Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Veterinarian Of Dog (Rocky) Euthanized By The OSPCA Responds To The Organization's Claims

To clear up several misunderstandings among the readers of the June 12 2011 CBC website article on Rocky,  I posted a comment that evening. I posted it again on Monday night. CBC has elected to not publish my comments online. OSPCA was given the opportunity to add a link to CBC’s article. That link brings you to a letter rebuking the article’s content. The CBC has not extended the same courtesy to me.

Dr. Hannah
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I am the veterinarian referred to. Let me clear up some missing facts. The owner’s morning routine was to feed and water Rocky, then lead him or carry him to the fenced-in backyard. It had a tree and an open garage containing a bed, toys, and water. Ms. Tramontin returned every night at around 5pm. You would expect neighbours to know this routine and volunteer this information. The Tramontin family loved Rocky: medical records over 14 years speak for themselves. The owners acted immediately to the note on their door, but were repeatedly stonewalled for information until an agent of city counselor Doug Holyday intervened days later.

OSPCA has to explain some things.

They knew nothing about Rocky. But by seizing him from his owner’s home, they owed Rocky a duty of care to proceed cautiously. They did not do so. They knew exactly where he lived, but did not contact the family. They didn’t scan him for his microchip which is in perfect working condition. We successfully scanned it while Rocky lay at the pet funeral home, Pets At Peace, on Queen Street. That chip number would have led OSPCA to St. Clair Veterinary. Their 10% dehydration judgment is based on a very subjective test. Even so, why didn’t they give him a low-cost bag of intravenous fluids? That’s standard procedure in all cases of dehydration. If he really was suffering in so much pain, why didn’t they give him a cheap painkiller? Rocky’s owner says she placed him on the ground that morning; he did not “collapse” from the heat. Rocky’s recent medical file notes tartar buildup and calculi on some teeth. There’s no mention of “severe dental disease”. They could have put Rocky in a cage on fluids and painkillers for a few hours while they telephoned the owner or us. That’s their job!

The Tramontin family took such exceptional care of Rocky that he lived to be 16. I last saw Rocky about two months ago, and he had an upcoming appointment in a few weeks. Yes, last time I saw him, he was scrawny, arthritic, had some bad teeth, and was sometimes incontinent. He had a few hind end problems, making it sometimes difficult to get up and about. So what? More than a few Canadians would fit that description. OSPCA is a registered charity. That’s it. Would we allow an organization that is not even an agent of the State to decide our own end-of-life based on those same criteria?

7 comments:

  1. For once a vet who refuses to be intimidated by OSPCA. I hope sincerely the owner does not allow this issue to be swept under the carpet. How dare OSPCA make pet owners suffer the way they do. This is not an exception. There are many cases like this. The public is finally starting to see what OSPCA is all about and this is a perfect example of the power they feel they have when dealing with animals and their total disregard for the animals, pet owners, their donors and the public. Time for people to open up their eyes and recognize OSPCA is only about making money. They do not protect animals. They kill them first and hope no one notices. The animals are incidental to their priorities.

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  2. I hope now OSPCA is finally being shown up for what they really are, to the general public. They are about power and money, not animals. It's sickening!

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  3. OSPCA Mission Statement: If in doubt, kill the animal.

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  4. RIP Rocky. Sweet angel.

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  5. I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with the OSPCA's decision. The dog was "scrawny" (ie: emaciated), his teeth were in such poor condition he could not eat, he was unable to walk due to arthritis and most likely untreated hip displasia. At his age there's no doubt he had vision troubles, probably cataracts (common in Husky's, typical for an older dog).

    This letter states "Rocky’s owner says she placed him on the ground that morning" after carrying him outside (due to incontinence). We should find comfort in knowing inside the garage there was a blanket and toys (why on earth is a dog she has to carry outside being given toys? Really?) It can't walk but it can fetch a ball? And if she had to carry it outside why was he placed such a distance from his water and bedding? From the time she left until the time she got home, who was carrying him to his water dish? No wonder he was dehydrated. Sure he had water, somewhere, but by the vet's own words the dog couldn't have walked to it in his current condition anyway.

    So we have a dog that, despite receiving excellent vet care during his life,could no longer stand or walk, could not eat, had rotting teeth, couldn't hold his bladder or bowels, probably couldn't see well (if at all), and was placed, alone, outside, with no water or shelter readily available (remember, he would had to have walked the distance to the garage where it was placed to get to it but he himself could not walk on his own).

    But we are not to see this as cruelty? We read stories of hoarders and are outraged by their conditions but their stories aren't much different then poor Rocky's!!

    The fact is, Rocky's owner allowed this dog to live a miserable life where it was undoubtedly suffering because she refused to do the right thing.

    Kudos to the OSPCA for doing the right thing.

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  6. Euthanasia is a gift that we can give our animals. When their lives are over, when they no longer enjoy the joys of being a dog.. owners need to stop being so selfish and let the dog go. How frustrated do you think Rocky must've been to lay there, day after day, in his own urine because he couldn't get up? They should've given him the dignity to go before it got to this point..

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  7. To Anonymous: Correction! OSPCA Mission Statement: kill the animal. Forget the doubt. Not unlike PETA. Rescue as many animals as possible and kill them. Having said that, there ARE good OSPCA agents out there. The institution qua institution, however, is a disgrace and a travesty of justice.

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