteers and students.
He said some of the allegations made on social networking websites ‹ such as that students are forced to break a dog's leg in order to learn how to set it, or they try to give dogs heart attacks to then try to save them ‹ are false.
"There's always some misinformation out there," he said. "We see the power of social media...A lot of it, too, is incorrect information."
As for live animals, Cunningham confirmed students enrolled at the college are given the option of using a live animal or a cadaver, but the school is constantly revisiting its curriculum and there may be changes in the future.
And he said all dogs that can be adopted out are sent to good homes.
"We feel the university is quite successful in its adoption program," he said.
*Taken from the Toronto Sun

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Board with nails found buried at Cherry Beach

People with pets are being warned to be cautious after a buried board with nails was found in the "Dog off Leash" area at Cherry Beach.
Toronto Police issued the alert Thursday afternoon.
The board, containing "numerous nails driven through it," was discovered Tuesday, about 100 metres from the west beach limit sign, near some bushes, Det.-Const. Lisa Prechotko, of 51 Division, said.
No one has been reported injured.
Similar incidents in Toronto parks and on beaches in recent years, often when sites have been disputed by people objecting to dogs being allowed to roam free — have successfully driven pet-owners away.
Police are investigating that as the motive behind the latest nail-burying incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.222tips.com.

OSPCA protesters not giving up fight

As cars drive by on Woodbine Avenue, three women hold up signs asking residents to sign a petition calling for the Community Safety and Correctional Services Ministry to take control of the OSPCA.
"Some people stop, ask us questions and sign the petition," Eva McDowell said. "Some people yell at us to get a job. This isn't over. We'll be here until we get some answers."
It has been more than two months since the OSPCA euthanized 99 animals at its York Region shelter after an aggressive strain of ringworm broke out, but the protesters know the fight to have the shelter overhauled isn't over.
No date has been set for the reopening of the shelter. In fact, an independent investigator to probe the handling of the outbreak still hasn't been announced, even though the OSPCA board of directors announced one would be in place May 28.
Every day since the ringworm breakout, for a couple of hours after coming home from work, Ms McDowell, Michele Langston and Katie Patrick take up their positions along Woodbine.
Not only is this group of women standing its ground until the promised investigation is complete, it is also standing up to accusations against them, as a whole, by the OSPCA.
The OSPCA cancelled an adoption blitz in late June citing an increase in threats against staff and the public from aggressive protestors.
"We want to clear our names," Ms McDowell said. "We want no harm to the people inside the shelter or to the building.
"We've become the scapegoat. Why are we being blamed for the shelter not getting things done."
"We were thrilled these animals were up for adoption," Ms Patrick said. "Getting the animals out is exactly what we want. Why would we stop them? We were ready to cheer them on."
According to a regular weekly report sent to the Town of Aurora, which contracts services from the shelter to handle animal licencing and animal control, the cleaning and contamination process is complete, the shelter is undergoing minor repairs, cleaning of the duct work is ongoing and the animal agency has started the process of recruiting a new branch manager for the York Region location.
But the main issue remains the lack of an independent investigation.
The secrecy surrounding the OSPCA leaves many wondering what the agency has to hide, Ms Patrick said. She compared the lack of action and discussion with the 2008 Maple Leaf Foods listeria situation.
"When that broke out, everyone knew what the next steps were," she said. "What do they have to hide? Why are they so secretive? We're hearing rumours over and over again to the point where it sounds true. We don't know what to believe. Why won't they just come out and tell us?"
The protesters are not the only ones fighting for answers. The Stop the Slaughter of Over 350 Animals Facebook page has more than 39,000 members.
The people who continue to protest have serious concerns and want reassurances this situation will not be repeated, Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees said.
Mr. Klees tabled a resolution in the provincial legislature and is collecting signatures to bring the OSPCA under the control of the Community Safety and Correctional Services Ministry.
"We get signed petitions in weekly," he said. "This is not an issue that will be dropped. There needs to be proper provincial oversight."
Mr. Klees plans to present the petitions once the legislature sits again in the fall.
According to the Community Safety and Correctional Services Ministry, the OSPCA is responsible for its own actions and the ministry has no legislative role in this matter, spokesperson Anthony Brown said.
Mr. Klees also said he has regular conversations with OSPCA board of directors chairperson Rob Godfrey for updates on the progress of the promised investigation.
The board was to hold a meeting last night to approve the terms of reference and approve two investigators, one from the veterinary community and the other from the legal community, Mr. Klees said.
"I have every confidence the board is moving forward," Mr. Klees said. "The board is responding. The investigation will take place. We need to know how the situation developed and who is responsible."
To sign a petition, visit frank-klees.on.ca
For more information or to get involved in the online community, visit ospcatruth.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Guidelines At The THS

The “new” Toronto Humane Society (THS) has been re-opened for a month now, and a significant change is it will be more selective than in the past.
With a new president and board of directors, the THS acknowledges it sought advice and adopted recommendations from the University of California — which has some uneasy about the future.
With some 123 years of experience, the THS is well versed in humane animal care.
At the time of the celebrated “raid” by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (OSPCA) to Animals on the THS shelter — with media alerted in advance to photograph the principals being escorted from the facility in handcuffs — up to 1,200 animals were housed there.
The “new” THS supposedly will accommodate 250 to 300 animals maximum and, according to its website, will only admit animals by appointment, and charge $50.
It will not take in stray dogs or cats, and can refuse to accept some animals. It will take two hours of paperwork, etc., to surrender a dog, and one hour to surrender a cat. So says their website.
Rejects can go to Toronto Animal Services, which is an animal-control agency — basically the pound, whose its prime role is to kill unwanted animals.
Little of this sounds like the Humane Society started in 1887 by 22-year-old Toronto newspaper reporter John Kelso, with a $2 donation aimed at protecting children and animals.
On its website, the THS describes it function as “dedicated to providing compassionate care, shelter, adoptions to caring homes and a voice for abandoned, abused and injured companion animals.” No mention of “by appointment only” in this mission statement, or of two hour checks and medicals and forms to fill to ensure the animal is healthy — otherwise, off to the TAS for disposal.
No mention by Kelso or his successors that “strays” are not welcome at the THS.
At the moment, the THS does not seem to be operating as a refuge to the sick and homeless, but as a private shelter that picks and chooses.
There may have been a lot of things wrong with the “old” THS, but no animal was ever refused admission, turned away, or sent to another facility for “disposal.”
On the contrary. The THS was criticized for being overly concerned about animals in other jurisdictions, even helping with injured animals elsewhere.
One of the OSPCA’s complaints against the THS was it wasn’t killing enough animals (7% and not the average 50%), hence the raid and charges that it was keeping injured or sick animals alive and suffering instead of killing them.
The “new” THS will apparently be selective in kittens it accepts, which is perhaps understandable, considering that previously the THS had too many cats, and crews of volunteers were recruited to feed very young kittens. No longer.
Kittens under three weeks will not be accepted, as their death rate is around 30% no matter what.
None of this is meant as hostility to the THS. Anyone concerned for animals has got to support the shelter and hope it succeeds. But the stray animals of Toronto are a worry — as they were for John Kelso in 1886.
One hopes someday the welfare of all animals will be a concern to the “new” THS, as they were for the “old” THS.

*Taken from the Toronto Sun

Providing For Your Pet If, Heaven Forbid, Something Should Happen To You


Prism Publishing Inc. has released a new book Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs  that explains how pet owners can make sure their pets are properly taken care of, if circumstances prevent their owners from being able to do so themselves. The book outlines strategies for including pets in wills, setting up trusts to take care of companion animals, and less formal arrangements.

Though the book is serious, it is peppered with interesting factoids and information in a multitude of areas such as:

According to an Infogroup for the American Red Cross survey, 28% of United States adults responded that they would be very likely to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on their cat or dog.

Pet blood banks are being used with increased frequency and pet owners are increasingly donating their pet’s blood to blood banks. 

There are many centers that now perform dialysis for pets.  The initial set up with the catheter, first week of treatments, feeding tube placement etc. typically runs $2500-$3000. After this, each treatment costs $500 (the average patient requires 3 treatments per week).

Bitter custody disputes over pets are becoming more common and are often costly. A California couple's fight in 2000 over Gigi, their pointer-greyhound adopted from a shelter, cost more than $100,000 in legal fees. The three-day trial included testimony from animal experts, who were called on to determine which home would better suit Gigi. Eventually, the wife was granted full custody after a day in the life video of the dog was played in court.

Another indication of the growing status and importance of pets is the rise of pet-friendly travel outfitters. Instead of packing Fido off to a boarding kennel for a couple of weeks, more people are choosing to take him on vacation with them. One such company, Dog Paddling Adventures (www.dogpaddlingadventures.com/) offers cross-country skiing, hiking and canoeing expeditions for pets and their owners. It claims its business has quadrupled since it opened in 2000.

In addition to the legal issues, the book also includes an extensive set of supplementary material that covers pets throughout history, including many of the rich and/or famous, expected lifespan of various types of pets, problems affecting exotic animals and a variety of surprising facts about pets.

Please see -Home page link-- www.fatcatsandluckydogs.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canadian priest sorry for giving dog Holy Communion

A priest in Canada has apologised after giving Holy Communion to a dog.
Reverend Marguerite Rea of St Peter's Anglican Church, in Toronto, received complaints from Christians all over Canada after she fed communion bread to a German Shepherd cross named Trapper.
Area Bishop Patrick Yu said the priest had contravened church policy with her "strange and shocking" actions.
Ms Rea said it had been a "simple church act of reaching out" to a new congregation member and his pet.
"If I have hurt, upset or embarrassed anyone, I apologise," she told her congregation on Sunday morning, the Toronto Star reports.
Bone of contention The canine controversy began last month when four-year-old Trapper and his owner, Donald Keith, 56, attended the church in Toronto's downtown area for the first time.

Start Quote

I don't recall anything from the scripture about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets”
End Quote Cheryl Chang Anglican Network in Canada
"The minister welcomed me and said come up and take communion, and Trapper came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well," Mr Keith told the Toronto Star.
"I thought it was a nice way to welcome me into the church. I thought it was acceptable. There was an old lady in the front just beaming when she saw this."
But not all parishioners at the service were quite so charmed by the sight of the priest leaning down and placing a wafer on the wagging tongue of Trapper, a German Shepherd-Rhodesian ridgeback cross.
Communion bread is considered by Anglicans to represent the body of Jesus Christ.
One onlooker filed a complaint with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident and has since left the church.
When news spread of the canine communion, St Peter's Church began receiving e-mails from angry Christians all over the country.
"Communion is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus' body; he died for all of us. But I don't recall anything from the scripture about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets," said Cheryl Chang, director of the Anglican Network in Canada, the National Post newspaper reports.
"I can see why people would be offended," said Bishop Yu.
"I have never heard of it happening before. I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming."
'Innocent' Mr Keith has since been told that he and his dog are most welcome at the church, but Trapper can no longer receive communion.
"This has blown me away. The church is even getting e-mails from Catholics," said the truck driver.
"Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the people in the church love Trapper and the kids play with him. It was just one person who got his nose out of joint.
"Holy smokes. We are living in the downtown core. This is small stuff. I thought it was innocent and it made me think of the Blessing of the Animals."

*Taken from bbc.co.uk

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Shepherd can't get communion

Donald Keith can’t believe the fuss that has been made because a Shepherd received Holy Communion.
The Shepherd called Trapper — a Shepherd mix rescue dog — received the wafer that represents the body of Christ at St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Carlton St.
“This happened a month ago,” Keith said. “One church parishioner had a problem with it. This morning (Wednesday) I wake up and see it on the news that some guy’s dog received communion. Then I go to the dog park and people were talking about it being on the radio.”
When Trapper received communion, Keith was a new member of the church, where pets are allowed.
“The minister welcomed me and said come up and take communion, and Trapper came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well. Then he bent his head and said a little prayer,” Keith said.
“I thought it was a nice way to welcome me into the church,” he said. “I thought it was acceptable.
“There was an old lady in the front just beaming when she saw this,” Keith said. “Ninetynine-point-nine per cent of the people in the church love Trapper and the kids play with him.
“It was just one person who got his nose out of joint and went to the head of the Anglican Church,” he said. “Holy smokes. We are living in the downtown core. This is small stuff. I thought it was innocent and it made me think of the Blessing of the Animals.”
The church has since told Keith he and his dog are most welcome at the church, but Trapper can no longer receive communion.
“This has blown me away. The church is even getting e-mails from Catholics,” he said.
Everything is fine, said Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden at the church.
“The backlash is from just one person. Something happened that won’t happen again. Something our interim priest did spontaneously,” Needham said.
“This person went to the top and e-mailed our Bishop to make a fuss and change things,” she said. “But he misjudged our congregation.”

*Taken from the Toronto Sun.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Enjoy The Lakes & Pools Pups!

I have mentioned pet life jackets before on this site as they relate to overall safety in the summer and around water. This article examines pet life jackets more closely and will hopefully help pet owners decide if a life jacket is a good idea for their pet(s). I've decided that they are a great idea for my dog, Sophie.
All dogs know how to swim, don't they?
No, they do not! This is a common misconception, probably helped along by the swim stroke referred to as the "dog paddle." Some breeds do not enjoy being anywhere near water and some breeds that have low body fat (Greyhounds, Whippets, etc.) may have a much more difficult time staying afloat and regulating body temperature. Fear and anxiety in the water, as when a pet falls in unexpectedly, can hamper normal respiration and swimming ability as well. Waves, undertows, currents and fast-moving rivers can overtake even the strongest swimmer. Wearing a life vest may be the difference between life and death.
Of course, some breeds live to be in the water, such as the Retrievers and Labradors out there. However, even these "water dogs" can have trouble if they are elderly, sick, or overweight and out of shape. Fatigue can set in, and no matter how good of a swimmer they are, they may tire out and be unable to stay afloat. I am sure that many people can relate to occasionally overdoing it as far as exercise now and then. Some people have even experienced medical emergencies from being out of shape and doing too much. Like their human counterparts, many dogs (and cats) lead a much more sedentary life style these days, and gasping for breath while in water is not a good way to assess fitness levels.
Have dog, will travel!
Pets are part of the family, and more pets than ever are taking vacations with their families. For those that travel to lakes, rivers and the coastal areas with their pets, it is a good idea to stop and think about your pet being near water.
I have a mixed breed dog named Sophie who loves the water. She takes frequent dips in the pond, loves to swim in the lake and doesn't even mind a nice cooling bath in the summer. So I didn't really worry about this particular dog needing a life jacket. While at the lake last weekend, she eagerly jumped in our little boat from the beach. She is very athletic and in good shape. As she sailed around the docks with my husband to meet the rest of the family, she got very excited and anxious seeing the rest of "her people" on the dock.
Before anyone could think, she leaped from the boat to the dock. Normally this wouldn't be a big problem, but... she missed. The combination of her pushing off from the boat, the boat heading for the dock, and the dock moving from waves meant that as she was underwater, and the dock and boat closed right over her submerged head!
We grabbed her quickly as she popped up out of the water, and everything was OK. But it was scary. I realized that while she loves swimming with her family nearby, she gets nervous when we are doing different things; some of us on the dock, some of us in the boat, or some of us swimming. This leads to unpredictable behavior from our excitable dog.
After this incident, on went the life jacket for Sophie. We had an extra one, and it fit her well. It was one made from humans, and while it worked great for Sophie, I would recommend one made for pets, as they have a handle for easy "pet overboard" retrievals. Sophie seemed to appreciate the additional lift from the vest and I appreciated the piece of mind!
If you are considering a life vest for your pet, talk to other boaters and pet owners. The US Coast Guard, which regulates human life jackets, does not regulate vests for pets, so be sure to have your pet fitted for the vest that will work best. Dogs in particular come in every shape/size/weight, so be sure to get accurate measurements for a good fit. There are many jacket styles out there and the materials used have different levels of buoyancy in the water. I do not recommend leaving your pet unattended while wearing a life vest at any time -- they can be quite hot to wear if not in the water and your pet may chew or become entangled in the vest if bored or wanting to escape.

*Taken from vetmedicine.about.com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Rally Coverage

Yesterday, a group of us attended a rally at Queen’s Park to support MPP Frank Klees (Newmarket - Aurora) in bringing important amendments to Bill 50 which currently grants sweeping police powers to the OSPCA - powers that have been abused and which were thrust into the public eye most recently with the ringworm outbreak at their Newmarket shelter. You’ll recall that the OSPCA intended, under cover of night, to euthanize all 350 animals for a highly treatable condition. The story was leaked and public outrage halted the killing plans. But not before 102 animals had been put down.
My head is still spinning from the shocking and heartbreaking stories told by speakers at the rally - stories of illegal seizures and police powers.

Frank Klees spoke about the need to take legislative change forward demanding oversight by the Ministry of Community Safety, and the separation of policing powers from sheltering within the OSPCA.
Cheri diNovo (MPP, Parkdale - High Park) was present as a speaker at the Bill 50 rally as well as the Civil Liberties/G-20 rally which followed, and she eloquently pointed out the chilling comparison.

The stories followed.
Susan Pitney recounted the unthinkable seizure of her elderly beagle, Little  One, who is diabetic and blind. This happened last August. A year ago. And Susan has been fighting relentlessly to overturn the OSPCA’s decision and get her companion back. She does not know where Little One is or whether she is still alive.  Read her powerful and heartbreaking story.
Sunny Reuter became interested in provincial animal legislation after the OSPCA seized and killed her dog Arko while she and her daughter were on vacation in August 2003. Arko was a Turkish Akbash dog, a lean white sheep guarding breed. Elderly and thin, he was mistaken for an emaciated Great Pyrenees while being boarded at a Schomberg facility and euthanized hours before Sunny returned. Sunny faced criminal charges which were dropped when she was able to produce a veterinarian’s report verifying Arko’s good health prior to boarding.
Sunny also recounted the story of the “Limping Pig”, whereby a rare 800-pound prize black boar was seized by the OSPCA at Canaan Farm in Niagara. Jack, the boar born with a limp, was inhumanely shot in his pen because the OSPCA assumed he had been abused. The farmer was criminally charged. Those charges were dropped pre-trial.
Sunny’s eloquent remembrance of her dog, Arko, and her summary of the issues with the OSPCA is here and here.
Colleen Hervieux passionately recounted the seizure of the horses on her northern farm and its devastating effect on her family.
As Cheri diNovo stated, “I’m more and more concerned, the more I hear deputants today, that the OSPCA seems to be some kind of rogue organization with no accountability, no oversight from anybody, and, for those who are caught by the OSPCA, no right of appeal.”
Another family had 87 animals seized on a first visit. The father suffered a heart attack immediately thereafter. The animals were ordered returned to the farm by the Animal Care Review Board. The family could not afford to pay OSPCA seizure costs. Criminal charges were laid. The farmer states he pled guilty to a single charge of a dirty budgie cage. The Ontario SPCA is currently suing this family civilly.
The rally was organized by “Reform Ontario Animal Rights” (R.O.A.R.). Join their Facebook page for more background.
Download Frank Klees’ petition here and present the original signed copies to your MPP. Ask your MPP to read the petition into Hansard and notify you when that is done. Although you can forward the signed petitions to Frank Klees, this is preaching to the choir. It’s important to get the word out to your own MPP and ensure that s/he is onside with these important changes to the legislation.

*Taken from redstarcafe

R.O.A.R. Makes Noise at Queen's Park

R.O.A.R. - Reform Ontario Animal Rights organized a protest at Queen's Park today to demand the Ontario government change the legislation governing the OSPCA (Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).


On May 10, 2010 the OSPCA indefinitely shut the doors to its Newmarket head office and shelter due to a virulent strain of ringworm. All 350 animals in the shelter except the turtles would be euthanized. Due to public protest the mass killing was stopped but not before 102 animals were put down.


R.O.A.R. states on their Facebook page that the OSPCA is beginning to collect new animals which they are housing in a trailer on the property. They say the OSPCA described the ringworm outbreak as a matter of public health, yet they have not released information on the condition or care of the remaining and/or new animals or on the safety of the building. 

Newmarket/Aurora MPP Frank Klees (pictured, above) said a "fundamental change" to the legislation was needed. Sunny Reuter of Richmond Hill (pictured, right) gave an emotional speech about the killing of her dog Arko, or 'Snowy' as they called him at the pound. 

The organizers are asking the public to promote and sign this petiton. R.O.A.R. also has a Facebook group you can join.


A Canine Protester at Queen's Park today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Watchdog needed for OSPCA, groups says

Around 1,000 people are expected to rally outside Queen’s Park Saturday calling for oversight of the OSPCA.
The Reform Ontario Animal Rights (ROAR) rally comes a few months after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals euthanized more than 100 animals at its Newmarket shelter due to a ringworm outbreak.
Rally organizer Gord Macey told the Sun the ringworm outbreak and the society’s response makes the case for its need to be under the eye of a watchdog.
“We need to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again,” Macey said. “Unfortunately, they are only accountable to themselves.”
Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees will be attending the rally, Macey said.
Klees has been a staunch critic of the OSPCA and has called for the society to be more accountable.
NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo will also be speaking at the rally.
Macey is one of the coordinators of a Facebook group with almost 40,000 members called “Stop the slaughter of over 350 animals at the Newmarket OSPCA!”
The group was started when the OSPCA originally announced they were planning to euthanize 350 animals within the shelter due to ringworm. The society has since said they “miscommunicated” that number.
“They didn’t really communicate anything until the public outcry,” Macey said.
The two-hour rally starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

**Taken from the Toronto Sun.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pawsway July Events

Just a reminder that PawsWay has some exciting seminars and workshops in the next few weeks.

Here's some of the key highlights:

TELEPATHIC COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR PET

Saturday, July 10th, 10am - Noon

Discover what telepathic animal communication is and how it works.
Find out how we communicate with animals and they with us and what animals actually hear when we talk with them and why we
often achieve the opposite of what we want.
Discover how you can improve the way that you communicate with your animal companion and what you can do to immediately deepen your relationship with your animal friends.
Please bring a printed picture of one of you animal companions. Time permitting some animals might have the opportunity so speak).

$25 + HST. To register, visit in person or email [email protected] or call 416 360-7297. (Some seats will still be available on the actual day, but registration is recommended).

ASK THE VET

Thursday, July 15th, 6pm - 8pm

PawsWay is thrilled to announce a special appearance of Dr. Krista Nelson in partnership with the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital!

This will be the first in a planned series of events where Dr. Nelson will be at PawsWay to answer any questions, provide important health and safety tips for your pet and offer invaluable advice in bringing out the best in your cat or dog.

DOG WALKING COURSE
(for professionals, volunteers & dog lovers!)

Saturday, July 17th, 10am - 5pm

Who ever said dog walking was easy? There are many challenges faced when walking dogs - so why not let Caryn Liles, a profesional dog obedience trainer teach you.

Learn about Body Language, Emergency Escape Techniques, dealing with aggression / reactivity and the business side of being a dog walker.

For more information or to register online visit www.whattapup.ca. Various levels and pricing - see website for details.

(Humans only course - please leave your dog at home.)

ADVANCED AGILITY

Every Wednesday, 5pm - 8pm

PawsWay is thrilled to announce our Advanced Agility workshops.

Each Wednesday evening, our trained staff will work with you and your dog on advanced agility exercises and special equipment. Each session lasts just under an hour and sessions start at 5pm, 6pm & 7pm.

Cost: $10 per session / $40 for a five pass / $10 for a ten pass. To participate in Advanced Agility, PawsWay must sign off on your dog's ability level. Ask PawsWay staff for details.

That's not all!

Stay tuned as PawsWay will soon be announcing another round of training including Canine Good Neighbour in conjunction with Whatta Pup!, training workshops with Debbie Reynolds from Life's Ruff, more workshops (plus more Doggie DanceFit!)with award winning Cassandra Hartman and a seminars with Julie Ott from Canine Foundations.

Full details will be announced shortly.

http://www.pawsway.ca/

OSPCA wrongfully seized couple's animals

The OSPCA has made an out-of-court settlement of $40,000 to an Elmvale “hobby farmer” whose pigs, emu, turkeys, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs it wrongly seized in 2007.
After a six-day trial in October ’08, Justice Clair Marchand, of the Ontario Superior Court, ruled that the evidence of Don Hervieux and his wife, Cynthia Bloxom, and their witnesses was “much more credible” than the evidence of OSPCA agent Mark Beauchamp, who seized the animals.
Hervieux and Bloxom want their legal costs added to the settlement offer, and are contemplating a class-action suit against the OSPCA, which has a questionable record of persecuting people in rural Ontario, especially farmers.
“Their agents seem to know very little about farm animals,” Hervieux says. “They mostly know dogs and cats, and use their considerable powers to get money.”
No warrant
A month after Beauchamp went to the farm without a warrant and seized the animals and free-ranging birds, Hervieux and Bloxom were billed by the OSPCA for the “cost of removal” of the livestock — $560 for 28 hours of work by inspectors, $445.60 veterinary costs, $1,590 boarding costs, $350 for trucking costs, $112.70 for mileage travelled and $31.55 for feed and straw. Total $3,089.85, to which was added the note: “To the above sum add $110 per day boarding costs.”
“That’s what the OSPCA does,” Hervieux says. “They charge huge amounts — extortion really — and force you to sign surrender documents for the animals when you can’t afford to pay.”
(A woman in Niagara Falls was charged $7,333 if she wanted her small dog returned — she is fighting this in court).
It’s why Hervieux is keen to be part of a class-action suit against the OSPCA (his pager number is 705-835-8484, for those interested).
“As soon as the inspectors arrived to take our livestock, I contacted the OSPCA,” Hervieux says. “Kate MacDonald, chief executive officer, Hugh Coghill, chief inspector — they did nothing, weren’t interested. That’s another reason why there’s got to be changes — and some people at the OSPCA who understand farm animals.”
The OSPCA has been centre stage ever since it raided the Toronto Humane Society and charged executives with cruelty (apparently for a euthanasia rate of 7% that was deemed too low), and then unleashed a storm when it ordered 350 animals at its Newmarket shelter killed because they had ringworm.
Public pressure forced the OSPCA to reverse its earlier statement, and say only 100 anaimals were killed.
Bloxom said their pigs and birds were taken to an OSPCA “foster home” in Midland, “where conditions were horrible.”
On three separate occasions, they visited the Midland foster site and took photos that showed a dead rat on the floor.
On each visit, the rat hadn’t been removed.
Bloxom says the turkey and chickens were kept near the wild boars — which presumably ate them.
“The turkey was half eaten, and we presume our missing chickens were eaten by the hogs,” she says. “Shameful.”
During the seizure, guinea pigs were inadvertently killed or ran away.
“They wanted to charge us $20 boarding fees for each of the three guinea pigs they took,” Hervieux says.
During the court case, the unsanitary and poor condition of the animals testified by Beauchamp were refuted by a veterinarian, Dr. Sheila Driver of Huronia animal Hospital.
Driver, who has 15 years experience, testified that all the animals were in good shape and “no medical attention was required.”
In all, five wild pigs, an emu, two turkeys, eight hens, two roosters, two geese and one guinea hen were removed when Hervieux and Bloxom refused to surrender them.
When Hervieux described OSPCA officer Beauchamps manner as “imperious, authoritarian, demanding and officious,” Marchand, in his finding, said: “I would add officious and very opinionated.”
He ruled that Beauchamp “did not have the knowledge nor the experience to find the animals in question in distress.”
Also, Hervieux and Bloxom were not told they could appeal to the Animal Care Review Board.
“I reject the evidence of Mr. Beauchamp that he did in fact explain this remedy to Mr. Hervieux,” Marchand said.
‘Discourteous’
He added that Beauchamp “was on the premises without a warrant ... (and) was obviously discourteous and officious, and I find it unlikely that he would have explained the appeal section to the appellants.”
He ordered Hervieux and Bloxom to “immediately pick up the remainder of their animals.”
The fact that the OSPCA would settle for $40,000 is unusual, and further evidence that, as a charity, it shouldn’t have powers that exceed those of police.
There are too many complaints of OSPCA abuse around the province.
The provincial government should require that animal inspectors who have powers to seize and prosecute be under the jurisdiction of the attorney general, and not a charity that depends on public donations for its income.
It’ll be interesting to see whether a class-action suit gets off the ground.

*From the Toronto Sun

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cat hoarding cases put strain on EHS animal shelter

Now faced with their second cat hoarding case in less than a month, the Etobicoke Humane Society (EHS) is in dire need of community assistance. With the removal of 40 cats from two area homes recently - 13 cats and kittens over Canada Day weekend and 27 resulting from a previous investigation in Mimico back on June 17 - EHS's Royal York Road shelter is now bursting at the seams with high needs felines, said shelter manager Pia Lauretti.
"The days of having just one or two cats brought in by our cruelty officers is just so long gone. People call in constantly saying 'my neighbour has 30 cats,' but there's only so many hoarding cases we can take on," she said, noting city bylaws limit the amount of cats per household to six.
EHS's cramped shelter is now functioning at nearly double its capacity, with more than 50 cats - some with high needs - in residence. Volunteers have been working long hours to ensure the cats live in a clean, healthy living space.
"It's a lot of work when you have cats come in - the smell is something to be reckoned with, they're terrified, they want to scratch your eyes out. It takes a lot and these (volunteers) are people that come in for the love of animals to clean," Lauretti said, noting that more hardworking volunteers are always welcome. "Some of them come in before work, that's how dedicated these people are - they're amazing."
Still, more help is needed - especially people willing to foster some of the more high needs cats. Two of those recently brought in are pregnant and a third came in with two newborn kittens. EHS is currently seeking out caring households to bring those cats into their homes, to ensure their kittens a healthy beginning, Lauretti said.
"We don't like keeping them in the shelter because they're not vaccinated and so are susceptible to everything and just really don't do well in a shelter," she said, adding that fosters are also needed for a couple of cats that are "really, really nervous in cages."
An independent, all-volunteer registered charity, EHS is also seeking out financial donations to help towards the heavy vet bill burden brought on by the recent influx of cats and kittens.
"Right now, we're looking at defleaing, ear mite treatments, vaccines, spaying and neutering, and some dental work for some," Lauretti said.
The latest case in Etobicoke, in which 13 cats were surrendered to EHS on July 2, marked "the worst flea infestation" seasoned EHS cruelty agent Jerry Higgins has ever seen.
"Some of the cats have injured themselves because of the intense scratching," he said. "And because of the overcrowding and dirty conditions, there was a very strong odour. These cats lived in a small bedroom - approximately 10-feet by 8-feet."
A lot of the cats recently brought in also require special food because of heart conditions - of which one cat has already passed away.
"We're proud to have volunteer cruelty agents that can investigate and alleviate these conditions. We only hope that the public will recognize the importance of this work and offer their active support," said EHS President William Blain, noting that the recent large cat removals has strained EHS's budget. "As an all-volunteer charity, we really need extra financial support at this time."
Anyone wishing to help can mail their donations, payable to Etobicoke Humane Society, to 1500 Royal York Rd., Suite E, Etobicoke, Ontario M9P 3B6, or donate online at http://www.etobicokehumanesociety.com/WaysToDonate.aspx
Adoption, foster and volunteer inquiries can be made at 416-249-6100.

*Taken from InsideToronto

Neglected horses flourish under loving touch

Brenda McArthur goes where animal welfare agencies won’t — into abusive situations to rescue neglected horses and nurse them back to health.
McArthur operates the Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue on her farm near Hagersville, south of Hamilton, because the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has no horse facilities and relies on volunteers to board and foster farm animals. But many still slip through the cracks.
Armed only with persuasion and persistence, McArthur talks neglectful owners into turning horses over to her, outbids “meat men” for them at auction and takes in horses that people are no longer able to care for.
McArthur and her husband, Dave Thompson, dig into their own pockets to cover the shortfall between donations and the cost of running a farm for equine refugees, about $70,000 over the last two years.
Why does she do it?
“I know it sounds corny, but they whisper to me,” says McArthur. “And because there’s nothing for horses.”
After the euthanization fiasco at the Newmarket OSPCA last spring, we wrote a column saying it was no surprise to us that the OSPCA had been laid bare, based on its negligible enforcement of laws at a Port Perry sheep farm we’d reported on.
Emails arrived from as far away as Thunder Bay about the OSPCA’s failure to enforce laws that apply to farm animals, while seemingly manipulating media to cover puppy mill busts, which tugs at heartstrings and brings in essential donations.
McArthur’s email said she was a former investigator for the Welland Humane Society, a member of its board of directors and was trained at the Newmarket OSPCA, which gave her a hands-on perspective.
“Horses and farm animals are not a priority for the OSPCA,” she said. “Working for the OSPCA and having nowhere to take horses showed me the need for something like this.”
She provided a stunning example: Norfolk County, the former heart of tobacco country on the north shore of Lake Erie, has no humane society or OSPCA investigator, only an animal control contractor who deals with dogs and cats.
We visited and found 42 horses stabled in tidy red barns and romping in paddock areas, which will soon be expanded, thanks to a $25,000 donation from the estate of a Toronto woman who died at age 102.
“Every horse has a story,” said McArthur, who recites the circumstances of their arrival.
Shiloh was emaciated and sick when she bought her for $180 at auction, and would have been fattened up and slaughtered for dog food, had McArthur not rescued her. She has since gained about 100 kilograms and likes to nuzzle visitors.
Thoroughbred race horse Getaway Candidate was rescued by its former owner in Detroit and brought to McArthur. He likes to roll around on his back.
Her most horrific case involved the rescue of 14 horses found in a field near Waterford, sick and starving, including a 29-year-old mare that had been deliberately bred. Several had to be put down, but she has nursed five back to health.
McArthur’s rescue operation is entirely dependent on public donations, which she says have picked up over the past two years, but still do not cover her costs.
Given that the province won’t properly fund the enforcement and investigative arms of the OSPCA and humane societies, it falls to caring people like McArthur to cover the shortfall.
Whispering Hearts is holding its annual fundraiser this Saturday at McArthur’s farm, at 1652 Concession 10, about five kilometres east of Hagersville. Visit their website at www.whhrescue.com.

*Taken from the Toronto Star

Pets And Heat

Heat stroke is a fever that is induced by high environmental temperatures. Animals are at risk when exposed to hot and humid temperatures because effective evaporated cooling in cats and dogs cannot occur in these conditions. This results in the body's core temperature rising drastically to above 40 degrees. Once the body exceeds 41,5-42,5 degrees Celsius, cellular function is seriously affected and unconsciousness and even death may follow.
Situations or conditions that can lead to heat stroke.
* Pets left out doors in hot and humid weather with no shade or water .
* Exercising your pet in hot humid weather even if you have water available is putting your pet at risk.
* Leaving your pet in a closed car in direct sun or on a warm day even with cracked open windows can be deadly. Panting a normal physiological means to cool off actually saturates the air with water vapour making the air in the car warmer and consequently even more difficult for an animal to cool down.
* Young and old animals are more sensitive to high temperatures because they cannot acclimatize effectively.
* Heavy coated dogs (Husky ,German Shepherd, Chow Chow)
* Animals with medical problems. History of seizures , heart or lung disease should never be exposed to hot humid temperatures.
* Certain breeds with short snouts such as Shit tzu, Boxers, Pekinese, Bull dogs and Persian cats are particularly susceptible due to their flat faces that make breathing difficult.
Signs of Heat stroke
* Panting
* Sweating
* Salivating
* Difficulty in breathing
* Vomiting
* Bloody diarrhea
* High body temperature (above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit.
* Increased heart and respiratory rate
* Mucous membranes bright red
* Capillary refill time very fast ( less than 1 sec)
* Dehydration
* Depression , lethargic ( acting drunk )
* Shock
* Seizure ,Collapse, or coma
First Aid For Heat stroke
* The objective here is to cool your pet down as fast as possible to bring the body temperature down back to normal .
* If animal is outdoors or in a car get animal out of the car or out of direct heat and bring to a cool shaded area.
* Check for ABC's of CPR and shock ; administer CPR
* Hose down the animal with cool water. Use and find anything you can to wet your animal.
* Place water soaked towels on head, neck, feet chest and abdomen.
* If you have air conditioning in the car place animal in car with air conditioning on high and drive straight to your veterinarian. If animal is in shock and requires CPR have an other person give first aid keep air conditioning on while driving to the veterinarian.
* If incidence occurs at home place pet in bath tub with running shower( cool water).
* Rub alcohol under the toe pads. This helps to cool the body.
* Once you have started cooling your pet take it's temperature every 5 minutes until you reach your veterinarian.When your pet's temperature returns to normal (38.5-39.5degrees Celsius ) stop cooling .
It's important to monitor the temperature so that hypothermia (subnormal body temperature)doesn't occur. Applying first aid is the vital point in saving a pet from heat stroke , however your pet's well being should not stop here. Your pet should seek veterinary attention following a heat stroke incidence as other medical problems ( kidney failure, digestive tract , neurological , cardiopulmonary problems )could arise hours or even days following a heat stroke.

Feral cat explosion

FERAL CATS: Local shelters strained by demands of feral, stray cats

Posted By GALEN EAGLE , EXAMINER STAFF WRITER

Updated 3 hours ago

They often roam in the periphery, but ask locals where to find the city's packs of feral cats and you'll get a litany of responses.
As the sun sets, the wild felines have been spotted behind many local businesses that serve or sell food.
Unfixed tomcats hunt Stewart, Brock, Hunter and Simcoe streets just west of the downtown core, looking for outdoor females that have been abandoned, lost or simply let outside without being spayed. The shrieks of mating and catfights can be heard throughout the late nights.
Tobin Court resident Margaret Neill told city council Monday about the pack haunting her north-end neighbourhood, chasing people from patios and depositing feces on rooftops, gardens and backyard decks. "We can't use our new deck. We can't have friends over for a barbecue. These cats are just all over the place," Neill said. "I think some of these cats should be put down."
Many frustrated residents would agree with Neill. City staff field many calls about the issue, urging the city to do something.
While euthanasia is often the easiest fix, it does not address the problem of overbreeding in the long-term, local experts say.
It also switches the blame from people to the cats, said Mary Werner, a board member and volunteer at the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society (LAWS).
"The feral cats, it's not their fault. It's the community's problem and the community has to solve it," she said.
City council has been talking about the issue for years. Most recently, council raised the idea to support a spay and neuter clinic to alleviate some of the overpopulation. It asked staff to investigate the possibilities, but a solution has yet to emerge.
Who would be responsible for the clinic and who would fund it remains unclear.
Lines of co-operation between the area's animal welfare organizations have historically been poor, admitted Dr. Kathleen Norman, of the Kawartha Veterinary Association.
"Unfortunately, there has been a history of poor communication," she said.
Meanwhile, the city approved a new eight-month contract Monday with the Peterborough Humane Society that doesn't include a spay and neuter clinic.
The board of the humane society has yet to replace its former general manager Brad Algar who left in February.
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As the number of stray and feral cats continues to bulge, placing more strain on the area's shelters, most agree a solution is needed and fast.
Norman makes no distinction between stray cats, former pets that have been socialized, or feral cats, cats born wild or cats that have returned to a wild state.
"To me the problem is one and the same -- it's overpopulation," she said.
That burgeoning population brings with it a host of concerns to the community, including the spread of rabies and parasites, she said.
"As a community we have to worry about spread of disease as well as overpopulation. It's two big categories that we are trying to address," she said.
Working with some dedicated volunteers, LAWS does help trap, neuter/spay and release some of the feral cats into the community. It also works with local farmers willing to house feral cats in warm barns. Those solutions only make small chips in the problem, Werner said.
The LAWS shelter has more than 100 cats but has a waiting list of nearly 400, she said.
"Hundreds of hundreds of babies are being born every spring and being left outside," she said.
Cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Calgary provide programs to trap, neuter, spay and release feral cats.
Those programs or clinics are operated either directly by the municipality, a humane society or a local board of health.
Norman said her agency would entertain the idea of cooperating with a spay and neuter clinic, but said the agency has to first fix its communication issue with the humane society.
The two groups are meeting this week to "throw some ideas around" and work towards some common ground, she said.
"The veterinarians in the Peterborough area are trying very hard to improve communications with the humane society," she said.
Mayor Paul Ayotte has supported the idea of a bylaw that would prohibit owners from allowing their cats to roam free.
The bylaw issue has been before council for many years, but no council has ever passed one.
"I guess councils of the past haven't had the wherewithal to pass the bylaw," he said. "I certainly agree that there should be something done."
Ayotte said he would support a spay and neuter clinic, but warned the costs would be high.
"I'd like to see (a clinic) done, but it's a pretty expensive proposition," Ayotte said. "It's getting serious enough, I think we have to look at it."
While there appears to be some support for a clinic on city council and many community groups are calling for one, until funding and commitment combine in a cohesive plan, the city's cat issue will just continue to grow, Werner said.
"Nobody is taking responsibility," she said.
[email protected] peterboroughexaminer.com

Durham Region shelter overrun with cats

Cats, kittens — and more cats.
The Humane Society of Durham Region’s shelter is overflowing with felines. There are 112 cats and kittens available for adoption.
“Being the first of the month, we had a lot of landlords contact us with people moving out and abandoning animals, and we received more than we can accommodate,” said Ruby Richards, manager of the shelter on Tauton Rd. in Oshawa.
“Our shelter is just too small to deal with the high numbers — and more coming in every day,” she added. “We only have room for 65 normally and we don’t have enough cages to put them all in, so 25 cats are free just roaming around the warehouse we’re located in.”
Richards said due to a shelter fire in 2008, the humane society’s shelter has been temporarily housed in a warehouse until financing is in place to move to a permanent location.
“We’re asking for help from the public to find homes for these animals,” Richards said.
For more information, go to humanedurham.com.

*Taken from the Toronto Sun

Death row 'pit bull' won't be killed after all

Last month, Princess, identified as a "pit bull" by Hamilton Animal Control, escaped from her home and, allegedly, "attacked" a smaller terrier.
Princess was then ordered to be killed---not because she was involved in an altercation with another dog---but because a vet at the pound estimated her to be three to four years of age, automatically making her an "illegal pit bull" under the breed-specific sections of the Dog Owners' Liability Act (DOLA)......
*Read more by Anita Robeson & taken from examiner.com

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great Fund Raising Event This Saturday Night!

Toronto animal advocacy group Stop K9 Profiling is inviting everyone to a rocking night of music and fun at Toronto's legendary el Mocambo on Saturday, July 10, 2010.
Featured performers will include West Memphis Suicide, Brother My Enemy, Miclordz and Sauce Funky, Colour of Each, and DJ Splattermonkey, along with some special guests and MCs.
"Bands Against BSL" will celebrate the release of illegally seized American Bulldog/Boxer-cross siblings Brittany and Rambo by Brampton Animal Services. And all funds raised will support the fight to save Ontario's dogs by putting an end to breed-specific legislation (BSL), also known as the constitutionally vague and fiscally irresponsible "pit bull" ban.......
*Read more by Anita Robeson at examiner.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Protesters R.O.A.R. For Provincial Oversight Of The OSPCA

Protesters calling for provincial oversight of the self-governing Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) will be holding a rally on Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Queen's Park in Toronto.
Everyone is invited to attend, including your canine companions.
Organized by Gord Macey, animal rights activist and owner of Lawrence Park Pet Care, the Reform Ontario Animal Rights (R.O.A.R.) rally will call for legislative change while commemorating the senseless slaughter of over 100 animals at the OSPCA Newmarket shelter earlier this year.
There will be musical acts, keynote speakers, and special guests.  
Background
As previously reported, on May 10, 2010, the Newmarket OSPCA claimed that 350 animals in its care had been infected with a "virulent, aggressive" strain of ringworm that was "a tremendous public health issue," and that all the animals, with the exception of a few turtles, would be put to death.....
 *Read more by Anita Robeson at examiner.com.

Animosity grows between OSPCA and its critics

Nearly two months after the OSPCA euthanized 99 animals at its York Region shelter amid an aggressive ringworm outbreak, there is no word on when a probe of the matter will begin, nor on when the Woodbine Avenue facility will reopen to the public.
In the meantime, animosity is growing between the provincial animal-welfare society and its detractors, including a thriving online community and a few persistent protesters who maintain a physical presence outside the shelter.
Hundreds are expected to attend a demonstration at Queen’s Park next Saturday calling for a review of the OSPCA Act, which gives the society sweeping powers and which Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees blames for the “tragic circumstances” surrounding the ringworm outbreak.
The Queen’s Park gathering comes as both sides trade bitter allegations; the OSPCA accuses “extremely aggressive” protesters of derailing a planned adoption blitz at the York Region shelter late last month by making threats, while protesters say the provincial society is attempting to discredit their legitimate grievances.
“We never threatened anybody,” said Michelle, one of several women picketing outside the York Region shelter on a recent evening. She says her group would have welcomed the adoption blitz, designed to find homes for about 30 cats and kittens deemed healthy after follow-up ringworm tests.
“The OSPCA is trying to turn the public against the protesters while gaining sympathy for the OSPCA. They have made it clear that they are not happy that the protesters are still there,” noted Douglas Brown, who administers an online forum critical of the society.
The OSPCA, however, professed to be “deeply saddened that these individuals claiming to be protesting on behalf of the animals have actually interfered with the re-homing of the animals.”
Spokeswoman Alison Cross says the society has received threats ever since the May outbreak, citing voicemail messages warning staff and veterinarians to “be very careful” when leaving the facility.
“We’re all coming after you — when you come out of the door, when your car blows up,” one such message states.
After the OSPCA announced the adoption blitz, Ms. Cross said, a new wave of threats emerged, including people vowing to take photos of those involved, record their license plates and track where adopted animals would be going.
Ultimately, for “the safety of the staff and the animals and the general public,” the blitz was cancelled and the animals sent to other shelters.
Mr. Brown, noting protesters are merely seeking “oversight and accountability,” vehemently denied protesters would employ such tactics, particularly against the general public.
York Regional Police Constable Rebecca Boyd says no criminal reports related to the York Region shelter have come in recently, though police did investigate a number of incidents back in May.
Ms. Cross says it is difficult to pinpoint the origin of the latest threats: “A lot of them are coming through email and voicemail, so we don’t know if it’s from one particular group.”
Asked how, under the circumstances, the York Region shelter will ever be deemed safe to reopen once it is fully sanitized to remove ringworm spores, Ms. Cross said the OSPCA “will have to evaluate the situation at that time and see what’s best.”
The current standoff has its roots nearly two months ago, when the OSPCA announced plans to euthanize up to 350 animals at the York Region facility amid a severe ringworm outbreak. Facing immediate and intense public criticism, the society quickly cut that number to 99.
OSPCA officials have attributed the outbreak to human error and are negotiating “terms of engagement” with an external candidate selected to probe and publicly report on the circumstances.
Dozens of animals who survived the outbreak were sent to external clinics for ringworm testing, and while the group of 30 cats and kittens were cleared, many are still awaiting final results.
[email protected]

Ask A Vet At Pawsway!

PawsWay is thrilled to announce a special appearance of Dr. Krista Nelson in partnership with the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital!

This will be the first in a planned series of events where Dr. Nelson will be at PawsWay to answer any questions, provide important health and safety tips for your pet and offer invaluable advice in bringing out the best in your cat or dog.

Date: Thu, July 15th 6pm - 8pm / FREE!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

One Reader Responds To The Cancelled Adoption Blitz

Good morning
 
Please allow me the opportunity to comment on your article.
 
I find the headline, Fearing for her life OSPCA staff face death threats very disturbing.
 
I do believe there were threats but not as severe as the OSPCA tries to make us believe.
I believe there were threats to sever support and donations. Good possibility people called and left angry messages or sent emails voicing disgust. If the threats were genuine, why haven't the OSPCA filed for a court injunction to stop picketing at their facility? Why haven't the police approached these aggressive picketers and questioned them about the death threats?
The OSPCA is trying to garner sympathy by making false accusations and relying on headlines like the above to obtain it.
 
This is the second time in so many months the OSPCA have ordered mass killing of animals.
 
The first time was during/after the Toronto Humane Society raid. It was decided by the OSPCA the River Street location will be cleaned and renovated. Can't very well undertake such a project with so many animals in the way now can you? Rather than have an adoption blitz to find forever homes, the OSPCA decided to put the animals down. This created a public uproar. The situation became worse when the public discovered 6 pit bulls, who were slated to be relocated out of Province by a Rescue, were put down. The very same dogs who appeared on the THS adoption page as friendly, good natured dogs, looking for a forever home. Strange when the OSPCA came on board, these dogs began to display serious behavioural issues. When volunteers disputed and spoke up what great dogs they were, the OSPCA then made a comment the Rescue was not credible.
 
Several months later, the media is tipped off the OSPCA is planning a mass killing again. This time it's their York Region Shelter. I have no doubts the OSPCA, fearing another public backlash, came up with this virulent, aggressive strain of ringworm with hopes it would appease the public. The OSPCA played the public for fools and lost. The public is now outraged.
 
The OSPCA immediately stopped the killings and promised no more would be put down YET, 3 dogs were put down the next day. The same 3 dogs who were adoptable in April now developed behavioural issues 2 weeks later? Deja Vu?
 
One dog, Sago, was the OSPCA poster dog in their April issue.
I attached a copy for your review. Please note how the OSPCA raved what a marvelous dog she was. Rescues and caring public came forward to adopt these dogs. OSPCA refused to release. We were heartbroken to discover they were killed. It was leaked that a certain manager ordered them put down out of spite. Do you honestly blame the publics' hostility, anger and outrage towards the OSPCA and this manager?
 
It appears the OSPCA York Shelter is now undergoing a massive cleanup and renovations. Is this a HUGE coincidence? Is it possible the OSPCA decided to put animals down to clear out the shelter rather than make an effort to to adopt them out? A THS repeat? Makes you wonder?
 
A member of our Facebook group received a reply from Public Health. They confirmed what we already suspected. The strain of ringworm at the York Region Shelter was not virulent or aggressive. It was a normal strain and did not pose a public health risk. That may answer the question why it took the OSPCA so long to bring in professionals to disinfect the facility?
Tanya Firmage herself stated the virulent spores were everywhere and on everything YET they continued to keep the spay/neuter clinic open. Were they not concerned transferring the spores from the main building to the clinic? Were they not concerned they could infect healthy pets and their owners? They were not because they already knew what the true ringworm situation was.
 
Regarding the cancellation of the adoption blitz. My opinion? Another ploy to deflect the publics' negativity away from the OSPCA and point fingers at innocent parties.
I attached a picture of the OSPCA spokesperson taken while giving Rogers TV an interview just shortly after the cancellation. Please note the empty cages in the background. Where are the animals? Are you to tell me these animals were transported in then right back out? Anyone involved in rescue knows how stressful that is on animals. If the animals were not transported in, then the adoption blitz was a hoax.
Also
Do you not find it strange this OSPCA worker was not concerned having her picture and name broadcast on TV? I certainly would not allow it if I felt my personal safety was at risk.
 
There are always 3 sides to a story. Yours, mine and the truth. 
The TRUTH is surfacing with each passing day.
Vets confirmed the animals entrusted to them tested negative for ringworm.
Public Health confirmed the ringworm strain was not virulent/aggressive and a risk to the public.
York Region Police confirm they have not received any complaints of threats from the OSPCA since May 13/10  
 
In closing. The small group who continually protest at the York Shelter deserve an apology from the OSPCA and the media. I hope one media outlet would take the initiative to report the truth.
May I rely on you?
 
Thank you for taking the time to read. Greatly appreciated.
 
Regards
 
Angie
Toronto