Looks like my local shelter, the Owen Sound Animal Shelter, has been emulating the Toronto Humane Society – and not in a good way.
The Owen Sound Animal Shelter is an independent entity from Owen Sound Animal Services, just as Toronto Humane Society is completely unaffiliated with Toronto Animal Services. Like THS, Owen Sound Animal Shelter is a ‘no kill’ facility, stating that it euthanizes only the animals too ill or too aggressive to be placed for adoption.
Like THS, this (perhaps initially well meaning policy) has degraded into a distressing combination of too little veterinary treatment for some animals, combined with overly enthusiastic, poorly carried out euthanasia for others.
From the Owen Sound Sun Times –
Candice Ford says she is still troubled by the memory.
As she tried to comfort an obese, geriatric cat, an operator of the Owen Sound Animal Shelter struggled to euthanize the animal by repeatedly attempting to inject the killing agent T-61 into its heart, without sedation, the former shelter volunteer and employee said.
“He poked her more than once and this poor cat was obviously suffering. But he couldn’t find the heart and he kept trying and trying,” said Ford
The Owen Sound Animal Shelter has been under investigation since 2008, when former employees of the shelter started coming forward with complaints about the treatment of animals at the facility. Their litany of offenses committed at the shelter echo those we’ve been hearing about at the THS. In addition to misuse of veterinary euthanasia drugs, the former shelter workers also allege –
..that between 2005 and 2008 they witnessed:
• Stray or feral cats euthanized, without being registered in the shelter’s database.
• Cats and dogs euthanized for reasons other than aggression or illness, despite the “no-kill” policy.
• At least three dogs — an aggressive dog named Blondie, a Labrador-collie cross named Tripp and an elderly bulldog named Sumo — living in a cage for years, with little exercise.
• Cats with abscesses not treated by a veterinarian.
• Animals dying shortly after procedures not performed by a veterinarian, including a kitten that had maggots removed from its head, a pregnant cat that broke its leg and a dehydrated orange tabby that was force-fed fluids.
• A freezer full of euthanized animals emptied about twice each month by Gateway Cremation Services of Guelph.
• Animals sprayed with bleach and other cleaning agents while cages were cleaned.
Owen Sound Animal Shelter is also accused of gross mismanagement, including –
spending donated money inappropriately, posting pictures of euthanized animals as adopted and refusing to accept local animals while housing cats and dogs from Quebec and the United States.
I’ve been rather surprised at how many shelters are now seem to be doing that latter item – cherry picking cuter, ‘more adoptable’ animals from distant cities, rather than actually offering a service to the homeless pets in need in their immediate areas.
The Owen Sound Animal Shelter has been under investigation by the OSPCA, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources, Owen Sound Police Services and City of Owen Sound. So far, no charges have been laid, but “The OSPCA and OMAFRA have six months from the receipt of a complaint to gather sufficient evidence to warrant laying charges.”
Read the full article here.