Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA

November 27, 2009 17:09 ET

Toronto Humane Society Search Includes Discovery by the Ontario SPCA of a Dead Cat Hidden in the Ceiling

Also found was "Kit-Kat", which hadn't been fed in nearly a week and had not received medication for mouth ulcers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2009) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this Press Release.

One day after a search warrant was executed at the Toronto Humane Society, resulting in the arrests of five senior staff members, Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigators discovered a mummified cat in a cage hidden in the ceiling.

The cat's name was "Casper" and it had been dead for at least one year.

"This discovery sends a chill down my spine," said lead OSPCA investigator Kevin Strooband. "At the very least it proves that the search warrant and the charges laid were necessary."

A photo of the discovery is attached. OSPCA advises media wishing to use the image to warn readers and viewers about its shocking contents beforehand if possible.

Veterinarians and OSPCA officials have described the state of the THS facility as a "house of horrors" on the first day of their search.

"This facility appears to have been operating beyond the bounds of decency," said OSPCA Chief Executive Officer Kate MacDonald. "It makes us wonder what other shocking cases of cruelty and negligence we have yet to find."

Among the other evidence of cruelty discovered in the search is a white female cat named "Kit-Kat." Veterinarians discovered her in severe distress with large, painful moth ulcers. Her chart showed that she hadn't eaten anything since Nov. 20, and very little since Nov. 8, and had never received any pain medication. In addition, her veterinarian records had not been updated in 10 days.

Since the search warrant was executed at 3 p.m. on Thursday, five animals have been humanely euthanized because of extreme distress of injury or terminal illness. Over 1,000 animals are currently housed at the THS.

"The decision to euthanize any animal is made on a case-by-case basis based on the medical expertise of our team of veterinarians," said Mr. Strooband. "To let an animal suffer needless pain when they are going to die anyway is cruel."

The Toronto Humane Society will remain closed to the public until Tuesday, Dec. 1. If the public needs to seek emergency care for a vulnerable animal, they can take it to one of four Toronto Animal Services centres in Toronto:

146 The East Mall
140 Princes' Boulevard (Exhibition Place)
1300 Sheppard Avenue West (at Keele Street)
821 Progress Avenue (Highway 401 and Markham Road)

Toronto Animal Services can also be reached at 416-338-7297.

"Toronto Animal Services has been extremely helpful. They are supporting us with additional staff and supplies to help care for the animals at THS," said Ms. MacDonald. "We'd like to thank them for their tremendous support through this difficult time."

To view the first photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ospcaphoto1px800.jpg.

To view the second photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ospcaphoto2px800.jpg.

Contact Information

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