Monday, June 13, 2011

OSPCA Euthanizes Woman's Dog Without Telling Her, Charges Her, Then Drops Charges UPDATED - OSPCA Responds

An Etobicoke dog owner has accused the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of euthanizing her beloved husky unnecessarily and without her knowledge.

Gianna Tramontin said her 16-year-old brown and white husky, Rocky, was healthy and received regular checkups with a local veterinarian. But she was stunned when she returned home two weeks ago to find her pet was gone.

A notice from the OSPCA was posted to her door informing her officials had taken Rocky away and were charging her for failing to provide proper shelter and veterinary care. A neighbour had earlier alerted the organization after noticing that Rocky had collapsed in the sun.

When Tramontin followed up with the OSPCA, she claims the agency only told her that her pet was being treated. In fact, the animal was euthanized the same day.

When she couldn't reach the OSPCA for further updates, her son phoned and received the news the pet had been put down. Tramontin's son arrived at her home two days later to take her out to lunch and deliver the news in person. "When I got in the car, I just knew right away because the tears were coming down and he told me Rocky had died," she said. Outraged and heartbroken, Tramontin wants to know why she was never given any notice her pet was to be put down.

Connie Mallory, the OSPCA's chief inspector, insists the dog was suffering and head to be euthanized. "This dog was dehydrated, had severe dental disease, had neurological symptoms," Mallory said. "[The dog was] in really rough shape that obviously had not been checked by the veterinarian."

But Tramontin disagreed, and has been backed up by Heather Hannah, the veterinarian who saw Rocky for the last 14 years. Both feel that the OSPCA acted hastily. "I think they made a mistake in this case," Hannah said. "I mean, it had veterinary care every few months." The OSPCA later dropped the charges against Tramontin once she provided the dog's veterinary records proving his health was being monitored.

**UPDATED :  OSPCA Chief Inspector Connie Mallory has responded to the above linked report. :

Letter to the Editor
Sunday June 12, 2011
RE: Dog taken, euthanized without owner's knowledge by Johnny Keogh

Dear Editor,

The Ontario SPCA is taken aback that the reporter chose to ignore the information provided to him on the condition of the animal profiled in his article.

The Ontario SPCA is mandated under the Ontario SPCA Act to respond to reports of animal cruelty. The Ontario SPCA and the local police responded to a call concerning a husky named "Rocky". Rocky was found, vocolizing in agony, severely dehydrated, emaciated, unable to control his own bodily functions and as a result his skin had been scalded by his own urine. He was unable to walk when the investigators found him.

Efforts were made by both the Police and the Ontario SPCA to contact the family. Our investigation revealed that the owners had not been seen in days, and in our line of work we sadly see this type of neglect frequently.

Rocky was examined by two veterinarians, who each reported that on top of the health concerns found by the Ontario SPCA , he was showing neurological problems and severe dental disease.

As a 16 year old dog with obvious signs of sever pain and declining health. Rocky was euthanized humanly by a veterinarian to end his suffering.

No charges were laid nor later revoked, as incorrectly reported by the original article. Our primary concern with this investigation was with Rocky's well-being.

It was incorrectly reported that I claimed that the dog had not been examined by a vet. I informed the reporter that the dog showed no signs of receiving palliative care, and as a senior dog with Rocky's condition he should have be receiving that type of care.

Palliative care, as with humans, dictates that someone is with them at all times so they do not have to endure this type of trauma. Where was the family during this time? Why was Rocky left in the extreme heat in his condition without water?

In addition to the two veterinarians who examined Rocky. We have allowed a third veterinarian to review Rocky's medical records.

"At the request of the Ontario SPCA I reviewed the documentation regarding the decision to euthanize "Rocky", a 16-year-old Husky. After reading the attending veterinarians' comments regarding Rocky's condition I would agree with the decision to perform euthanasia.

Allowing animals to attain the full measure of their natural lifespan requires aggressive management of medical conditions and an effective palliative care plan. The condition Rocky was found in indicates the absence of an effective palliative care plan. In my opinion euthanasia is the logical final component to palliative care plan. Veterinarians have a duty to minimize pain and prevent suffering. Euthanasia is a crucial element in meeting our obligations to animals in our care." J. Bruce Robertson. DMV.

We are saddened that the concern for Rocky's well- being were not recognized by his owners.

Chief Inspector Connie Mallory
Ontario SPCA

**Unfortunately, anything Connie Mallory or anyone from the OSPCA says can't be trusted. If you read this post, you'll see that according to an investigation into the OSPCA,  "Currently, it is possible for animals to come into a shelter, receive medical assessments, basic medical care, be vaccinated, deemed acceptable for adoption from a medical and behavioural standpoint, or be euthanized because of medical concerns without any involvement of a veterinarian (or veterinary technician)."

In addition, read the response from Rocky's vet.

Again, more spin from the OSPCA, and yet AGAIN the organization will be heavily scrutinized for its actions. If the past has taught Ontarians anything, it is that the OSPCA will LIE to the public.