Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA

November 29, 2009 17:47 ET

Evidence of Cruelty and Mismanagement Emerge From Toronto Humane Society as Search Continues

Charged THS interim president admits spending money on lawyers but let pet food expire; Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may remain at shelter after Tuesday due to overwhelming amount of evidence

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2009) - The Toronto Humane Society's interim president, Robert Hambley, admitted yesterday that the organization spent donation money on a wide variety of legal battles.

In addition, the THS let its stocks of pet food expire, yet fed it to animals regardless. Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigators have also found that THS suppliers are no longer providing necessary products unless they are paid in cash up front because of outstanding balances owed to them by the society.

"We have a situation at the THS where lawyers came before food for its vulnerable animals," said Judy King, a local animal-care volunteer. "The THS new interim president admitted as much in the Toronto Star on Saturday. This proves that major changes are needed to get the THS serving its primary purpose again - which is putting endangered animals first."

In spite of being charged with non-criminal animal cruelty by the OSPCA on Thursday, Mr. Hambley was appointed interim president of the THS by the board. All members of the THS board were charged with the provincial offence of five counts of animal cruelty, while five senior staff including president Tim Trow were charged with criminal offences relating to animal cruelty.

"The evidence against the THS is growing as our search carries on," said OSPCA lead investigator Kevin Strooband. "Mr. Hambley's appointment proves the THS board has no desire to change direction and getting this organization back on its feet in helping vulnerable animals."

OSPCA officials say they may need to continue their search past Tuesday because of the overwhelming volume of information and cruelty evidence being discovered.

"When we find dead cats in the ceiling, so you wonder what else is here," said Mr. Strooband, referring to the case of "Casper," a cat that had been dead for over a year and found on Friday by OSPCA investigators. "We need more time to carry out this investigation, but we will be keeping the public notified of our progress and how they can help."

Contact Information

  • Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    Rosaline Ryan
    Director of Marketing and Communications
    (905) 898-7122 Ext. 308
    (416) 428-9886 mobile
    Kevin Strooband
    OSPCA investigator
    (905) 932-5384 mobile
    Christopher Avery
    Barrister and Solicitor
    (416) 895-4964 mobile