August 18, 2016
Politics and Animal Lives
The Ottawa Humane Society was founded in 1888. It was created to enforce our the new animal welfare legislation in the capital of our almost-new country. And ever since, it has been core to what the OHS does for our community and for its animals.
Unfortunately, we are not individually empowered to conduct this work. It flows through the Ontario SPCA, the organization named in the Act. And as an affiliate serving a community — one of the 28 voting members — of the OSPCA, we have had a voice in animal welfare in Ontario. It is enshrined in the Act and we think it is important. That is, we had a voice until the sitting board of the OSPCA unilaterally, and without notice, and we contend, illegally, decided that we didn’t. Local communities and local humane societies would no longer represent their communities in animal welfare in the province, only the sitting members of the board. We thought that was wrong. We said so. The result? The OHS was suspended for objecting.
We could no longer provide investigations into animal cruelty and neglect for a community and its animals that have come to rely on us. No voice for Ottawa provincially. No OHS investigations in Ottawa. We think this is a dangerous game. It is playing politics with animal lives.
I worry. The OSPCA has told our partners that they will provide the service here. But your complaints are coming in. You are telling us that animals are not served. I worry a lot because I believe in the work we do and I care about our community’s animals. In the end, we just want to get back to work — the work we have been providing for 128 years — rescuing animals and bringing the perpetrators of cruelty to justice.