Thursday, May 13, 2010

Abuse of power? Good question to ask the OSPCA...

Another fine mess opened like a can of worms. Worms like to escape the can in which they are confined. It was only a matter of time until a media story broke to get the outrage flowing. 

I am curious why nobody is talking about the kill rate at the OSPCA on a regular basis. The recent outbreak of ringworm, "mistakenly" no doubt, hit the press and has caused a public uprising unprecedented in Ontario; but what about all the others...

What about the constant killing of thousands of animals killed to "make space", didn't pass the "test" or didn't make the "cut". The feline kill rate is no doubt much higher than the canine; however I saw a figure thrown out earlier today the OSPCA kill rate sits at about 50% to 60%. This figure would fluctuate between branches. The affiliates may tend to have a lower kill rate than the branches. There would be more wiggle room in the affiliate world when it comes to protocol.  

I am going to call out the "dogs" and say this likely isn't a first that an Ontario shelter is wiped clean, so to speak. I would think information such as this is a highly guarded secret, sort of like a resource guarding dog with a high prized bone. An outbreak of public outcry can possibly do immense damage to the donation flow. May go from a river to a babbling brook. 

The business of sheltering animals has been a long, emotional, hotly opinionated debate for decades. The business of rescuing and protecting unwanted, abused and lost animals is no easy feat. It is not a black and white situation. It is multifaceted, complicated, emotional and plain difficult. I have read and loosely followed the work of Nathan Winograd and must say it makes sense to me. I am not going to tell you I am well versed in animal sheltering or rescue, but have worked along side people who are and have enough common sense to know that what is being practiced now can be greatly improved. 

I doubt people start out with the intention of methodically killing unwanted animals but get sucked into the role based on habitual practices and not stopping to think there may be an alternative. Maybe thinking that implementing an alternative is too large of a task. The role of sheltering may become like a religion in that this is the way we do things and that is that. A sense of entitlement. 

The McGuinty Liberals, who in my opinion have single handedly set our province back decades in the animal welfare department, (to name just one area) gave the OSPCA police powers and made the entity virtually untouchable and accountable to no-one. It is never a good or smart thing to allot unlimited power and  benefit of the doubt to any organization. It is the accountability that keeps things "honest". You will always find someone or a group of people more than willing to abuse that power and see the potential for personal gain. A tendency for feelings of entitlement based on that shift of power are basically human nature. The attitude of "who are you to question us?"

If Dalton McGuinty doesn't work for Ingrid Newkirk (PETA) directly, he certainly should send in his resume. I bet it pays better than his current job as being the worst premier in the history of Ontario! 

Between thousands of dogs killed based on looks not behavior with the breed ban and legislating the amended OSPCA Act giving free reign to an organization with no parameters on training/education or skill, this province has been witness to the crime of methodically slaughtering animals for no logical reason. Speaking of zero accountability! Let's hope karma holds true.. Ask Michael Bryant...

Ontario Animal Welfare Act rev 2008


  1. Good post. What the Liberals failed to do (intentionally?) was set up a commission over the OSPCA similar to the Toronto Police Services Board to hear complaints against the organization. That is what is long as the Fibs don't stuff it with useless appointees.

  2. I agree with Social mange. I think members of the public should be on this board. And they should be pet owners/lovers

  3. I should clarify after a bit of research, there is the Animal Care Review Board but its scope and powers seem very limited.

    Function: The board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that hears appeals from individuals from whom animals have been seized or to whom orders have been issued under the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

  4. i have seen many cases where officers take a disliking to a pet owner and harass and bully them, personally i dealt with one who told me not to tell her how to do her job when i reported dozens of puppy mills operating in our rural area. when you report an officer for harrassment there are no legal chanells to go through. it is up to their supervisor because each ospca is an afiliate/franchise. head office in newmarket won't interfere. if a cop did that their would at least be some review. not with the ospca, i hope the toronto spca charges stick and that our premier will get off his blessed assurance and see about some respocibility and disapline for their animal nazi's. put a leash on them.