Sunday, May 30, 2010

A new day dawns ... Congratulations to Faces of Change - and MOST OF ALL to the Members who believe in them

By now, many are aware that the entire slate of Faces of Change were voted to the Board of the Toronto Humane Society.  A very BIG congratulations to a group of people who have stepped forward with passion, intent and hands-on knowledge to guide the THS on a new path.

But most of all, congratulations to ALL the members who voted for them.

In the often unsavoury and distasteful bad politiquing leading up to this election, it was easy to forget that there were thousands of people out there, honest people, caring people, people with commitment and ideology and vision of a haven for animals, that are, at the HEART of it the REAL THS.

People, many of whom have contributed time, effort, years and passion to a vision of a THS which included compassion, caring and a chance for every animal. Who believe in a refuge for all animals.

People who were betrayed and ignored by former management. People whose honest, caring support was twisted and used for personal vendettas, whose vision was shattered in the harsh light of reality; who no doubt were horrified, grief-stricken and incredulous that their hard-earned dollars, their BELIEF was so sorely betrayed.

It is THOSE people who have now spoken.

Despite the myriad attempts of those who would twist and distort facts, the many caring Members of the Toronto Humane Society have chosen to believe that the 15 people on Faces of Change mean what they say when they talk passionately, with conviction and knowledge, of the path now to be taken.

I have no doubt that among the members are those who were, are and have been volunteers, who have cleaned cages, walked dogs, given sad, abandoned cats a kind word, a soft caress.  But whether intimatley acquainted with the corridors, the byways and rooms of the THS, Members are in the end, individuals who truly care about animals - not metaphorically or from a distance, but are willing to stand behind their beliefs with financial support, with passion and with dedication.

Thank You to all the Members who stood up this day and are the REAL heroes for leading the THS in the direction it was meant to go - Members, YOU ROCK.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death of Justice

I'm a biker, cyclist, call it what you will - I can and do ride my bike to work, not every day- but once weather permits, a couple times a week. I start out in the cool of night, the sky washed dark with stars singing the night, swirling in a heavens still stained with sound and smell and the sweet, intoxicating drifting perfume of lilacs in the Spring night.

My bike is festooned with a ridiculous array of flashing lights; red ones that flash spasmodically on fender and along the back of my seat, halogan which shines bright on the road which flows before me, red reflectors flashing on the sturdy tires and more flashing red light at the back - and front of my helmet.  For I know that each morning I pull out of my driveway and onto the common roadway, I am courting potential harm.

The reality is that Toronto continues to be a car city, one dedicated to the worship of 4 wheels, and heavy exhaust and impatient courtiers who swerve and curse and see as their divine right complete and utter dominion over the concrete byways of a city that in truth belongs to everyone.

Cyclists are cursed, maligned, despised, reviled and seen as upstarts claiming what is not theirs.  Lip service on the part of city government promise and never deliver on safe egress for cyclists along roads they too are paying for those roads through the same taxes levied on the driver.

Just last night, my youngset daughter came in, shaken and disturbed, having spent 45 minutes at the corner of Brimley and Danforth talking to police.  A little boy, riding his bike, training wheels attached, following his older brothers on the green light crossing Danforth was struck (thankfully not fatally) by a car driven by an impatient motorist who felt it was his divine right to turn right on a red ....

In the 5 years since I took up biking, I have been struck 4 times- 2 of those hits resulting in me being knocked off my bike and damage to my bike - both times with drivers who sped away without even stopping to see if I was ok. I have had bruised legs as impatient cars pushed me into curbs and light standards, have been sworn at, cursed, had cigarettes thrown at me, been spit at and cut off.  I have dodged doors opening suddenly into the badly constructed bike lanes, wiped out on gravel as someone accelerated out of laneways and once, when a car ran a red light, been struck and airborne, ended up in the seat of a convertible waiting to turn right.

Darcy Shepperd was by all accounts, an angry man. A man with serious alcohol and maybe drug issues. A violent man. 

Michael Bryant on the other hand, with his spin machine, Navigator influencing, prodding, moulding and creating his public persona, is displayed as an upright citizen, simply coming home from a night out with his lovely wife, vilely attacked by a maddened courier...

A maddened courier whose bike was indisputably HIT by Bryant.

An already angry man who RIGHTFULLY reacted when Bryant in his fancy car, impatient by all accounts with lane restrictions tried to get by.

It is inarguable that Bryant HIT Sheppard's bike.

Having been hit, I know exactly how he felt.


We know how vulnerable we are.

Cars are big suckers. Cars are heavy. Cars are STEEL.  Cyclists on the other hand are flesh and blood, fragile, tender flesh easily hurt by 2 tons of weapon driven by idiots and fools who see as their divine right exclusive access to the roads.

So Sheppard went after Bryant.  and WHAT? 

That exonerates him from scraping Sheppard off against a fire hydrant like a piece of dirt?

Somehow, in all the justifications, the spin doctoring about "saintly" Bryant, about the gossip mongering pruient recitation over and over of Sheppard's troubled past, somehow, in all that cesspool of justification, the reality that a man was KILLED because he got ANGRY that another man threatened him with a 2 ton machine has been been lost.

Bryant was the man responsible for bringing in Breed-specific legislation.

I guess he saw in Sheppard just another cur to be put down - for the "potential" harm he MIGHT have done. Did anyone notice in all the allegations of violence against his person, NO ONE has reported that Bryant was in any way bruised or cut?

I guess congratulations are due to Navitagor for successfully spining another fairy tale.

Darcy,- your ghost will not rest - for justice is absent.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A murderer is a murderer by any other name ...bloody government gives Bryant get out of jail free card

So apparently if you are the former Attorney General, you are above the law - sort of like the OSPCA.

The fact that you were the guy who is ALSO responsible for the horrific deaths of THOUSANDS of innocent animals - it was bloody Bryant who brought in the Anti-Pitbull laws and instituted Breed-specific legislation - isn't even a consideration - after all, one can apparently kill a cyclist with impunity and no repercussions!

When Bryant hit his brakes, the vehicle stalled. Peck said Bryant was trying to get away and attempted to get his car started when it stalled again, causing it to lurch forward. That was when “Mr. Bryant’s vehicle came close to or in contact with the rear wheel of Mr. Sheppard’s bike,” Peck said.

Yeah - RIGHT Mr. Bryant, sure you did - big mistake!!  And bloody media - STOP DWELLING ON SHEPPERD'S PAST ACTIONS - HE IS THE VICTIM HERE. The reality of his past actions is simply not relevant in this case. The reality is that two people got into an altercation - one had a 1000 lb steel machine, the other a 50 lb BICYCLE. And somehow, it's OK that the individual in the CAR ran OVER the cyclist by acting recklessly and with intent seemingly is not at issue according to the courts.


Miscarriage of justice doesn't even begin to cover it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

wow - SHAME on you, Brampton Animal Servies - poor Rambo had two-three broken RIBS!!

You probably remember poor Brittany and Rambo- wrongly seized as "pit bulls"  (although registered for several years as boxer mixes with the actual Animal Services that SEIZED them) and left to languish without access to the owners who adored them as the City refused every expert that CONFIRMED they were not pit bulls.

In a final petty reaction, as the owners refused to back down and fought with publicity, litigation and keeping the spotlight on them, Animal Services said they could ONLY release them if they had signs they were "viscious dogs" (when NEITHER animal had EVER had any complaint and in actual fact, numerous people came forward to talk about their sweet natures) and kept them muzzled - this despite the fact that an outside expert CONFIRMED they were not pit bulls.

Well, I wonder if the FACT that Rambo had broken ribs was ONE reason the City was desperate to hold onto him? 

Doesn't look very good for Brampton Animal Services when an animal seized illegally, retained despite all evidence that they had no cause, was seriously injured - and effectively, NOT treated.

An article in the Brampton Guardian today reveals that when Rambo's owners picked him up, they noticed almost immediatley "something sticking out under the skin": But within hours of being released April 19, his owners say they saw something jutting out underneath his fur.

It was sticking out,” Gaspar said.

The injury was so obvious, they immediately suspected a broken rib, they said.

Two days later, on April 21, X-rays were taken that confirmed two of the floating ribs near the end of Rambo’s rib cage were broken, one of them with a 2-3 mm gap.

The Gaspars had the X-rays sent to a certified radiologist in Toronto— an X-ray expert— who reported the bones were already healing and the injury was, at a minimum, two to four weeks old.

The City of course and Animal Servies has refused to answer any questions.

What do you think?

Perhaps report them to the OSPCA and get them to investigate - of course then, poor Rambo and Brittany may end up dead.

But SOMEONE's head should roll for this!

THS rethinks shutting Kitten Nursery

UPDATE: confirmed - Letters to THS volunteers from Bob Hambley says that it is MAY not be cancelled after all:

No final decisions have been made regarding the in-house kitten nursery, staff have made no such recommendation to the Board.
So, at the moment, there is hope - take note THS - Toronto WANTS the kitten nursery at THS - more than anything it exemplifies what the THS purports to care about - caring, compassion and shelter for the most vulnverable of little creatures.  A craiglist blitz yesterday begged people to email, fax, call the THS to have the program reinstated and the public outcry has obviously had impact.

As I mentioned earlier, James at THS has a superlative program in place just for this as it is a project close to his heart.  Even more telling, keep in mind ALL the volunteers who are ready, willing and able to do their 4 hour shifts - over the course of kitten season, that is HUNDREDS of hours and a LOT of people. It would be criminal to ignore the kind of commitment that is exemplified by this program and perfectly illustrates the partnership that can be forged between ordinary toronto animal-lovers and the THS.

FROM craigslist - is this true?
THANK YOU! (11 River St)


Date: 2010-05-20, 11:53AM EDT

Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Thank you everyone who sent an email or faxed the Toronto Humane Society about the closing of the kitten nursery. The THS has now sent out an email to the volunteers stating that they have decided to review the closure and will leave the decision up to the new board of directors who will be elected on May 30th.

The volunteers at the THS really appreciate your taking the time to help the kittens at the THS. THANK YOU!

Location: 11 River St

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, May 17, 2010

VOTE Faces of Change for compassion and honesty ...

For a look at a dynamic new slate of compassionate, caring individuals with hand's on experience and a passion to inspire, visit the Faces of Change website.

No matter how many times it happens, I continue to harbour a pointless belief that people will "play fair" and the naive core of me keeps thinking that those who purport to care for animal welfare, somehow are "different" and will avoid the narcissistic, self-congratulatory, defamatory and malicious gossip mongering that is an inevitable reality in the political arena.

Silly me.

As I watch the gathering storm surrounding the upcoming election of a new Board at the Toronto Humane Society, I am increasingly disgusted by the posturing, shrillness of the Old Guard as they scramble to maintain their vice-like grip and influence on positions to which they brought disgrace and disgust.

The reality is that the current Board of Directors – which includes Bob Hambley – allowed many of the actions which the OSPCA alleged took place over the last several years to continue. No one challenged the adversarial and dictatorial Trow nor questioned his decisions and lack of transparency over many YEARS and through numerous allegations, complaints, change in staff and accusations; allowing his management to continue unquestioned – thus destroying what began as a great vision (because truth be told, much of Trow’s visions had merit, the vision unfortunately remained amphorous and the actions were different), and leading to the situation which allowed the OSPCA to take over.

More problematic is that as someone who was intimately involved with the desperate (and often futile race) to save many of the animals that were at the THS when the highly offensive, dictatorial animal-killing OSPCA took over – not ONCE did I see any Board member (Hambley included) in there fighting the good fight. It was staff – primarily support staff and volunteers who scrambled, fought, cried and moved mountains to save those innocent lives that were able to be saved – and in the doing, rescued some that seemed doomed (and to our continued grieving, some we couldn’t save).

From last week’s outrageous and improper use of privileged information :

The supervisor of the Toronto Humane Society board election has rebuked one of the two competing slates for sending a campaign message to THS members using email addresses obtained from the public relations firm which employs the slate’s organizer.

The “Save the THS” slate was assembled by Michelle Wasylyshen, an employee of the Sussex Strategy Group, which worked for the THS in 2009.

According to the election supervisor, former judge Sydney Robins, Sussex gave the slate THS members’ emails without the society’s knowledge.

“The list clearly ought not to have been transferred to the Save the THS slate and its use thereof was improper,” Robins wrote to candidates.

Wasylyshen has apologized.

Daniel Dale

Tell me that a “slap on the wrist” is adequate for this! Outrageous!

To the shrill bleating of an individual called Margaret Ann Johnson (who is possibly is related to Alan Johnson, a current and long-time THS board member (since 1979, through several scandals) – (from Social Mange AND according to another source, from a family who have had a member on the THS Board of Directors for many years) there have been slurs, slander, outright lies and the appropriation of actions and efforts by OTHERS as these narcissistic, self-congratulatory individuals seek to maintain if not positions, influence on the direction which the THS will now take.

The reality is that much of what transpired at the THS during the Occupation was abetted and aided by individuals who – cowed no doubt by the heavy-handed tactics of the Nazi Guard (aka OSPCA)– signed off on actions that were directly in violation of everything the THS stood for. From the appointment of Garth Jerome (who most decidedly does NOT have the “no kill”, humane vision which the Society exemplified) to acceding to numerous unnecessary, inhumane and political euthanizations of many of the animals (and in truth, decimating the cat population to the sorrow of many volunteers and staff), Hambley et al. have NOT stepped out to be heard.

Now, to compound their lack of action during the actual crisis, in a letter he sent to THS supporters, Hambley now claims credit for many actions that in truth had NOTHING to do with him.

Among other things, he claims to have “removed the OSPCA from the shelter and found homes for all the animals...”- um, NOT. My recollection, which is crystal clear certainly does not include any efforts on the part of Hambley in this regard!

Further, he asserts he “helped expose and led [sic] the movement that stopped the OSPCA plan to euthanize 350 cats and dogs for ringworm ...” well yeah, we heard the media quote him but that was AFTER there was a groundswell of public opinion, hundreds of emails to the premier, the OSPCA, massive and unrelenting reactions to the stories by the general public, veterinarians, rescues, humane societies and others – NOT the THS Board! They certainly were NOT involved in the numerous protests, organized campaigns, and efforts made by the Toronto people to proclaim their outrage and I certainly did not see them walking the protest line with myself and others up in Newmarket.

He also asserts that certain actions were undertaken by the newly minted Faces of Change slate – i.e. legal recourse to the court to have the OSPCA remain, complaints etc – which most certainly are NOT true. The Faces of Change has, among its members, a few (very few) members of ART – which may and indeed, was, responsible for some of what he claims – but has NOTHING to do with any of the actions currently planned by Faces of Change.

The reality is that Faces of Change contains a balanced, passionate, experienced group of individuals with diverse viewpoints that balance and strengthen a central vision - the Toronto Humane Society as a refuge, a rehabilitation centre, a voice for education and reform of animal welfare laws, whose most important and crucial job is to care for all animals – not just the easy ones.

Unlike the current “new” slate of candidates championed by Hambley and handpicked by the VERY Michelle Wasylyshen named above, many of whom have more than likely never set foot in the THS or any other animal rescue facility- the FOC slate actually have direct experience in animal welfare, rescues and in many cases, are intimately familiar with the THS itself, having actually volunteered there. The FOC slate includes veterinarians, publicity experts, a forensic accountant, a lawyer and individuals from other animal rescues, an eclectic, passionate group who through EXPERIENCE and their actual actions have showed themselves to be champions of a Shelter that believes every animal deserves a chance.

May 30th is coming up quick – EDUCATE yourself and decide for yourself whether the ineffective, bumbling of the Old Guard with their underhanded tactics is preferable to a transparent, clean slate of individuals whose combined experience in animal welfare can only create what most of us here in Toronto want to see – a revitalized, transparent, honest and HUMANE Toronto Humane Society where compassion rules and every life counts.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sago and all the animals of the OSPCA, we failed you and we grieve

It seems all the will in the world can't stop the slaughter.

I grieve.

The killing continues...OSPCA continues to murder healthy animals

Bleating that "they never meant it, oh no", OSPCA spokespersons deny mass euthanizations are continuing.  Unfortunately the killing continues.

Meet Sago

Oh, I'm sorry, you won't ever meet this beautiufl shepherd because he's dead - like a lot - too many, other animals at the OSPCA.  Sago was on the front page of the Star yesterday, with a caption saying - Sago waits to be adopted - he will never get that chance now - never know a home, never know that there are people out that would cherish, love and take care of a beautiful boy like him.

I just got word from a friend who has been up there afternoon and had in fact, met Sago before this horror began and wanted to check on him, that he is dead - euthanized.  LAST night ... yes, after they said they were stopping the slaughter.  Another contact said she had heard from someone that he was "hostile" which direclty contradicts a conversation with a volunteer about this beautiful boy at Tuesday's demonstration. This volunteer had worked with him for six months and said he was gorgeous.

And of course my friend D. had met him and pronounced him wonderful when he had gone up a while ago to rescue one of our THS pit bulls that ended up at the Newmarket building (I refuse to use the word SHELTER - it is anything BUT).

Does he look sick to you?

Certaintly, as he was and had been on the adoption site and we know the OSPCA's idea of what is "adoptable" is strict and inflexible - so his personality and actions couldn't have been the issue. Does he look so "affected" by their purported "aggressive" ringworm (FUNGUS, peopel, FUNGUS, treatable! - and not ONCE have they backed up their assertions with FACTS or SCIENCE).

Sago deserved a chance. So do the other animals there.

The OSPCA needs to be STOPPED and stopped NOW.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Spin-Doctoring" and the lies begin

"The fact that it got communicated to the public that 350 animals would be euthanized is unfortunate and it's also incorrect and we've got to review our own internal protocols on how we communicate with the public." see CP24
So says Rob Godfrey, spokesperson for the OSPCA as management scrambles frantically to mend the tattered and torn public perception of the OSPCA. Damage control is in full swing but you know? TOO FRIGGIN LATE.

“Approximately 350 dogs, cats, rats and other small animals—will be put down over the next two or three days after an attempt to contain the fungal infection failed, said the society's chief executive officer Kate MacDonald. “ From Toronto Star article, dated Tuesday, May 11 –
Ummm, pretty unequivocal, n’est pas?

I mean it is not as if Ms. MacDonald began yelling “I’ve been MISQUOTED” .. in fact several other people then backed her up and confirmed it – and the OSPCA brass were ably championed by Ontario’s pathetic excuse of a premier, McGuinty the Wuss.

I think it is probably true that Godfrey et al is worried about how they “communicate with the public” as the plan was obviously leaked by someone who had a conscience and was horrified by the contemplated slaughter.

But you can deny, try to spin it, turn it upside down and around – everyone KNOWS you were going to SLAUGHTER 350 animals you are mandated to protect for whatever reasons you had – my own take being it was just all around EASIER to kill of those pesky creatures and start “fresh” !  Oh, and cheaper too- more money for those fancy dancy uniforms and for all those vendettas the OSPCA likes to conduct.

And a word here about the THS’ Bob Hambley et al. ... despite your pontificating about the horror of this – you and the current Board are STILL the primary reason that the THS went through the hard times it has ... so people – LISTEN UP – Hambley et al. are NO different than Kate MacDonald and her crew – the bottom line is that there is little to choose between two sets of arrogant, self-absorbed, negligent wanna-be caretakers. Neither set truly should be allowed the word “humane” in their lexicon ... so VOTE Faces of Change for people who really DO put the animals first.

A small victory for animal lovers - and a clear message as to who deserves your donor dollars

As ironic as it may seem to many people, this morning many of us are celebrating the capitulation of the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (who should be PROTECTING animals), who, bowing down to public pressure, have backed away from mass euthanization of the 350 animals in its care.  Although, sadly, too late for 99 of those animals, we must take heart that through protest, outcry, media spotlight and pressure from a VERY few politicians - Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees - STAND and take a bow for having the courage to be heard!! - Having just visit Mr. Klees site - I find his slogan apt! "He Gets Things Done!" - He certainly did have some influence (I believe) on pressuring the OSPCA to stand down from its inhumane, arrogant and misplaced decision to kill all the animals it is mandated to protect.  Email Mr. Klees to say thank you!! and Newmarket/Aurora residents - lucky you to have such a conscientious representative!

Certainly, the very man who SHOULD have been at the forefront - the pathetic excuse for a premier - Dalton McGuinty  - not only did NOT choose to pressure the OSPCA to rescind their decision but BACKED them up. You can rest assured you weak, vacillating excuse for a politician - that people will remember this when the next election comes around - whether you choose to seek re-election or NOT - you have dealt the Liberals a TELLING blow!

Thank you too to the many vets who stood up and spoke out against this atrocity - it cannot have been easy as there was no doubt some pressure to remain united in face of the OSPCA allegations that it was two VETS that recommended the mass killings.

And to Pet Valu who stood up and told the OSCPA they were removing their support of its organizations ... you've just acquired my business!  A business that chooses the moral imperative over possible loss of business will, I believe, in the eyes of animal lovers - get LOTS more in grateful appreciation of your moral stand.

And to the Humane Society of Durham Region - from the very first announcement  you stood firm and pointed out rationally and passionately that this was a radical decision that had no basis in fact. That indeed, there was proof that ringworm - even in a crowded shelter environment - could and had been dealt with effectively without resorting to killing the animals!  Yes it took time, money and effort but the Humane Society of Durham Region obviously takes to heart the reason for their existence! You keep the HUMANE in your name for a reason!

OSPCA donors would be WELL advised to immediately cease all donations to the OSPCA and direct them to the Durham Humane Society who deserve that and more!

And kudos to all those individuals who wrote, called, braved inclement weather and demanded to be heard ... in the end your voices too forced the issue!

This has been a salutary and sad lesson for the Province of Ontario. Clearly, some changes must occur and occur soon.  NO organization should be entirely left to its own devices to police itself - the reality is that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." (or in this case, women - hello Kate MacDonald!!) (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902).

Conversely, - William Pitt, the Elder (The Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778) also noted "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" .

I know that those of us who worked or volunteered at the THS saw the truth of this in the dictatorship of the Trow Crew and Kate MacDonald certainly exemplifies both phrases. Her arrogance, lack of compassion and self-importance have condemned thousands of animals to a death they did NOT deserve.

The current status of the OSPCA MUST change. A group, an individual, an organization must be given the authority not to control or constantly interfere, but act as a resort to which complaints can be addressed (and rectifications made), to which veto power under strict and specific criteria is accorded and who will, in short, be an ombudsman who can prevent and yes, STOP, the kind of misplaced, arrogant and inhumane choices being made by a slate of executives who seem to exemplify the financial bottom line as opposed to what their mandate truly is - CARING for the animals.

"“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"  (who will guard the guards) (Roman poet, Juvenal)

or conversely,

"Who will guard the Guardians?" (The Republic, Plato)

Someone MUST.

2/3 of animals won't be euthanized in ringworm outbreak (CP24)

Web Staff,

MPP Frank Klees, left, and OSPCA chairman Rob Godfrey pose for a photo. (CP24/Cam Woolley)

The outlook is vastly improving for hundreds of pets that were to be put down due to a ringworm outbreak at a Newmarket animal shelter.

The Toronto Star was reporting Wednesday night that 96 animals have been placed in foster homes and 99 had been euthanized.

OSPCA chairman Rob Godfrey also told the Star that 155 animals were still in the shelter, pending the outcome of testing for ringworm.

On Thursday morning, Godfrey told CP24 that the original number of pets that were to be euthanized - 350 - was wrong. He says it's the OSPCA's mission to save as many pets as possible.

Officials previously said about 350 animals would be put down because the outbreak was out of control.

The backlash against the move to kill the animals, prompted the society to cancel a planned walk-a-thon fundraiser this weekend.

Demonstrators who have been protesting outside the shelter and yelling "Murderer" at officials say the will hold a funeral march instead.

Pet Valu has also cut ties with the shelter.

With files from The Canadian Press

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Names - so who at the ospca - vets especially - suggested mass killing is a viable solution?

We know Kate MacDonald okayed it - so which vets said it was the way to go? I would love some names - if they're not ashamed of their decision, if they believe it is based on good science (because it is certaintly NOT based on compassion or humane tenets) then why don't we have NAMES?

Call for Action - Pressure MUST be kept up on OSCPA

Some good overviews of what has been taking place over the last crazy 24 hours - One Bark talks about how media pressure, protesters, phone calls and other outcries have MAYBE made the ospca reconsider (although obviously too late for those already killed).  Red Star gives a brilliant synopsis of how Animal House Calls' Ann Rohmer slaughtered OSPCA spokesman Rod Godfrey and treated viewers to an individual trying to remove his foot from his ass.  Houndward Bound highlights a Sun article wherein fired shelter manager, Denise Stephenson strikes back at the allegations levelled at her by OSCPA head, Kate MacDonald (who in essence, has publicly laid the entire blame for the ringworm "epidemic" at Stephenson's feet).

The reality is, the pressure MUST be kept up. 

What this entire horror illustrates is what was originally revealed in the OSPCA's deliberate and concerted decision to destroy the THS - and the hundreds of animals they euthanized because in THEIR opinion it was needed.  The OSPCA acts autonomously, independently and at will - there is no group, individual, government body or overseer who has authority to veto Kate MacDonald's et al's arbitrary and often badly conceived and to my mind, criminal decisions. 

This MUST change. No organization - no matter how vaunted their self-described actions, no matter how good the spin doctoring, no matter how much LEGAL authority they carry- should operate without real checks and balances to ensure that a balanced, fair and justified mandate is exercised.

This was illustrated in the human arena with the ongoing and often controversial drama which surrounds complaints against the police. The SIU - often accused of being a toothless wonder - has had to bolster and strengthen its ability to investigate complaints against Ontario police in light of the often unmistakable bias they display vis-a-vis their partisan preference for the Force.

And the OSPCA doesn't even pretend to be open to any kind of criticism, investigation or veto. 

Further, up to this point, the media (with a few exceptions, thank you Toronto Examiner) has slavishly endorsed anything uttered by an organization that claims to protect animals yet has again and again, obviously, clearly and blatantly followed an agenda which CLEARLY does anything BUT protect them.

So explain to me? Just how DIFFERENT is Kate MacDonald and her minions from Tim Trow and his slavish followers?

Both are dictatorial and opinionated. Both are convinced of the inviolability of their right to do whatever they think is the answer.  Both react aggressively and swiftly to destroy anyone who challenges (or even asks) for the justifications for taking certain actions.  Both surround themselves with individuals who follow orders, do not question and have no moral fiber.

Tim Trow systematically destroyed the THS by his inability to allow a balanced perspective, his hoarding and his refusal to listen to experts in a field he was not qualified to judge.  Kate MacDonald is patently as arrogant and convinced of her own infallibility as displayed by her actions both at the THS and more recently, in the horror in Newmarket.

Neither Tim Trow nor Kate MacDonald feel constrained to explain their actions nor name their sources - both talk vaguely of "experts" and generic "veterinarians". Both react angrily when asked to explain what actions or steps were taken when a crisis erupts and feel no need to justify or in any way, explain to a public which truly CARES about animals why a certain action is the "only reasonable choice".

Further, both resort to big sticks (aka security guards, police presence and lawyers) when facile and unsatisfactory explanations are not taken at face value and challenged.

The reality is that the OSPCA should NOT be allowed to continue unchecked without some formally appointed group or organization to oversee and provide balance to decisions.  There should - and must - be a structure in place where people who feel that their rights and those of the animals they care for have been violated and to which they can report these violations and hope for some form of justice from an impartial jury.

This is not hate mongering against the OSPCA nor is it a personal vendetta. This is a call for justice, for balance and perspective.

Whether a civilian group is struck, a government body assigned or whether the Charity's own Board votes to set up an impartial jury of unrelated and unaffiliated individuals to oversee, something MUST be done to ensure the OSPCA is subjected to a reasonable and necessary system wherein controversial decisions, complaints and disputes can be aired and yes, even challenged!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Slaughter of the Innocents – the OSPCA “final solution”

When it comes to Kate MacDonald of the OSPCA, apparently the solution to everything is to ‘start with a clean slate’. Tragically, when you’re ostensibly running an animal shelter, that means the mass murder of hundreds of healthy animals.

And this from a woman making close to $200,000 (with expenses) on the backs of the Ontario taxpayer. (clicky on picture)

Toronto Star
Toronto Sun

The OSPCA is in the unique position of monitoring itself; including managing a budget that in 2007 was estimated to be more than $11 million (more than half of which is from donations) and which no doubt has increased exponentially since. There was plenty of money to feed and house officers for the many months involved in destroying the Toronto Humane Society – it was remarkable how many discarded sandwich trays, pizza boxes and cans of pop constantly littered the front lobby of the THS – there was money to hire the security guards who dogged volunteers and patrolled the hallways of the THS – and apparently who are now patrolling the premises of the OSPCA itself – but sorry, people, NO money to treat an eminent TREATABLE fungus.

It was due to protocols breaking down,” she said when asked if Stephenson was fired because of the outbreak. “An outbreak like this is containable when protocols are followed.” MacDonald confirmed Monday night – so apparently the OSPCA is guilty of the same breakdown in routine and protocol which condemned the THS.

It would be interesting to hear from Ms. Stephenson to get her side of the story. For instance, was she provided with the staff to deal with the outbreak? The budget to purchase the necessary medications? The veterinarian and vet tech personnel needed to combat the infection?

But that aside, how in God’s name do the OSCPA brass JUSTIFY mass murder of healthy animals? How do they square their consciences with killing animals that can and are treatable with topical cream and for the more stubborn cases – medications?

Description: Ringworm is an infection by a fungus that most often affects the hair, nails, and superficial layers of the skin. The most commonly noted fungal types seen in cats and dogs are Microsporum canis, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Microsporum gypseum.

Animals can come into contact with infective fungal spores in the indoor or outdoor environment. Contaminated soil is a common source of infection, as are other animals infested with ringworm. Not all animals that are exposed to fungal spores develop a fungal infection, and if an infection does occur, the dog or cat may not show clinical signs of the disease but instead serve as asymptomatic carriers.

Risk factors include poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and housing situations in which a large number of animals are closely grouped together. In addition, there is an increased risk for animals that are immunocompromised due to disease or immunosuppressive medications.
Now granted, ringworm CAN be difficult to control in a crowded shelter environment – which seems to be the case at the OSPCA (may I point out here that “over-crowding” was one of the arguments used by the OSCPA against the THS – and provided ammunition in their takeover). But numerous organizations, rescues, volunteers and community members have stepped forward and offered to help – and in return, been barred by police and security guards and treated like criminals (karma is a bitch).

However, even in shelters it can and HAS been successfully eradicated; in shelters where the well being, humane treatment and care and concern for animals is the primary focus – as Ruby Richards of the Humane Society of Durham Region said in the Sun today:

"People are very upset about this," Richards said. "It's just heartbreaking to us."

The Oshawa-based society has had two outbreaks of ringworm in the last 10 years but not one animal had to be euthanized, Richards said.

"We never lost an animal to it," she said. "It's ringworm, it's a fungal infection, it's like athlete's foot. It's not a deadly disease."

When the shelter was struck with one bout of ringworm almost all its animals were infected, Richards said.

"We just shut the doors to the public and got on with the treatment," she said. "It is highly treatable. It's a real pain and it takes a long time to treat."

Euthanasia was never an option, Richards added.

"Kids get it in school all the time," she said. "You get a ringworm outbreak in the school, you don't euthanize all the kids." (

This is RINGWORM. An uncomfortable, itchy, rather disgusting fungus NOT rabies, NOT distemper, not any of a myriad of potentially lethal diseases that cause immeasurable suffering and the ultimate untimely (and painful) death of an animal. It is TREATABLE and for a relatively reasonable cost – NOT that that should be a factor as the OSPCA has a more than adequate budget to cover such emergencies.

As a non-profit charitable organization, the Ontario SPCA is unique amongst animal welfare organizations in Ontario: the Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Ontario SPCA Community investigators with police powers to do so. (from OSPCA website)
Who is policing the animal police?

During the THS debacle it was brought up again and again that the frightening amount of power wielded by an organization that REPORTS TO NO ONE but acts autonomously and monitors itself, thus creating a potentially untenable situation. The fact that the lives and welfare of thousands of animals are at the whim of individuals who have clearly demonstrated their arrogance, lack of compassion and complete disregard for the humane and compassionate care of the animals they are mandated to PROTECT is beyond comprehension.

When hundreds of animals were euthanized at the THS, between denials, white-washing and weak justifications, the general public deemed it inevitable. But do you see a pattern here? Got a problem? Well just kill them all! We’ll start “fresh” – as if the animal lives which are being snuffed out for no good reasons have no meaning, no import, no value ....

They have names ... Scoops, Sweetie, Sago, Benji, Goliath, J.J., William and Brynn.

They have faces ...

They have personalities and quirks and deserve a better fate than that which is being forced upon them. Already the disadvantaged – the abandoned, the neglected, the hurt, the unwanted and the abused – they were supposed to be given their second chance.

Yes, it is difficult to stem the infection of ringworm – the optimum word being DIFFICULT not impossible.

There is always a way if the will is there.

By their own admission, there are currently a number of animals that have not displayed any symptoms – could they not be quarantined and when cleared, fostered to the numerous groups, volunteers, rescues and community members willing and able to do so?

And for the infected animals ...Is there not a perfectly clean, sanitized building READY which could provide sanctuary while the OSPCA building is put through a sanitation cycle? What about the THS? The EMPTY THS?

The OSPCA has ample staff. The OSPCA has a generous budget. The OSCPA has an infrastructure of volunteers, equipment and ABILITY to move these animals- to treat these animals – what they lack is the will. What they lack is the compassion. What they lack is integrity and a true compassion for the creatures they were created to protect.

Visit Red Star Cafe and One Bark at a Time For some other good insights and comments on this atrocity.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You're a PUPPY MILLER - ashat ... face it

Being the peaceable person I am, I have been engaging in a fruitless war of words with an ignorant puppy mill breeder of “yorkie-poos” for the past couple of days.

I admit freely that I am a craigslist addict; as a former member of a German Shepherd rescue group, I still can’t resist perusing ads and giving (often unwanted) advice to those seeking homes for their discarded shepherds. Knowing the breed as I do, I am fully cognizant that it is NOT a breed for everyone and to own a shepherd is one of the most rewarding- and sometimes challenging – journeys you will ever undertake.

But I also cannot resist sometimes giving tongue to ads which outrage or disgust me. The one yesterday was a self-described ‘breeder’ of yorkie-poos, SELLING these little puppy mill babies for $500 a shot... so I flagged her – repeatedly and will continue to do so. First and foremost, craigslist regulations CLEARLY state as soon as you click on “pets” no pet sales or breeding please ....rehoming with small adoption fee ok” – HELLO!! BREEDING, SELLING for $500 is NOT meeting the code of conduct there! Go to Kiiji where apparently irresponsible puppy mill ashats are fine – on craigslist you are NOT welcome.

Needless to say, our puppy mill diva was pissed ... and sent me an outraged email berating me for my public post advising people to flag her – and in which I called her an irresponsible puppy mill breeder.
Do you know how much shots food deworming care cleaning up after and possibly micro chipping costs? Plus there are ckc registered breeders on kijiji your post is ridiculous to say everyone on there is just breeding for money!!! I breed and I feed my dogs the best food there is out there and I don't let my pups go until they have 2 sets of shots and at least 3 dewormings microchipping they come with everything you can possibly think of!! Plus a 2yr written health guarantee and they have to sign a contract saying they have to return the dog so they never end up in a shelter if they can't keep them!! In no way am I irresponsible!! I don't know about the breeder your talking about but its NOT fair you stick all breeders under the same category! 
> Btw I never make back my money! I just do because I love the breed!
OK, let’s look at this – umm, YEAH, I know how much it costs – but those costs would NOT be THERE if you were NOT irresponsibly breeding MUTTS... and you are NOT a reputable breeder – granted some don’t offer deworming and shots but nonetheless you are STILL pumping out little pups for your OWN profit while thousands of dogs are killed every day or languish unloved in shelters. A very good percentage of those dogs MIGHT find homes if ignorant idiots like you didn’t convince other dumb people that backyard breeding is the way to go!
Right I make money umm 97.00 for microchipping 65.00 for each vet visit 320.00 for xrays for my female 3 days after she whelped was the first of many vet visits
Not including the vet visits starting before she became pregnant or the genetic testing for both my male or female which cost HUNDREDS ACTUALLY NEARING THE THOUSAND MARK FOR EACH!!
Plus I feed wellness and canisource as well as send my dogs with both in puppy packs!! Oh and fyi they are registered as well soooo if you can tell me that all of that adds up to the price of a puppy your dead wrong!!
And I breed a breed where they might need a c-section so I have to be prepared for that and have my vet on call and I only get a few pups a litter!! So NO I don't make my money back I won't even break even but if I better the breed and do what I love then IM HAPPY and so are the ppl who leave with my puppies!!
Which will NEVER end up in a shelter cause if they do the ppl who bought the dog from me will have a lawsuit on their hands! As stated in the contract they sign!!! Sorry but I care for what I create for life!! A
nd YES FYI I have worked with york region animal control as a temp foster home when they got overloaded because a very close friend of the family works there so I know exactly what those poor shelter pets go threw!
BUT it will NEVER stop me doing what I do because if I did I would not be happy! I don't breed mutts I'm not irresponsible I am actually one of the most caring breeders you will ever meet!
Maybe if you took 2 seconds and took your head out of you ass long enough to see that you would be a better and happier person! And your right their is no reason to contact you again cause we don't see eye to eye! And too be honest I hope with the way you think you don't or ever own an animal or a kid for that matter!
Your ignorant you truly are you walk around the world with blinders on and only see what you want to see! Seriously you can't and will never change a thing there will always be breeders and there will always be animals in need of homes. Its a vicious circle FACE IT and DEAL WITH IT!! Stop being so damn angry!! Live life with what makes you happy and leave others alone!

Sent from me to you with love <3 
Now, apart from the fact that you need some lessons in diction and spelling, I reiterate – you would not be incurring all those costs if you were NOT breeding poor little pups and putting your poor bitch through multiple pregnancies for a dog which cannot, will not and most likely will NEVER be a “registered” breed. You are breeding out of your house with two different breeds of dogs, making puppies who are – however you want to call it- MIXES – MUTTS – HEINZ 57s....
Further, you can claim all the genetic testing, shots, veterinary care (hello! you’re breeding a dog that needs C-sections?? nice), the reality is you are STILL breeding at will and actually, I believe that we CAN to a great extent, find homes for ALL animals. One of the steps involved requires getting rid of people like you who make a profit on their poor UNREGISTERED and therefore, NOT pure-bred, dogs’ wombs.
Holy SHIT your stupid I am registered a mixed dog is not!!! And there is ckc breeders on kijiji they are not all puppy mills do you research before you spew your shit you loser contact me again and this will be harassment as in my last email I asked you NOT TO EMAIL BACK!!! Now fuck off!!!!Sent from me to you with love <3 
Umm... registered with whom? The city – well it IS the law to license our pets. Otherwise, you are in no way registered with the CKC – because they ONLY register PURE BRED dogs.... the progeny of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle cannot meet the requirements to be registered with the CKC. So with whom are you registered? Is there a Puppy Mill Central of which I’m not aware?

From the Canadian Kennel Club website:
  • Every breeder shall be conversant with and fully adhere to the By-laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures of CKC, as well as the requirements of the Animal Pedigree Act (APA). 
  •  All litters and all dogs in each litter shall be registered with the CKC. Litter registrations shall be forwarded to CKC as soon as is reasonably possible after the birth of the dogs.
  •  ...
  • Every breeder shall maintain current and accurate records pertaining to their breeding program, the particulars of all dog registrations and all sales transactions.
  • No breeder shall sell or donate dogs for the purpose of their being auctioned, raffled, or to pet stores.
Now I didn’t enquire if she sells to pet stores although the chances are pretty high that she does. Further I am highly sceptical that she actually follows through on even a percentage of the after-care she promises (certainly based on my experience working with rescue groups which included dealing with the poor dogs rescued from puppy mills, many backyard breeders make grandiose claims which VERY seldom actually pan out) but regardless, however you cut it, however you justify it, you are breeding two disparate breeds (are your stud and bitch even registered with the CKC? – I would bet NOT) to produce mixed breed puppies ... you are not constrained by the CKC regulations which strictly monitor and demand certain standards of care and breed, in fact you are doing whatever you damn well want.

So, justify yourself, tantrum, scream “harassment” (umm, so STOP emailing me back, bitch), you are an obvious, self-proclaimed, irresponsible, contemptible PUPPY MILL backyard breeder – so bite me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Carpe Diem - just one thing

Carpe diem
Memento mori
(Remember you must die)

Because no one knows when the sand runs out for us.

Choices are made – that is the nature of life – even not making a choice is, in itself, a choice. But while perhaps one is making a choice (or not, thus a non-choice), life is occurring elsewhere ... time continues to trickle possibilities like grains of sand into the abyss of possibilities, each granular stream someone else’s reality. It is sometimes overwhelming to look around and see the number of animals that are being abused, neglected, abandoned .... I know that rescuers often get overwhelmed- that it seems as soon as they get over one huge effort and rescue an animal or right a wrong, 1000 more crowd in and the clamouring of voices that can’t speak, eyes that beg and wrongs that need righting seem insurmountable.

Carpe diem.
Abyssus abyssum invocate
(Hell calls hell; one mistep leads to another)

Because THAT moment, that second, once lived is gone, never to be recaptured nor re-experienced ... and time and the impact of choices that other people make reshape and change the landscape in which one stands, frozen in indecision, unable to commit to a course of action. Words once uttered, cannot be unsaid.... actions once done, cannot be called back. But conversely, sometimes by taking action, it is a call to arms for others, it is the impetus needed for someone else to act, the encouragement provided that enables an uncertain person to move forward and do what is right.  Just one thing ....

Carpe diem.
Acta non verba
(Actions not words)

Because hesitate, allow fear to rule your emotions, entangle you in unbreakable strands of irresolution, stop you from stepping forward into ANY forward, ANY possibility... and the paths are no longer open to you – the vistas you thought immutable waver and disappear, illusions and phantoms of possibilities you chose not to take. Indecision solves nothing while taking that step, overcoming that fear, surmounting a reluctance to step forward and be heard CAN make a huge difference.

Carpe diem.
Mater memento mori
(Remember your mortality)

Because despite the philosophies, the concepts, the mythic proportions of some of our fantasies, THIS life, THIS one is all we`ve got, solid, corporeal, touchable, in our reality of mind and thought, ALL we can truly prove. And if we can make ONE difference in ONE creature’s life then that must be a good thing, a fine thing... and perhaps by so doing, others too will reach out and do that one thing.

Carpe diem.

None of us lives in a vacuum. Our choices or our failure to make choices impact on those entwined in our lives. And the passage of time and the constant proximity can lead to a form of blindness, a failure to recognize what is in front of your eyes. More damaging is the insidiousness of not hearing ... of at some level closing your ears to the words being said and interpreting situations in a manner palatable to what one WISHES to hear. Too many people close their eyes to what they know in their souls is wrong. Too many people turn away when they hear the dog yelp, the hungry cat cry, the creatures of the earth cry out.

Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes
(It is foolish to fear that which you cannot avoid. (Publilius Syrus))

Act and in that action find salvation.

Monday, May 3, 2010

good things today

  1. Brindi (from Halifax is going home)....
  2. My girlfriend has pulled her ass out of a hot academic  fire and is forging on
  3. The new bike room in my workplace opened and it ROCKS - lockers, water fountains... air, you name it
  4. Llyr did NOT try to eat Roarke (yet) today
  5. This asswhipe is going to JAIL - HUGE step forward for rights of animals - someone actually getting PUNISHED for torturing two innocent dogs (and causing their deaths) (thanks to Houndward  Bound for the head's up on this)