do you remember?

Tara - posted on 06/04/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Do you remember last year when the OSPCA euthanized almost 100 animals at their Newmarket shelter because of possible ringworm epidemic?

Here's an article about the review that was done after the fact. None of the staff, vets, vet techs or volunteers who were involved in the mass killing are with the shelter any longer.

An independent review has found no evidence of the ringworm outbreak blamed for the euthanasia of dozens of animals at the OSPCA’s Newmarket shelter last May.

“While preliminary evidence may have suggested an outbreak of ringworm, there was no clinical data to support such an outbreak,” OSPCA chair Rob Godfrey said at a news conference Friday morning.

The review, conducted by former Ontario Veterinary College dean Alan Meek and former Ontario Superior Court chief justice Patrick LeSage, also found that the number of animals euthanized, previously reported as 99, was actually 57.

Those animals were euthanized for a variety of reasons, Godfrey said, including ringworm.

Another 134 animals were transferred to other shelters.

The review blames the discrepancy on poor, or in some cases, no recordkeeping.

Godfrey called the decision to depopulate the shelter in response to the suspected outbreak “a rush to judgment.”

The veterinarian who made the call is no longer at the shelter, nor are any other staff or volunteers who worked there at the time, Godfrey said.

The review, which cost half a million dollars, blames inadequate policies and procedure around infection outbreak for the events of last May.

Despite the review’s findings on the outbreak, Godfrey said he “wouldn’t go so far as to say they were killed unnecessarily.”

There were indications of an outbreak, including physical signs of infection in staff.
Recommended OSPCA changes

In their independent review, Dr. Alan Meek and former justice Patrick LeSage made several recommendations, including:

The appointment of a chief veterinarian to coordinate infection control and response across the province.

A formal surveillance program should be implemented at every shelter and record keeping must be restructured. Clear protocols for dealing with ringworm cases and suspected outbreaks should also be set.

Increased government funding and legislative amendments. The government provides no base funding for the investigative and enforcement services that the OSCPA is mandated to provide, which “results in the investigations aspect of the OSPCA’s operation often consuming the budget of its shelter mandate.”

While “euthanasia is a controversial issues, shelters should be up front about this fact of shelter life and be forthcoming with their statistics and reasons for euthanasia.”

“Doing so may allow the OSPCA and communities to work together to find alternative solutions to overpopulation.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1002...

Better record keeping? You think? How about some record keeping?
All those animals that were killed, and a million dollar review, and now sweeping changes to the SPCA? We'll have to watch and see if anything changes.
I still put my spare change in the "no kill" shelter box not the SPCA box at the coffee shop or wherever I see a donation box.
How about you? Do you support a kill or no kill facility?

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Mary - posted on 06/04/2011

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Well, Laura, we balance each other out...the older I get, the more I feel like most animals are more deserving of my time, charity and kindness than the most humans. They appreciate EVERYthing, continue to love man despite the abuses we heap upon them, and if given the opportunity, will be loyal and faithful to their last breath. They do not complain, judge, discriminate, manipulate or lie.

And I don't see what Christianity has to do with it - God created them to, and I believe he loves them just as much as he does us. I think he entrusted us to care for them, and many of us have failed them miserably. I have no doubt that my dogs will get to heaven....and plead my case for entry when my time comes ;-)

Mary - posted on 06/04/2011

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Years ago, when I got my first dog, and began volunteering at that shelter, I became very self-righteous about the whole "no-kill" shelter thing. The place where I got Charlie was a phenomenal facility just over the MD-PA line, and was no-kill. I actually had to sign a form stating that if, for any reason, even years down the line, I was unable to care for him, I was to return him to them before either re-homing him on my own, or taking him to another facility where he might be put down. They took their oath to enable all animals that came through their doors to live out their natural life quite seriously.

I loved that place, but it was over 30 miles away, and just too far to volunteer there as often as I liked. I then looked into my local branch of the Humane Society, which was not even 5 miles down the road. They are a much larger facility, and have a much higher volume and turnover than the one where I got Charlie. They are not, in the strict sense, a no-kill facility, although it has been over 8 years since they have had to euthanize a dog simply because of lack of space and interest. Cats, particularly those who are older, are sadly a different story. There are just too many of them who show up on their doorstep.

WHen I went through the volunteer orientation, I expressed some of my concerns and reservations about being in a place that could potentially euthanize an animal simply because s/he had been there forever, no one wanted them, and space was an issue. What the director said to me in response has stayed with me forever, and greatly changed my perception of the entire shelter community:

The only reason that no-kill shelters can remain so is because there are shelters who do. We are the ones who must accept the animals they turn away when they are full, sometimes, it does force us to decide who is most likely to find a home, and who amongst these innocent animals may never leave

The more I thought about it, the more I got it. No-kill shelters are a great theory, but the sad reality is that there are often more abandoned and homeless animals than there is space to care for them.

Kate CP - posted on 06/04/2011

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Why would they euthanize for a fungal infection? o.O

I work with several no kill shelters as a foster mom and trainer. I agree with Petra about needing the SPCA. They do a fabulous job with spay/neuter awareness and programs and vaccines, too. It's important to know that not all SPCAs are part of the same group and what one SPCA does is not indicative of what they ALL do. Same thing with Humane Societies.

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User - posted on 06/05/2012

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I was at this the day it was happening , I was one of the protesters and the info above is not totally correct a girl down the street from my parents worked there while all this was happening and I believe she is still working there now.
Horrible what happened makes me so sad that people can be so cruel.

Chasity - posted on 06/09/2011

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Wow my family just got over pinworms (omg the worst thing I have ever gone through) Perhaps I should of just shot all my kids and my husband...would of been so much cleaner :P
I hate people who claim to be civil

Merry - posted on 06/09/2011

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That's so sad amie:( I love my cats more then my dog.......sorry India (my dog) but she's going to live with my sister in august. Kitties rule this house!

Kate CP - posted on 06/09/2011

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Tara: I just read the article and all I have to say is "that's a crock of shit". To euthanize because of a ringworm outbreak is stupid and cruel. Now I'm angry. :(

Amie - posted on 06/09/2011

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I support them all. There's quite a few around the city. Only one no kill dog shelter (that I know of) but a handful of no kill cat ones. They all run on donations and they are always full - the cat ones anyway. When people get a dog, they are generally a bit more vested in it, it seems like.

I got our younger dog at the SPCA here. The vet there recommended he be euthanized. =( Apparently he had a biting problem? Not so sure about that, the foster family he stayed with before we took him allowed him to gnaw on them because he was a teething puppy. /:) Get him a toy. He never chewed on us, that stopped quick. Anyway.... when I was in going over the pages of paperwork (and here there are a lot, I was in there for an hour!) I was listening to one of the volunteers. The dogs that they have come in, are mostly ones that have gotten out of their yards and are picked up. The cats, same thing but they are rarely redeemed. The volunteered mused that it is probably because so many people can get cats cheap. So why pay a $250 fine to get your cat back when you can go get another one for next to nothing, if not free. I was a bit taken aback but what I heard made some sense. I know there are people who are not as attached to their cats as they are their dogs. I love all mine the same but just looking at the SPCA numbers shows that others do not. Apparently a lot of others. =(

Ours does a lot of fundraising and has a lot of foster families though, so I'm not sure when the last time is that they had to euthanize a dog. Cats seem to be the "problem" around here too, they have a lot of space. They have the money and volunteers. What they don't have is responsible cat owners it seems. Cats keep coming in in droves, the last time I was there - they had brought in over 120 that week. =( Poor cats.

Tara - posted on 06/09/2011

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I put my change in the no kill boxes because I have that option, if I had only the SPCA to choose I would put my money there.
Where we live, the facility has a very short wait time before they euthanize an animal. If you take an adult dog there, they will tell you that after just 5 days they sometimes have to euthanize dogs, because puppies or other animals who are more likely to be adopted out come into the shelter and they don't have enough foster homes to place the over capacity animals.
I guess it depends on where you live too. If I lived in a place where stray cats and dogs roamed the streets and the shelters were packed solid all the time and the street animals were suffering from disease and illness due to being homeless, I would likely support the euthanizing of animals.
But where we are, most of the animals brought into the shelter are not strays, they are abandoned pets, by people that no longer can or want to care for their animals. My mother in law used to volunteer there.and so many dogs were brought in by young people who got a dog as soon as they moved out of their parents house and found it to be too much work etc.
Sad but true.
Oh and Katie here's more on the whole "ringworm" issue that started the whole thing..
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/...

Mary - posted on 06/09/2011

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Laura, I think at some point I too was told that animals don't have a soul, but life has lead me to believe otherwise. I know in my heart that all of my pets have souls, and that they are just as deserving of kindness, compassion, and respect as humans. Just because they cannot speak, and have a different level of intelligence, does not (to me) negate the existence of them possessing a soul.



Quite frankly, if heaven doesn't have animals, I'm not sure I want to go there!

Merry - posted on 06/09/2011

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Just the belief that animals don't have a soul.
But yeah I agree, animals do tend to deserve more love then lots of humans, they love back unconditionally. Humans, not so much.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/04/2011

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We only have one facility and it's the SPCA. They avoid killing here and instead ship the animals down south where there aren't as many to go round. I've fostered for them and I think they do an amazing job, especially considering what they have to deal with here. The animal abuse in this area is abundant. Hardly anyone spays and neuters it seems. They are always full to the brim and shipping animals away. If you get a dog from the SPCA in Vancouver, you can almost bet it came from up here. Pathetic. They even kept my Milo there for 3 months knowing his chance of adoption at 12 years old was pretty slim. They paid a ton for his top notch medical care because he came in with a whole host of problems. So I will always support my SPCA. I'm confident they wouldn't euthanize for no good reason.

Merry - posted on 06/04/2011

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I'm torn, on one hand I'm completely for no kill shelters. But on the other hand I sometimes feel like a mass euthanasia of Americas shelter animals might be helpful. I mean big scale thinking here, but we put so much money into these animals, money that could be helping people. Ok so maybe everyone doesn't feel like people are superior to animals, that might be my Christian brain thing, but if I had to choose to save the life of a human or an animal I'd choose the human every time. And sometimes I think that we should put our time money and effort into helping people instead of all the homeless animals out there.
But honestly I'd prefer a mass shut down of all puppy mills and every type of mass producing animal businesses. Private breeders, and small scale family litters are quite enough, and if all the mills got shut down that would stop the problem at the source instead of having to kill them once they are born, stop the mass production.
Ok so I'm sort of all over the place on this subject, trust me, I'm not happy with kill shelters on a personal small scale situation, I'm disgusted at the thought of an animal killed just for space, but my big picture mind feels it's a necessary evil because of the serious overproduction of pets in our country!
I've volunteered for a year or so, our cats were all adopted. But I also worked at a pet store and while we didn't sell dogs or cats, they do sell small animals birds and reptiles and all those animals are bred in "puppy mill" type facilities with little regulations and it's appalling how horribly they are being raised!
Guinea pigs are the worst I saw, they were bred in these ware houses and the quantity was disgusting and so many died from simple eye infections or dehydration etc.
There's little laws to protect rodents :(

Kate CP - posted on 06/04/2011

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Exactly, Mary! Which is why I LOVE the SPCA's programs for spay and neutering pets. VERY important.

Jocelyn - posted on 06/04/2011

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No kill. And I always try and support the local shelters. We have quite a few in our area, Heaven can Wait and AARF are just a few, and they are all no-kill.

Petra - posted on 06/04/2011

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No kill shelters, all the way. I have two rescue dogs myself, would never go any other way when adopting a pet.

I absolutely put my spare change in the Humane Society/SPCA boxes when I see them.

I have mixed feelings about reviews such as this... Of course I'm glad it was done, and I completely agree that there needs to be at least SOME record keeping in SPCAs. Unfortunately, not everyone involved in these organizations is a true animal lover, and poor pumpkins like these pay the price. At least they are still around, and not shut down altogether - we need the SPCA.

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