Ottawa Human Society heading to court to regain ability to investigate animal cruelty

_ ** Update: Thursday’s court proceedings were adjourned until August 8. ** _ _ (post from OHS Facebook page, followed by press release from OSPCA) _ We have some important and upsetting information to share with you:

On Monday, the OSPCA suspended the OHS’s affiliate status, effectively stripping our Rescue and Investigation Services officers of their ability to investigate animal cruelty cases.

At no time was the performance of the OHS or any of our staff in question. The OSPCA took this action in retaliation after the OHS spoke up to protect our community’s voice in provincial animal welfare.

This spring, the OSPCA cancelled the voting rights of all local humane societies in Ontario. We believe the decision to change a core bylaw without affiliate member approval is against the law.

The OHS and six other affiliates then got to work to reinstate your right to be represented in provincial animal welfare.

Without notice, on July 18, the OHS was told that the OSPCA had suspended its affiliate status. This means OHS officers are no longer empowered to provide investigation services into animal cruelty and neglect.

The OHS will be in court tomorrow in an attempt to restore this vital service to its community. We are seeking a temporary injunction against the OSPCA to restore our status.

We have been working behind the scenes to both address any immediate impact on animal welfare, filling gaps as best we can, and to do our best to return to full affiliate status as quickly as possible. Keeping our community’s animals safe has been our focus.

We remain committed to integrity in everything we do for the animals and for our community. This promise was reaffirmed in April when we achieved prestigious accreditation from Imagine Canada’s Standards Program, recognizing excellence in non-profit accountability, transparency and governance.

Thank you for your patience during this trying time. We will continue to keep you informed as this issue progresses.

In the meantime, if an animal’s life is in immediate distress as a result of cruelty or neglect, please contact the police at 911. For non-urgent calls about animal neglect or cruelty, please call the OSPCA at 1-310-SPCA. _ ** (press release from OSPCA) ** _ July 27, 2016 - Recently reports have been made that there will be no Animal Welfare enforcement services in the Ottawa area. Ontario SPCA Animal Protection Officers have been providing service to the Ottawa area since July 18, 2016. The Ontario SPCA will and have continued to provide full enforcement services to the Ottawa area to ensure all local reports and ongoing cases of animal cruelty are responded to accordingly. Should anyone have a concern for the welfare of an animal they are encouraged to call 310-SPCA (7722) and one of our officers will follow up.

Connie Mallory

Chief Inspector Ontario SPCA and Humane Society