Today, this from their Director of Development, which would have left me in a fit of laughter if it weren’t so obscenely tragic. The spin is spinning so fast I think my head may come off its bearings.
Dear Red Star Cafe,
“How can we help?”
That’s what the voice on the phone was asking me. I answered the call shortly after the news broke that our York Region shelter was battling an outbreak of ringworm.
It was a Manager from P&G Pet Care calling on behalf of Iams (insert registered trademark), the popular pet food. (Menu Foods, source of the pet food debacle where thousands died from melamine poisoning, had a contract with Iams to 2013).
His call was a ray of hope (and dollars). I knew that with the help of generous companies like Iams – and the support of dedicated, caring people like you – we would be able to safeguard the future health of animals in our care.
You see, during our ringworm outbreak, several other animal welfare facilities contact us. (That wouldn’t be Toronto Humane or Durham Humane because they’ve been through this and have stated that they would never euthanize for what’s essentially athlete’s foot). They told us that they had no idea how they would have responded to such an epidemic. And in our own search for answers, it became apparent that animal shelter health protocols that diminish disease transfer between animals and humans do not exist provincially. (Actually, other shelters are doing just fine. They don’t kill all the animals like Newmarket intended to .)
This means that right now, there is no “gold standard” of procedures for preventing and handling shelter contamination or outbreak in Ontario.
We quickly realized the incredible opportunity that lay before us. (And timely too. Why not spin the three-months-overdue investigation into money?) By working with world-renowned experts (like Sandra Newbury of UC Davis, out of Wisconsin, who continues to do damage at THS) to design and develop the very first animal shelter health protocols, we could not only raise the bar in our Ontario SPCA shelters – but lead the way for animals both provincially and nationally.
And today – now that the outbreak is under control and our animals are safe – Iams wants to help us take this monumental next step. And the news gets even better.
Iams has generously offered to match – dollar for dollar – every donation we receive towards this groundbreaking work, up to $25,000!
(Pitch for money here).
And by helping us pioneer these protocols today, YOU will be part of one of the most important advances in recent animal welfare history. These new protocols will help us better identify and care for infected animals before entering the shelter and work t o ensure that no animal in our care becomes the victim of an outbreak again. (Remember, this is like athlete’s foot…) And because we will make our new protocols available to all animal welfare facilities across Ontario and Canada (indeed, intergalactically…), your gift today will make a lasting difference in the lives of countless animals – all over the country – for years to come.
But there isn’t time to lose (call before midnight tonight…)
I think not.
Shame on you, Craig Mabee.
Image: Sago was a poster-child for OSPCA, featured in their magazine and highly adoptable. Sago was one of the over 100 animals killed during the outbreak of an “unusually virulent strain of ringworm” at the Newmarket shelter. Public Health could not find anything unusually virulent about it. Sago “suddenly” developed behavioural problems. More of the 350 animals would have been killed by the OSPCA in preparation for their shelter renovations, had the public not stepped forward and challenged them.