March 27, 2009 10:31 ET

Poplar Park Dog Poisonings: Humane Society of Canada Offers Reward

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ON--(Marketwire - March 27, 2009) - The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is offering a $1,000 reward for information resulting in the conviction of those responsible for placing poisoned backed goods in Poplar Park, located in Port Perry (Ontario), according to HSC Executive Director, Michael O'Sullivan.

Up to 3 dogs who all visited Poplar Park fell ill and all have undergone treatment and are expected to recover fully. According to reports, the police believe that the dogs became ill after eating deliberately contaminated cupcakes; the police have sent samples for testing to determine the exact substance.

"No circumstance warrants brutally killing pets with poison," says Michael O'Sullivan, HSC Executive Director. "Leaving poison for pets is not only dangerous for the intended victims, but also for unintended potential victims including young children and wildlife," states an angry O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan, whose family shares their home with dogs and cats, wants to remind people that for everyone's sake they need to keep their pets under strict supervision at all times. "Our four legged friends depend on us for their well being and regrettably, that includes protecting them from those who would do them harm," he said.

Any owner who suspects their pet has been poisoned should contact their veterinarian immediately. Symptoms include: staggering movements, vomiting, excessive drinking and urination, sudden improvement followed by a relapse a day or two later, depression, weakness, dehydration, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, rapid breathing, seizures, abdominal sensitivity to touch and kidney failure.

"Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence," says O'Sullivan. "Recent changes to the Canadian Criminal Code mean that offenders face maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison for indictable offences and for summary convictions - fines of up to $10,000 and up to eighteen months in jail. In addition to the criminal record and fines, the person convicted can also be prohibited from owning, having the custody or control of or residing in the same premises as an animal or a bird for any period that the court considers appropriate but, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a minimum of five years. Damages may be awarded by the court to the person or organization that had to pay for the care of the animal as a result of the offence."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Durham Regional Police No. 15 Division at (905) 579-1520 or The Humane Society of Canada at 416-368-0405.

Anyone who would like to donate to The Humane Society of Canada's Victims of Cruelty Reward Program to help solve crimes against animals and nature can contact the organization at 1-800-641-5463 or through their website at

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by calling his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or toll free at 1-800-641-KIND or by visiting their website at

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 100 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.

The Humane Society works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, fund non-invasive scientific research, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

A registered charity, The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our campaign to protect animals and the earth, please make a donation online ( Because when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don't give up. Ever.

/For further information: IN: HEALTH, MEDIA, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director, The Humane Society of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-368-0405
    Secondary Phone: 416-876-9685
    Toll-Free: 800-641-5463