Tim Trow, who resigned as president of the Toronto Humane Society during a criminal investigation, is running for a seat on the organization’s board. Trow, former board member Bob Hambley and former THS spokesman Ian McConachie are running on a slate in an election to be held at the society’s annual general meeting on May 31.
Trow resigned after he was charged with animal cruelty in 2009. Those charges were dropped last year. He says he wants back on the board because he’s very concerned about the direction the THS is going in. “It’s the traditional work of the THS (that has to continue) and I don’t think this board has the mandate to shift away from that,’’ he said. He added that the River St. shelter seems to be caring for a “lot fewer animals now.’’
Hambley, considered an ally of Trow, replaced him when Trow resigned from the board early last year. Trow stepped down a few months after being charged with animal cruelty following a raid by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), and amid allegations of poor financial management and animal care. Hambley later ran for a board position, but lost.
McConachie worked as a spokesman for the organization, but was sacked by the new board of directors. They are running on a slate that also includes Margaret Ann Johnson and Tony Marner, two THS volunteers who have never served on the board.
The THS has about 1,000 voting members. Five positions are up for grabs on the 15-member board. Trow hinted at his intention to run earlier this month when he sent a letter to members, saying the board has shut down programs “that took decades to build,’’ including native wildlife rehabilitation, a lost and found service, and cruelty investigations. He also said the board was “rumoured to have secretly commissioned an appraisal’’ of the River St. shelter with an eye to selling it off.
At the time, Trow said the purpose of the letter was to alert people to the board’s direction since he resigned from his volunteer position. But the claims were immediately refuted by the board, with board vice-president Marcie Laking saying the statements were part of a “smear campaign.’’ She said a vote for Trow and his slate would be a big step backward. “We spent a lot of time fixing a lot of the mess we inherited. We’re really starting to grow and positively change, and I do believe the membership is going to support continued growth versus voting for (this slate) which is a vote for the old THS,’’ said Laking, whose position is not one of the five in the May 31 vote. “The THS used to be overcrowded and disease was rampant because there were so many animals and not enough staff,’’ said Laking. She later added: “We have a great staff-to-animal ratio (now). We’ve made the living quarters bigger for the animals in our care.”