Monday, May 20, 2013

Peter Worthington - Animals' Best Friend

I am so saddened to come home from vacation to discover that Toronto Sun founding editor Peter Worthington has died. For years I had read Mr. Worthington's columns and though I did not always agree with his opinions, I admired him for never wavering from his positions. Above all I admired his constant diligence in using his celebrity and widely circulated platform to continue educating the public on issues of animal welfare. Through my years involved in animal welfare, and in particular since I began writing The Toronto Pet Daily over three years ago, I can tell you one of the most difficult challenges, if not the most difficult, is to garner attention of the mainstream media. I can't tell you how many emails and voice messages I have left for reporters, to never hear any response. Even today the mainstream media often waits until public uproar over an animal welfare issue has reached such a fevered public pitch it can no longer be ignored. Marineland, anyone? When it came to issues of animal welfare, you never had to wait long for Peter Worthington to chime in.

While I never met Mr. Worthington, I first began communicating with him three years ago over the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) ringworm fiasco. At the time I was a relative newcomer to the ongoing issues at the OSPCA, and Mr. Worthington was one of the few individuals I will forever be indebted to for exposing me to the need for sweeping reform within the organization. As time passed if I had any more questions about the OSPCA or any other animal welfare issue, Mr. Worthington would not hesitate to return my calls. The man was a virtual encyclopedia when it came to animal welfare in Ontario, his knowledge only exceeded by his passion. I am filled with such happiness knowing that if he had no qualms returning my few phone calls pestering him (at home!), imagine how many more correspondences he must have begun with others, all wanting the same thing : A better Ontario for animals. As time has passed, more mainstream reporters now contact me when it comes to information on particular issues. I may not be as knowledgeable as Mr. Worthington (is anyone?) but I offer what I can.  Peter Worthington played no small part in that shift, and I will be forever grateful.

I was very surprised when in one of my phone calls to Mr. Worthington, he suggested and gave me permission to use any articles he had written on my newly formed blog. You see when it came to bettering the lives of animals he did not care about credit, rather he saw what so many other reporters failed to. As Peter Worthington believed, without wide circulation of animal issues nothing would change, evolve, and ultimately improve. With that tremendous sentiment, I will leave you with three such articles I was proud to have shared :

Peter Worthington's Take On The State Of Animal Welfare In Ontario (2010)

OSPCA Kills Dog, Lies About Circumstances....This Board MUST Resign!! (2011)

Peter Worthington Takes On PETA, And The Organization's Kill Rate - Over 85%!!! (2012)

Peter Worthington, animal lovers and the animals themselves thank you. For some reason I believe you'd be most heartfelt in your appreciation of the latter group! While I never got the feeling you wrote for accolades, I am sure wherever you are you must be proud in the knowledge that you have changed animal welfare within the province of Ontario forever. Here's hoping more than one mainstream reporter follows your lead.

 
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