Agent status to be reviewed at Ontario SPCA Board of Directors meeting on December 8

    NEWMARKET, ON, Nov. 8 /CNW/ - On December 8, 2007, the Ontario Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (Ontario SPCA) Board of Directors
will meet to review the incident of July 31, 2007 and speak with Mr. Trevor
Smith, an agent appointed by the Ontario SPCA and employed by the Toronto
Humane Society (THS). The Board of Directors holds the sole authority to
appoint and cancel an agent's status. At this meeting, Mr. Smith will have the
opportunity to present his perspective on the incident and subsequent events
and answer outstanding questions that have not been addressed by Mr. Smith.
The Board of Directors will then render a decision regarding Mr. Smith's
status as an appointed agent.
    On July 31, 2007, Mr. Trevor Smith, acting in his capacity as an agent,
responded to a call regarding an animal in distress. His actions with regards
to rescuing the animal were appropriate. His actions with respect to the
animal's owner, the Ontario SPCA Standing Orders, and adhering to general
policies and administrative protocols following the incident are being
reviewed. As a result of this review, Mr. Smith has been suspended.
    Under provincial law, the Ontario SPCA holds the authority for
investigation and enforcement of animal cruelty legislation in Ontario. This
authority may be delegated by the Ontario SPCA to its Branches and affiliated
Humane Societies in local communities, but it is the Ontario SPCA that is
ultimately held accountable to the government and public in the conduct of its
legislated authority, and the conduct of local agents and inspectors.
    In addition to animal emergency rescue, treatment and investigation, the
Ontario SPCA is involved in sheltering, adoption, wildlife rescue and
rehabilitation, government and industry advocacy, education, reducing pet
overpopulation and reuniting lost pets with their owners.
    Mr. Trevor Smith is one of 186 appointed agents and inspectors in the
province of Ontario who rescue animals from injury, abuse and neglect every
day. During 2006, the Ontario SPCA's agents and inspectors, in 52 communities
across the province, responded to more than 15,000 calls regarding animals in
distress. Every agent and inspector has been provided with in-depth training
that includes ongoing requirements to maintain exceptional performance
standards. Each agent and inspector is held to the highest standard with
respect to the duties and authorities granted to them by the Ontario SPCA.
There are no exceptions.
    Ontario SPCA agents and inspectors have the powers of police officers to
protect animals in Ontario. The public and the government trust the Ontario
SPCA to behave with professionalism and to uphold that trust.
    This review process has been underway since July. Every effort has been
made to address this matter in a timely manner. Mr. Smith and the THS have
delayed this process by failing to provide necessary incident reports, as well
as failing to participate in the investigation of the incident. Furthermore,
out of an abundance of respect for Mr. Smith, the Ontario SPCA has granted a
request made by Mr. Smith to delay the Ontario SPCA's next Board meeting until
December. These delays have been the responsibility of Mr. Smith and the THS,
though they have been characterized in the media as being the responsibility
of the Ontario SPCA. In every way, the Ontario SPCA has been as flexible and
supportive as possible.

    The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario
SPCA): Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is a registered charity
comprised of over 50 Branches and affiliated Humane Societies relying
primarily on donations to fund animal protection, care and rehabilitation for
all animals, government and industry advocacy, and public education. The
Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and
provides Society investigators with police powers to do so - making the
Ontario SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. The
Ontario SPCA is a member of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the
World Society for the Protection of Animals, and is affiliated with the Royal
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Kristin Williams, Public
Relations Manager, 1-888-668-7722 ext. 305, Cell: (905) 853-2108

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Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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