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THS – Ruining No Kill for the Rest of Us

Gravely ill cat suffers in cage at the Toronto Humane Society

Gravely ill cat suffers in cage at the Toronto Humane Society

I’ve spent a lot of years defending the Toronto Humane Society against the nasty rumors that have been flying around. I was a volunteer dog walker there for a long time, and made some great friends, both four footed and two footed. It seems, however, that things aren’t just as bad I’ve been hearing – they’re actually much, much worse.

THS has long been a pioneer of No Kill, but the news report in the Globe and Mail spells out just what THS has been willing to sacrifice to be able to make that claim. Animals left to suffer and die, alone and in pain. Elderly dogs forced to endure pointless surgeries and painful recoveries, only to die in agony. Kittens and cats who scream and writhe in death throes, with no one there to alleviate their suffering. All of the myriad tortures that opponents of No Kill have always claimed would occur, and all taking place in Canada’s largest and best funded private shelter.

Toronto Humane Society has lost the right to include the word ‘humane’ in their name, through greed and negligence and sheer stubbornness. THS President Tim Trow has, in the (as always) dead accurate words of One Bark at a Time, “become like an animal hoarder with a multi-million budget”.

What the animals are going through at THS is unconscionable, and unforgivable. From the Globe and Mail article:

On May 11, barely five months after a leg amputation that removed a cancerous limb, Bobik’s foster mother brought him in for care at the THS.

The incision from his leg amputation re-opened, his breathing was laboured, saliva dripped from his mouth and there was blood in his stool.

On the afternoon of May 12, after bleeding from his anus for two days, Bobik died.

Most shelters would have put Bobik down, said two veterinarians, as the cancer in his leg was likely to spread, and learning to walk on three legs can be difficult for an arthritic dog with hip dysplasia. Indeed, internal records show that many animals admitted to the THS die slow deaths rather being euthanized.

The cats are suffering, too.

A note written by a staff member or volunteer on the medical chart of a cat, Animal ID A127495, admitted last fall, reads: “Died Oct 19 3:15 am. Gasped and jerked and cried last breaths, because there was no one in shelter to euthanize or treat. This is not humane”

Everything that every single detractor of No Kill has ever claimed will happen if a shelter attempts No Kill has been happening at Toronto Humane Society. They’re a dirty stain on the reputation of No Kill, the ugly step sister to the good shelters who kill for kindness when it becomes the only humane thing left to offer the animals who come in their doors. No Kill is tainted by their affiliation, and brought low by their greed and lies.

Shame on the THS. Shame on Tim Trow.

9 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    How awful. No Kill is not and should never be torture. Sounds like straight-up hoarding.

    John’s last blog post..

  2. Barbara Saunders
    Barbara Saunders says:

    I’m not buying that this “ruins” no kill for the rest of us. Consider this scenario: a nutty, sick family abuses its children in the name of “discipline.” (To make it simple, I’ll leave out any particular motivation or ideology behind their definition.)

    Does that require every parenting expert in the world to explain over and over again, every time they use the word “discipline” that they don’t mean X, Y, and Z, which is really abuse not discipline, etc., etc., etc.?

    These “No Kill” abusers and their “anti-No Kill” cousins share a goal: to excuse themselves from doing work. They occupy the same rhetorical territory. And I honestly don’t believe the general public is confused by this. People not engaged directly in the (wearisome) linguistic battle may not know the details, but they reject both these abusive No Kill shelters and the business as usual that the No Klll movement is trying to upend.

    Barbara Saunders’s last blog post..Talking Sex, Politics, and Religion

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      But I do think that it taints the label of “No Kill”, and that labeling your shelter “no kill” in an effort to fund raise, while what you’re actually doing is just plain poor stewardship of the animals in your care, is a travesty. We need to be rigorous about outing bad shelters who call themselves “no kill”, just as we’re rigorous about outing those who use old fashioned kill shelter methodologies. Using our language doesn’t give you a get out of jail free card.

  3. RHz
    RHz says:

    I support countless no-kill efforts, and actually help run a no-kill cat rescue/sanctuary in my county. When a cat falls ill, we treat it with all the same medical and holistic ways we would treat one of our own. When a cat becomes too ill, or there is no chance of recovery, or there is no chance at quality of life if it’s something like cancer, our vet makes a “house call” and humanely euthanizes. We’ve had CRF cases, too, where we’ve let the cat live out its good days in one of our homes, then did what we needed to when the bad days outnumbered the good. Quality of life is always better than quantity of life, no matter what.

    There is no need to make an animal suffer needlessly. I agree that it is lazy and careless to let these animals suffer in pain and to use the term “no-kill” just to raise funds. No-kill should not be confused with not-humane. It irks me to no end that supposed do-gooders continue to do disservice to those of us still working toward the benefit of all animals, and more importantly, disservice to the animals themselves. They are the ones that are ultimately hurt the most.

    RHz’s last blog post..Another Animal Campaign

  4. Jennifer Price
    Jennifer Price says:

    That’s disgusting…..very upsetting. Instead of no kill shelters how about no suffering shelters.
    That poor cat brings tears to my eyes.

  5. Susan
    Susan says:

    No kill means not killing healthy, adoptable animals. It means making efforts at rehabilitating animals which, after being evaluated by a qualified individual, it appears can be rehabilitated and placed. Not torture by prolonging the illness and death of suffering animals who are dying, incurably ill or maimed. That is contrary to the purpose of No Kill.

  6. BusterBoo
    BusterBoo says:

    There’s is more details of the unfortunate goings on at THS at the website reformths.com. The site is about a group called “Association for the Reform of the Toronto Humane Society”. They are a group of individuals pursuing all legal avenues, with emphasis on regulatory bodies, to have them step in and finally do their job.

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