The Toronto Humane Society (THS) has posted a statement on their website which reads, in part:
In recent days, The Toronto Humane Society has euthanized 6 dogs and 19 cats that were chronically ill, displayed aggressive behaviour, or whose quality of life due to illness or injury was severely diminished and who had been at the shelter for an extended period of time.
Our new euthanasia policy is clear that we will not house these animals in the shelter indefinitely as their medical and behavioural condition deteriorates and the possibility of them being adopted diminishes.
Potential for adoption diminishes? Well what is the possibility of them being adopted now?
You can meet the dogs via Selkie, who personally knew and cared for them as a shelter volunteer. Others who knew the dogs have posted their fond memories here. One thing you’ll find consistently absent from these stories is any hint that these dogs were medically or behaviorally hopeless or that their quality of life had severely deteriorated. I wish we knew something about the 19 cats. Perhaps someone will post something on them.
I understand that shelters, like anyone who cares for a pet, will sometimes have to make that difficult choice to end physical and/or mental suffering by euthanizing a pet. I support that decision. But if you are killing 25 pets in one day and claiming them all to be “euthanasias”, well I question that. Unless you have thousands of pets in your care every day, it seems extremely unlikely to me that 25 of them are going to reach that tipping point where we consider death a kindness all in one day.
To make matters worse, Fred at One Bark at a Time writes:
All of these dogs also had shelters or rescues willing to take them in. I was involved in finding one of those shelters through the help of Best Friends Animal Society so I know this to be true. They would have been moved out weeks ago but for legal concerns around transporting them through the province (because these dogs, Pit Bulls, are of course banned in Ontario). We were in the midst of working out an acceptable transport plan when the euthanasias took place.
Why didn’t the Toronto Humane Society release these dogs to the rescues willing to take them? If they were all truly medically hopeless and suffering, let’s see some veterinary records. If it’s something else, let’s hear it. But it’s not fair to the shelter staff, volunteers, supporters and especially not the pets to just kill long term shelter residents at night and then post a vague message on the website in the morning. If that falls in line with your “new euthanasia policy” THS, then your policy sucks.