Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rally To Be Held This Saturday In Protest Of High Kill Rate At Hamilton Animal Control/Hamilton Burlington SPCA

HAMILTON AND THE GREATER TORONTO AREA –– On Saturday, June 25th, volunteers from ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals and members of the “Hamilton Animal Control - Stop the Killings” (HAC-STK) Group are holding a peaceful demonstration from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in front of the Hamilton Animal Control/HB-SPCA on 245 Dartnall Road. The Hamilton Animal Control (HAC) is not open to the public for adoptions; any animals picked up or taken into this high kill pound have little to no chance of making it out alive.  

Thousands of animals are put down every year by the HAC. Because of outdated local by-laws that prohibit letting cats roam outdoors, people’s pets, healthy and tame, are regularly picked up and killed. Only qualified rescue groups are given the privilege to save some of these cats.The HAC has otherwise refused to implement any of the alternative measures to killing adopted by other animal controls. This Saturday, ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals and an associated group of concerned citizens hope to bring together advocates, activists, rescue groups and local residents to voice demands for overdue, long-term and life-saving change.
Among the items being asked for at the rally are the following requests: to increase or remove entirely the current limit of two pets per household; to change the by-laws prohibiting free roaming cats and to stop picking up trespassing cats, i.e. people pets; to implement a low-cost spay and neuter program and to launch a high-profile and effective education program emphasizing the necessity of spaying and neutering; to implement a Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) program for feral and stray cats so as to contain the stray cat population; to open the City of Hamilton Animal Services to the public for adoptions and to extend the facility’s current opening hours of Monday to Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM to make the shelter more publicly and conveniently available for pet retrievals; to guarantee that animals receive prompt veterinary care which includes, but is not limited to, a full-time staff veterinarian on the premises; and to take the decision of euthanization away from the hands of just one person. Euthanization should be used only as the very last resort and the decision to euthanize should be taken collectively by senior staff at the Hamilton Animal Services
According to Claudia Vecchio, Chairperson of ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals, “Massive euthanasia, apart from being morally unacceptable, does not help to contain pet overpopulation, while TNR and low cost spay and neuter are very effective. TNR programs recognized and implemented by many animal control shelters worldwide have proven to be the most effective way to contain and reduce the number of stray cats. Bill Bruce’s Calgary model is one to strongly aspire to achieve as a community. Killing stray and feral cats is not only unethical, repulsive and costly to taxpayers, but it is also ineffective. What we propose is not utopistic: it is being done by countless animal controls in Canada and in the United States.”
To this day, pets and feral cats failing to be pulled by rescue groups before 4:00 PM on Mondays and Thursdays continue to be killed in high numbers two to three times a week at the HAC pound. The upcoming rally is an invaluable opportunity for Hamilton and GTA citizens to become an active part of the HAC-STK’s collective voice asking for accountability and reform.
Reject killing as a means to control pet overpopulation! Take action on Saturday afternoon and stand up for the animals marked for death and killed every Tuesday and Friday at the Hamilton Animal Control. They are being killed for no reason, for the ineptitude and idleness of thepeople in charge who refuse to consider and implement alternative measures to mass killing. Bring a sign, and join ORA and the HAC-STK at the long-awaited protest rally in front of the Hamilton Animal Control/HB SPCA building.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
RALLY DATE: Saturday, June 25, 2011 

LOCATION: Hamilton Animal Control / Hamilton Burlington SPCA Building, 245 Dartnall Road, just south of Rymal Road (Highway 53) 
TIME: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

About the Hamilton Animal Control: 
Hamilton Animal Control comes under the jurisdiction of the Planning and Economic Development Department of the City of Hamilton, and their division is "The Parking and By-Law Services Division.” One section of this group is the Animal Control Section which is responsible for the issuance of animal licences, lost and found animal reporting services, animal education, receipt and impounding of stray animals that have been confined, responding to service requests respecting injured or dead wildlife and when necessary, enforcement under the Dog Licensing and Control By-law and various Animal Control by-laws. Animal Control also has two private contractors that service the Flamborough and Glanbrook communities.  

About the “Hamilton Animal Control - Stop the Killings” Group: 
Founded in 2008 by Ken Wood and Terry Chapman Hutchison, the “Hamilton Animal Control - Stop the Killings” (HAC-STK) Group is an open public forum on Facebook dedicated to saving more animal lives and working towards positive, long-term changes at the Hamilton Animal Control/Hamilton Burlington SPCA. Concerned residents, rescuers and activists are invited to gather here to connect with like minds, post relevant news, initiate action, debate shelter reform, and share advocacy ideas.  

About ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals: 
Founded on October 2, 2002, by Claudia Vecchio and Corinne Thaw, ORA — Organization for the Rescue of Animals is a registered charitable organization promoting the humane treatment of animals and the preservation of Wildlife. ORA is operating in and around the Greater Toronto Area, working for the well-being and protection of all animals. ORA's animal rescues thrive within a network of foster homes until they are adopted out into forever loving homes. 100% volunteer run, with zero government funding and no shelter to speak of, ORA relies solely upon the supportive generosity of members and donors to fund its programs and rescue operations.


  1. This makes me so sad. I adopted Parker from there in 2004 and he was treated like gold. They brought him back to life, amputated his leg, started a training program and then adopted him out to us. I always said that it resembled a pet spa, the way the animals were treated there. I'm saddened to see what a difference 7 years makes. We need better by-laws.

  2. The pound should allow public adoptions.

    Instead of paying a substantial sum for the mass euthanasia of animals, they should allow the public to visit (and learn about the sad consequences of irresponsible pet ownership!) and to adopt.

    Instead of hiding this shame, they should display it!

    You guess how many people, who think it is fun to bring a litter with the cat or discard their pet at this pound would reconsider their course of action!

    How do you want the Hamiltonians to become more responsible pet owners when the mass killings are hidden so well that most citizens do not even know about what is going on behind the locked doors???

    The pound should microchip the adopted cat so it can be traced, the new owner should sign an adoption agreement where he/she among other things agrees to spay/neuter and vaccinate the cat and register the chip number at least in the new Canadian pet recovery database (registration is free of charge). The new owner should pay a fee which would cover the cost of the microchip (under 10 CAD/cat in a bulk) and the spay/neuter surgery at an OSPCA clinic and get a voucher for the surgery.

    Since there is a high volume low cost spay/neuter clinic in St. Catharines, it is possible to get a cat fixed for a little sum and prevent the mass cat misery.

    When the new owner pays around 80-90 CAD for the pound, that would cover the cost of the chip, the fixing and some vaccines as the high volume spay/neuter clinics normally offer the shots, too. So if it is too expensive for someone to go to see the vet privately, then there is the cheap clinic as a possibility.

    This solution would be cheaper and humaner than the current one.

    There is also a petition on the internet about the Hamilton issue.

    People from many countries all around the world have signed it already.
    It would be nice when no such petition would be needed anymore..........
    It would also be cheaper for the local taxpayers when Hamilton would finally learn from Calgary and other no-kill shelters around the US.

  3. I see no benefit in HAC opening their doors to adoption. Every rescue and shelter is overflowing with cats. There are only so many homes for these unwanted pets and another venue isn't going to increase the number. Put your energy into spay/neuter - get the word out - public awareness. That's the answer. TNR is part of the answer too, provided the cats have caregivers, of course; otherwise the cats will have a long slow death from starvation. I'm not for euthanizing unwanted animals but there is a reality that there simply are not enough homes and creating another adoption venue doesn't change that. As for laws prohibiting free-roaming cats - I'm for that. Cats live longer and are healthier indoors and your neighbours don't want to deal with your pets. Love them, care for them, and keep them inside.