Monday, May 17, 2010

Public Outcry Stops OSPCA Mass Killing

The mass killing of animals by the OSPCA at its York Region shelter has been halted, most likely due to the public outcry to save the animals. Protesters have been stationed outside of the shelter since the media (Photo: Colin McConnell - Torstar News Service) reported 350 animals were to be killed because of a ringworm outbreak.

Reports claim that 99 animals have been killed. Even Conservative Frank Klees uses this number, while Kate MacDonald, executive director of OSPCA says only 50 animals have been euthanized. OSPCA Chairman Rob Godfrey appeared on a news show, with his own dog on a leash at his side, and called the announcement the society was euthanizing 350 animals a “communications mishap on our part.” I think it is safe to say everyone can agree to that, with the OSPCA’s story changing from day to day. According to the Toronto Sun, “Since Monday night, the OSPCA has moved from saying all 350 pets inside the shelter would be euthanized to saying at least 20 animals would be saved, to telling CP24 Thursday morning that at least 100 animals could be fostered out.”

Nonetheless, the OSPCA says the killing has stopped, and the public will be watching closely to make sure this remains the case. Reports say that 96 animals have been placed into foster homes, 15 animals were stolen from the shelter (most likely by staff and volunteers who feared for the animals’ safety), and the remaining 140 will be treated at the facility. 

About 40 protestors continued to demonstrate today [Thursday] outside the OSPCA’s Newmarket shelter, saying they won’t leave until they know why the euthanization decision was made in the first place. Many were calling for a wholesale (Photo: Michael Peake - Toronto Sun) resignation of the OSPCA board and senior officials; others said there should be an independent third-party investigation.

“The trust has been broken and the relationship has been broken,” said Elizabeth Staunton, who said she felt “sick” knowing while she protested outside the shelter on Wednesday, dozens of animals were being killed just meters away from her. “They continued with this when they knew how we felt.”

Klees told the Toronto Sun Thursday that he had a conversation with the chairman of the OSPCA. "They are confirming that they've put a stop to the euthanasia plans," Klees said. "They've agreed to treat all these animals individually. It's the news that we were looking for."

Only time will tell…

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