Toronto Humane Society Kills 25 Pets

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.

13 thoughts on “Toronto Humane Society Kills 25 Pets

  1. Those faces! There’s nothing responsible about what THS did. Nothing. And it isn’t euthanasia. Killing animals with placement does not a good death make.

  2. thank you for bringing this atrocity to light. Transportation was most definitely NOT an issu; we had already contributed more than $300 plus to each of the three rescues found for our dogs. Thank god, we had already got Dano and Linvingstone down to a shelter in New Brunswick where within 2 weeks they found wonderful homes. WE also gave to that shelter (we being the volunteers). Further, we had offered to drive the dogs ourslvs, even in shifts (as one poor excuse, was that we could not stop in Ontario). We also offered to bankroll the entire thing, gas costs, and evertyhing els. Even worse, 2 dogs with legal status, had people (reputable people) come forward to adopt them. They were denied.

  3. We had also offered to pay for trainers or behaviourists to work with the dogs if they felt they needed some behavioural improvements. The shelter had only 18 dogs with a capacity of 85 or so. There was NO NEED for this. And the sickest part was that they did it after hours in secret without telling volunteers or most, if not all, of the staff what they planned. No one had a chance to say goodbye or to spend time with these beloved dogs before they were killed. Not only that, we found out about the deatsh via an announcement on the web page that didn’t even tell us which 6 dogs were killed. No one ever replied to our email offering to pay for these animals to be worked with. We still have not received an official notification from the THS as to what happened. The THS has 3 certified dog trainers on staff. We offered to fund extra shifts for them, if need be, to work with these dogs. It’s awful–just awful–senseless and cruel.

    1. What?! 3 certified trainers on staff and 6 out of 18 dogs were killed for behavior problems? Sorry but if that place has 3 trainers, that’s only 6 dogs to work with each. These dogs should be out competing for obedience awards, not being killed for behavior problems! THS killed 33% of its dog population in one night. They need to do some ‘splainin.

  4. I would also like to add that these poor dogs had been off-limits to the volunteers (who loved them soooo much) for over a month prior to the killings. They had to watch as numerous walkers that they knew and loved, passed by their kennels, unable to touch them. What made this even more tragic, was the fact that they were not “broken” by this. They would roll onto their backs, doing all the things happy dogs do, because the PRESENCE alone of the volunteers was enough to lift their spirits. None of those dogs were suffering and all of them needed love. They did not deserve to die.


  6. Socks was put down? REALLY? I’m so baffled by this…Socks was such a good dog and was used in my training when I started volunteering at the Humane Society.

    :( I don’t like this one bit!

  7. This is a misleading post. Please understand that at the moment the THS is run by the OSPCA.The court has put the OSPCA in sole charge of the THS. These killings are the result of a decision made by the OSPCA. This post should have read that the OSPCA has killed these animals. This new “Animal Care Directive” has not been approved by any THS board. The THS is in limbo. It was done at the discretion of the OSPCA. You are blaming the wrong organization and this is just another insance of the OSPCA smear campaign against the once THS. AT the moment the THS doesn’t really exist.

    1. The name of the place is THS. The website is THS. The website says THS killed 25 pets in accordance with its new euth policy. Whatever the inner workings and politics, I disagree that the post is misleading.

  8. You’re absolutely right biscuit; the THS brass have caved to the pressure of the OSPCA who I have no doubt DIRECTED and demanded this, BUT the reality is that it was done with the THS agreeing – and clearly states that on the website as you point out. It is, to many of us, a double betrayal as we were told by Garth Jerome, the interim THS director not to worry no less than a few weeks ago.

  9. It’s a dark day in Toronto for animals. The latest bulletin from THS spin doctors and lies outright – see the THS webpage – further, an inside source recently confirmed to me that OSPCA vets together with THS vets “chose” those dogs and their slaughter was okayed by Garth Jerome, the interim director – despite his saying to the staff the day BEFORE he would be transparent. This was done WITHOUT the knowledge of the majority of the THS staff who are in mourning together with the volunteers.

  10. “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.”


    This is a dangerous thing…..if someone wants to murder cats and dogs they can manipulate the definitions of “chronically ill”, “aggressive behavior” or “quality of life” in order to carry out their UN-ethical, IN-humane crimes.

    For example, if a cat or dog is rounded up by the pet killing gestapo (animal control, the pound, etc.) and shows signs of fear (who wouldnt?) they can just arbitrarily be labeled “aggressive” or “they have no quality of life”, or “fear may be due to a chronic illness, so we will kill them to cure the ‘chronic illness’ woes”.

    If someone walked up to me, and grabbed me and threw me in a cage and took me to a strange place, I might just want to kick their butts. It’s called the “fight or flight” reaction, and every living soul has it within them, because every healthy living soul wants to live, as evidenced by the “fight or flight” response . I would be murdered and they would get away with it by calling it ‘humane euthanasia’ due to “aggressiveness, or “chronic illness” etc.

    We all see the world through different eyes….one pro kill person’s predisposed notion of symptoms of “aggressiveness” or “chronic illness” can be a No Kill person’s correct notion that they are symptoms of fear, which can be alleviated, not by murdering someone, but by saving them and showing them love, kindness and patience.

    It becomes a dangerous world when we label ourselves “God”, and arrogantly assume the power to decide who lives or dies.

    Hitler tried it…..didnt work out well.

    Pro kill murderers try it…..doesnt work out well.

    So, the statement of a ‘shelter’ is meaningless politics, until someone verifies that they try their best at every chance to become no kill and ONLY kill when the cat or dog is just days, hours or minutes from death and is actually suffering.

    Case in point #1: Feral cats. Many lost souls think that feral cats are ‘miserable’ outside and that they cant be adopted into loving homes. I have personally, through love, kindness and patience, taken three “unadoptable” feral cats and they are now calm, loving, lap cats happily living indoors.

    And to say that someone is “miserable” is to be an armchair psychic who has no clue, but only has a killing cause to further. EVERYBODY loves life and wants life. The proof: The “fight or flight” response in us all.Feral cats are happy, and they find ways to eat and survive and thrive, enjoying a long healthy life, albeit not as long and healthy as indoor cats, but long and healthy nevertheless.(Alot longer and healthier than being murdered.)

    There are two ferals nearby a Pizza parlor not far from my home…the other day I saw them playing together, happy, rolling around in the sun, playing hide and seek, and being fed and given water by their feral caretakers.

    Dont give me that ‘miserable’ Bullpoop.They are happy to be alive.

    Case in point #2: The Michael Vick dogs. PETA, the HSUS, ASPCA etc. all said “kill them..they cant be made into loving pets”.

    Best Friends Animal Society has, indeed taken those dogs and they are now calm, peaceful, loving, happy dogs…some have already been adopted into loving homes, and the rest will in time.

    Moral of the story: pro kill supporters are full of baloney, some are ignorant and dont know better, others know better and just want to continue to kill because they are stuck in the status quo which invented and to this day fuels the killing machine.

    No kill supporters are correct: Cats and dogs DO want to live (fight or flight) and they DO deserve to live (equally as much as we human animals do).

    It’s just a matter of time before the light of the compassionate truth illuminates the darkness of lies and myths parroted by cat and dog murderers, exposing them as the hypocritical killers that they are.

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