Today I dragged myself out of bed in spite of insomnia claiming me util 7:30am, and went down to stand outside the Toronto Humane Society. I stood there and listened to the stories of horrors I’ve already come to know, and heard new stories that turned my stomach and left me abandoning my weekend plans of stargazing for a return home to hold the two cats I rescued from there, cats that very easily could have suffered similar fates. I have my own stories about my adoption experiences, stories that make one question how medical issues can be so easily missed by supposedly trained eyes while they were apparent to my own.
The answer is the mismanagement of donor funds, the massive staff shortage created as a result and shelter policies that do not in any way put the animals first but rather, public image.
One of those who support the current movement to have board president Tim Trow resign created a video montage of protest footage and photos set to today’s song. The song itself is one donated to Peta and dedicated to animals slaughtered in the making of meat. Whatever you think of Peta or their tactics, whether you eat meat or don’t, the image of animals left to die in cages and treated as merchandise is not an image that should ever be associated with an animal shelter.
And yet, that’s just part of the reality at the Toronto Humane Society right now: statistics are all that seem to matter now. Sick animals are adopted out. Unaltered animals are adopted out as well, which contributes to overpopulation. Enough people are telling the same horrible stories from the inside that it can’t all just be ‘vindictive ex-employees’, as the THS board wants the public to believe. When the OSPCA walks in and revokes your charitable status with them and investigates you, what is going on?
For every animal that has sat in the THS in unnecessary pain or died in its cage, today, my song is for you.
Day 3: Free Me – Goldfinger
**WARNING – Video contains graphic footage of animal slaughter**
No cat or dog should be dying in its cage for the sake of a low euthanasia rate. There is no way cages should ever look as filthy as the photos we’ve seen after a night with animal care workers on duty. I’ve worked a clinic and the runs NEVER looked that bad in the morning. They were properly cleaned and then the animals were fed – something that doesn’t always happen.
Animals can’t take care of themselves. They are like children once domesticated, in that they cannot mop up their kennel or open a cupboard and pour food into a bowl. When a shelter can’t even provide that basic level of care, but can spend tens of thousands on legal fees for nonsense or personal vendettas of the board, something is wrong. My heart breaks for the animals today. My heart is glad that my girls are safe, in a home where they are loved and clean and given their medicines as needed.
To see what I’m talking about, click through to the Help THS blog, for links to news articles and more.