Spin Me This, OSPCA

SagoDespite not having sent money to these people in a number of years, I continue to get their requests for donations.

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.


4 responses to “Spin Me This, OSPCA

  1. OSPCA leading the way for animals?

  2. Biscuit, I suspect your auguries for the “investigation” are correct. They not only did a swell job, they’re leading the way for the entire galaxy. See, the problem was that there was no “gold standard” so they’re going to develop one. Thing is, other shelters seem to do just fine and, besides, there wasn’t really that much ringworm at Newmarket in the first place, was there…

  3. Frankly, it isn’t like other shelters in Ontario are doing much better, whether they are OSPCA branches, affiliates, or not. Well, non-affiliates might do better, but only because they are so small scale. Ottawa HS uses “behavioural testing” to weed out animals rather than to match animals to people, for instance. Generally speaking, people involved in shelters are well-meaning, but don’t know anything about dogs and cats–including their mental and physical needs, health issues, or their psychology. This makes them no different than the average well-to-do pet owner that you can see marching along in the Beaches or Yorkville (in Toronto) or in the Glebe or Old Ottawa South.

  4. Yeah, I got that mailing. I guess they’ve never heard of bleach, or aseptic techniques. Maybe they will take credit for it.
    I have discontinued my support of the OSPCA, after 20 years.

    Not that it ever really mattered anyway.
    The horse is still in my neighbour’s garage… Still being neglected, still being neglected…
    Which is A-Okay with OSPCA!

    It could be worse, after all. The horse could be dead.

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