Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA

December 29, 2009 13:47 ET

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Welcomes Returning Toronto Humane Society Volunteers and Staff

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 29, 2009) - Officials of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) welcomed returning Toronto Humane Society (THS) volunteers and staff at the society's River Street headquarters today - with a caveat.

"The meeting was positive and conciliatory. But the OSPCA believes that the THS still has a great deal of work to do if they want to correct the sad record of the previous management at the THS. The way in which animals were treated - and the way in which they were mistreated - will not be allowed to happen again. And we made that very clear to THS volunteers and staff," said OSPCA Chief Executive Officer Kate MacDonald. "The OSPCA's mandate is clear: we will ensure all animals housed at THS receive the care and love they deserve. Until THS can demonstrate its willingness to do likewise, we will continue to closely monitor each and every animal within the facility. And that is what the Court has authorized us to do."

A court-issued warrant authorized the OSPCA to enter the THS more than a month ago, and start caring for the hundreds of animals housed there. Many of them had been subject to terrible abuse and cruelty, MacDonald said. "That can never, ever happen again," added the OSPCA's CEO. "We - and the courts - will not let that happen. And that's what we told some of the returning THS volunteers and staff this morning."

Some THS staff have been working at the facility since the search warrant was executed on November 26. "We have been inspired by selfless actions of many THS volunteers and staff during the past month," said MacDonald. "For weeks, they have been working very hard helping us examine animals and deliver emergency care. They are obviously pleased to see that action was taken to get the THS back in shape as a quality animal-care shelter and adoption centre."

The OSPCA search warrant coincided with several arrests of THS management personnel on criminal animal cruelty charges. "We have yet to complete our search of the THS facility and we continue to investigate allegations of animal cruelty by THS management," said OSPCA lawyer Chris Avery. "The OSPCA will leave no stone unturned in its investigation. We are committed to the animals. Most of all, we are intent on ending the cycle of suffering that has gone on far too long at the THS."

Agreed MacDonald: "Our priority is the care and protection of animals in need. That is the priority of many THS volunteers and staff, too. Sadly, the priority of some has been hype and spin and lawsuits. Today, and for the foreseeable future, OSPCA is in charge of the animals, and getting them the care they need. THS volunteers and staff - not, I emphasize, those facing criminal and other very serious charges - are coming back to help us do that."

The OSPCA would like to reassure the public that over 1,000 animals at the THS are getting excellent care. The investigation into animal cruelty will continue. In the meantime, people looking to adopt a pet contact other animal-care facilities in the Toronto area:

- Etobicoke Humane Society (416) 249 - 6100
- Mississauga Humane Society (905) 271 - 0883
- Toronto Animal Services (416) 338 - 7297
- Ontario SPCA, York Region Branch (905) 898-7122 X 306

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
    Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    Alison Cross
    Manager of Marketing and Communications
    (905) 853-2108 mobile