From Terry Davidson, The Toronto Sun
NEWMARKET - Never in a million years did Gianna Tramontin ever think she’d be involved in a protest against the Ontario SPCA. But after the provincial animal rescue agency put down her 16-year-old husky this past May in what both she and her veterinarian call an unnecessary killing, she just couldn’t sit back, stay quiet and let animal advocates speak for her.
Tramontin was one of around 30 protesters outside the OSPCA’s Newmarket headquarters on Wednesday — all calling for the firing of the agency’s management and board following a recent report criticizing the euthanization of animals in May 2010 because of what shelter staff thought was a ringworm outbreak. There was no clinical proof of an outbreak, according to the report written by former chief justice Patrick LeSage and vet Alan Meek. It also stated that while 57 animals were destroyed at the shelter during the first half of May 2010, shoddy records made it impossible to say why the animals were put down.
“The government has lost control of the OSPCA,” animal advocate Lynn Perrier said. “They killed ... animals for what they said was ringworm. That was proven not to be true, so why did they kill them? They abuse their power and they have to be stopped.”
Until recently, Tramontin had watched from the sidelines. The OSPCA took her 16-year-old husky, Rocky, out of her backyard May 30 when a neighbour called the animal agency with concerns over the old, gaunt dog. Tramontin was at work, she told the Sun, and Rocky was left in the yard with both water and shelter.
Despite Rocky having an electronic identification implant, Tramontin said, the OSPCA didn’t contact his veterinarian, whose contact number was on the chip. Two days after Rocky’s seizure, Tramontin said, she was told the dog she raised from birth had been put down. “I miss (Rocky) so much,” Tramontin said. “At the time, my son said, ‘Do you think (the OSPCA) would do something to Rocky?’ I said, no, they’re supposed to help animals. I was ignorant.”
*Read more of Terry Davidson's article (a very special thanks to Mr. Davidson for continuing to shine a spotlight on this issue, from the TPD and animal welfare activists from across Ontario!) and watch the video at www.torontosun.com.