As we continue to examine the Lesage/Meek Report, we find it confirms what OSPCA Truth was told by former staff and volunteers of the OSPCA York Region Shelter.

The OSPCA has continually presented information in such a way that the public interprets it in the way the OSPCA wants.

For example, in May 2010, when the (NOT) ringworm outbreak occurred, the OSPCA in both Press Releases, the Media and News Conferences indicated that they had both consulted with their on-site veterinarian and shelter expert Dr. Sandra Newbury and they cleverly made it look like both had agreed that there was a ringworm outbreak and that the euthanasia was the best solution. In fact, they made it seem like the decision had been made and approved by accredited veterinarians.

The truth is that both the on-site OSPCA veterinarian and Dr. Newbury thought exactly the opposite. They did not agree that there was a ringworm outbreak and they did not approve of the plan to kill the animals. In fact, they vocally opposed the plan.

So, why did OSPCA management go ahead with the plan, against the recommendations of not one, but several accredited expert veterinarians?

The answer lies in the organizational structure of the OSPCA and the power that the management has.

Page 36 of the Lesage/Meek Report sheds some light on this:

“An inappropriate veterinary reporting structure resulted in tension with management.”

The on-site veterinarian reported directly to the Branch Manager, so if the Branch Manager wanted something done, the veterinarian had to do it, or risk losing their job.

In fact, the OSPCA continues to use their sly, underhanded way of saying things to make the public think something else.

In last week’s Press Conference, they said their Vet was no longer with them. The obvious conclusion you are supposed to reach is that they did something wrong and the OSPCA took action to fire them.

The reality is that both Veterinarians and Supervisory staff at the OSPCA refused to kill animals as directed by management. Staff quit rather than do the wrong thing. Jobs were lost. Jobs held by good people who were just trying to do the right thing.

The OSPCA, after not getting support from their on-site veterinarian went to Dr. Sandra Newbury, an expert in Shelter Medicine. They made it seem (without actually saying) that Dr. Newbury supported their decision to depopulate the shelter.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Newbury recommended treatment and not euthanasia. Why did the OSPCA not tell us that? Why did they deceive us by cleverly wording their Press Releases?

Page 69 of the Report states:

“If the shelter veterinarian had been given the authority that he or she needed to make the appropriate decisions and if a Chief Veterinarian had been in place, events could well have unfolded differently in May 2010.”

Technically the veterinarian should have had the authority as the report also states that the OSPCA Euthanasia policy was revised in May 2009 to say:

“that veterinarians employed by the shelter direct veterinary medical decisions and are responsible for all medically-based euthanasia decisions.”

Unfortunately, since the Veterinarian still reported to the Branch Manager, all that did was make an easy scapegoat when things started to fall apart.

It is crystal clear that the decisions to kill the animals, to lie about ringworm, to deceive about what the veterinarians supported, and to blame staff and veterinarians to the point that they either quit or were fired, lie fully on the shoulders of Management – starting from the top.

The OSPCA managed to fool the public into thinking that trained and qualified veterinarians were making medical decisions about the animals when incredibly they were no more than Management puppets.

Page 80 of the Report under Recommendations:

“The roles of the veterinarian in decision-making and animal care must be evaluated and upgraded since there is currently little formal requirement for veterinary involvement, even in significant animal health or outbreak situations.

Now you know who is running the show… and for the sake of the animals – they have to go.

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