Sunday, November 29, 2009

Toronto Humane Society: Animal Cruelty Charges?

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On Thursday I came across an article in the Globe and Mail that was depressing and disappointing and crushing and made me so effing irate it made me want to scream:

Humane Society Officals arrested, face animal-cruelty charges

To sum it up for you:
  • the Toronto Humane Society's president, Tim Trow, chief veterenarian and three senior staff officials face criminal charges of animal cruelty;

  • the Ontario SPCA's lawyer says the shelter is "disease-infested";

  • the Humane Society vehemently disagrees (of course) and says the animals are under "excellent veterinary care."

During an investigation in June 2009 animals in poor condition were allegedly hidden from view inhibiting the investigators ability to complete their inspection. There have also been reports that the society's euthanasia policy is too strict, resulting in suffering animals dying in their cages rather than being humanely put down. The Globe and Mail suggests they keep euthanasia rates low (at 6%) to attract private donations "that are the society's sole source of operating funds."

Holy shit. How is this even happening? I'm not sure where to start.

How on earth did this get so out of hand? Trow was first pushed out of his position as president back in 1982 when he and other society officers were accused of implementing policies that, amongst other things, caused cruelty to animals. HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU GET A JOB WITH THAT KIND OF THING ON YOUR RESUME? I'm not sure he could get a job at Starbucks with that kind of track record, who thought President of a Humane society would be a good fit? Especially after it seems he screwed it up the first time.

Why are we only hearing about this now? Apparently current and past employees dismayed with the Humane Society's practices turned to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Canada Revenue Agency, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General, to no avail. Let's just assume they didn't just write one measly email and actually put some real effort into being heard. Why didn't anyone listen? Why didn't anyone want to help? If these pictures are representative of the dismal conditions at the society (and not just cherry picked to sensationalize the issue), why weren't the voices loud enough to be heard and the ears sensitive enough to pick up on the injustice and do whatever needed to be done to stop it?

There is all kinds of political back and forth but the crux of the issue is this- when we put ourselves in the position to take care of someone or something, it is our responsibility to carry out that obligation to the best of our abilities. I've ranted on about this before (here): I believe we all know the difference between right and wrong. If Trow and his team neglected the animals in their care this is clearly wrong. Given the positions of trust they held, and the fact they were supposed to uphold the mission of a HUMANE SOCIETY, this act of wrong is beyond excusable.

Not only will they have wronged the animals in their care, they will have cast a shadow of distrust every other humane society out there.

If these humane society employees are found not guilty, what does this say about the duty of care a humane society has for its animals? What does it say about the society's detractors and the Ontario SPCA making these charges in the first place?

If they are found guilty, how much of it is our fault for letting it carry on?

Either way it stands as a reminder that we cannot afford to sit back and assume that things are being taken care of. We must always demand transparency, investigate and hold our leaders accountable to their actions.

If I am missing something, by all means, please share.


Mon, Jan 11, 2010 update: Humane Society court cases put over until Feb 2 (via CBCnews)


Mon, Jan 11, 2010 update: New arrests in investigation of Humane Society (via National Post)


Sat, Dec 5th update: At scandals core is a legitimate debate (via

Summary: There has been a long standing rivalry between the Toronto Humane Society and the OSPCA. Part of the story is about money (the Humane Society pulls in over $10 million a year, another part is about euthanasia policies...


Wed, December 2nd update: Humane Society hires top criminal lawyer (via


Tues, December 1st update: Humane society's raccoon handling probed (via CBCnews)

Summary: There are suspicions the society may have violated laws on releasing raccoons. Authorities are also not able to adopt the approximately 1,000 animals at the society until it reopens (which could be weeks).


Mon, November 30th update: Cruelty Charges stuns "fantastic" vets' friends (via

Excerpt: "Past and present colleagues describe Stephen Sheridan as a dedicated animal activist..."


Mon, November 30th update: Toronto Humane Society remains closed (via CBCnews)

Excerpt: "The Toronto Humane Society will not reopen Tuesday and could be shuttered for 'at least three weeks,' according to the chief investigator for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals... There are about 1,000 animals in the shelter. They were initially scheduled to be put up for adoption Tuesday."

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Going on a Date!

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Mmmmm.... I am looking forward to weekend adventures, you guys! Friday night I am going on a DATE with my husband. Woo hoo! Depending on how this one goes, I MIGHT EVEN GO OUT WITH HIM AGAIN.

These plans are a HUGE step up from my plans from last weekend. Last weekends' plans sucked rocks. These ones are better.

When I took this picture we came THIS close to losing Kayloo over the rocks and into the waves (there is an ocean there, way behind Mickey in this photo). Wee bit of a klutz our Kayloo is.

Happy Friday!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Sync (or the Lion, the Pink and the Collar)

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If my dogs were in a boy band (even though Kayloo is a girl) they would be *NSYNC. Cuz they are walking on the same foot it. They are "in sync." Get it?

Okay, back to Kayloo being a girl. Kayloo is a girl and she wears a blue collar so everyone always says things like," Oh, look at how friendly HE is," "Oh, HE'S so slobbery," "Oh, look at that, HE doesn't know me at all but here HE is trying to sit on my lap." KAYLOO IS A GIRL, PEOPLE. Come on now.

It's all my fault too. When we first got Kayloo they thought she was going to be 25lbs. But she kept growing and growing and growing so when she graduated from her first collar we had to get something that would fit her for awhile. I found a SUPER CUTE pink collar with studs on it and John, for some reason LOST EVERY FIBRE OF ADVENTURE IN HIS BODY and said: NO HELL NO SHAUNA NO PUT IT DOWN.


So, being the gentle, accommodating wallflower that I am, I quiety acquiesced and said, "Of course, Husband. Whatever you wish," AND THEN A GIANT LION GALLOPED INTO THE STORE AND ATE EVERY SINGLE COLLAR EXCEPT FOR THE BLUE ONE KAYLOO WEARS TODAY.


It's a very bright, shiny blue. It's a lovely colour. I'm not a rhinstone kind of girl but there is something about that damn boy collar that makes me want to pull some mad Martha Stewart skills ALL OVER IT. Maybe it'll be blue and... wait for it... PINK!!!

Just kidding, truth be told, I just said that to bug John. I don't care what colour it is I just want it to be more feminine.

If you have some amazing Spruce-Up-Kayloo's-Collar ideas for me, lemme know! As we all know sewing isn't exactly my strong point (you can read about an earlier attempt at sewing here), but HELP ME STOP THE MADNESS, PEOPLE! KAYLOO IS A GIRL!!!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

No Such Thing as Neutral Territory

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Mickey is staring down at Kayloo, just DARING her to make her way up the stairs. I'm pretty sure he peed on every post on the way down so clearly the stairs are now his.


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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unwelcome House Guest

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Presenting to you our house guest for the weekend: THE CARPET CLEANER.

This little machine took over most of our days off, joined us for dinner, and can definitely be held responsible for stubbing my toe because all the furniture was totally in the wrong place. We have 7 pairs of soggy socks (each) crowding the laundry basket and have learned that if we want to get fancy we can get rid of the fence and build a moat to keep Mickey in the yard because he hates water even more than we thought he did. He's been prancing around here like the floor is on fire trying to keep his precious paws away from the oh-so-horrid wet.

He may be part cat.

I have had a stern talking to with the dogs and informed them that the next time they want to disrespect my carpet (WHAT? WERE YOU BORN IN A BARN?) they can steam clean the whole damn house themselves. I'll let you know how that pans out.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday's Make it Easier to Handle the Dentist

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Omg IT'S FRIDAY!!!! (Wanna read another super excited FRIDAY!!! post? Sure ya do! Here it is!!!).

Guess what John and I are doing this weekend... come on, guess! Ok, I'll tell you. We're going to rent a stupid steamcleaner for our carpets because our STUPID DOGS ARE STUPID.

AND I'm going to nurse my wimpy girly gums because I just braved a trip to the dentist. I hate the dentist. WHO'S WITH ME? You go to the dental office and the dentist is all, "Hmmm, that's interesting. Your gums are bleeding." And you're all, "ARE ALL YOUR OTHER PATIENTS SUPERHUMAN FREAKS WITH TITANIUM GUMS? I don't have titanium gums! I have normal flesh gums that react negatively to being slap chopped with MINI MACHETES."

To be clear, my dentist and dental hygenist are super nice people. They are kind and charming and without a doubt the ONLY PEOPLE I trust to come near my face with any contraption that makes a terrifying weeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE sound.

My issue has more with the fact that dentristy mandates sharp metal pokey things doing acrobatics in my mouth.

While I'm busy with that my dogs are going to run around a bit and then hang out in front of the fire. Tough life.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hilarious Funagle Fun

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The lovely people at darfinc sent over a board game called funagle (a game for people to play with their dogs). It's basically a nice way to structure the time you spend making fun of your dog(s). Don't even try to tell me I'm the only one who does that. Here we are in action:

Good times were had by all, lemme tell ya.

And look! The little play piece thing-o's ARE IN THE SHAPE OF DOGS! That is totally freaking hilarious. WILL YOU LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE.

Thanks again, darfinc!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cow-Like Splendour

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This is a picture of Kayloo's forehead- we call her Oreo Blizzard Head because with the black and the white and the spots... she looks like an Oreo Blizzard.

Mmmm... Oreo Blizzard... John and I got Blizzards on Sunday after we climbed a freaking mountain in the rain and then battled our way through Costco. Costco is Hell in a Warehouse. I went in for bread and meat and came out with 50lbs of garlic stuffed olives and 5 Christmas trees.

I did manage to get the meat and bread though! HOORAY FOR ME!!!

BUT- I was supposed to get steak... and somehow I managed to walk out of there with pork chops.

Let me explain: I was a vegetarian for 10 years and now I only eat red meat when I am a guest somewhere and it would be rude of me to gag. Sooo, my Meat Knowledge kind of sucks. Usually I grab whoever is standing next to me and ask for their help (you know: "Excuse me. I just moved here from Venus where we don't slaughter innocent creatures for shishkabob. Could you please tell me which of these packages will lead me towards the iron and Vitamin B12 carnivorous ecstacy I am seeking?"). However, THIS TIME I WAS SURE. I'm not sure how I was sure though because I just checked the package again and there is is: HEY IDIOT. THIS IS PORK NOT STEAK.

I'm going to blame it on my crappy eyesight. No real good reason for that. I just am.

One thing I can recognize though: A DOG WHO LOOKS LIKE A COW. Look at her head! Here she is here and here and here in all her cow-like splendour.

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The Devil's Cute Little Side-Kick

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"Ummm. I'm not sure what you're talking about, mom. I've been sitting here the whole time, being good. VERY good. One might even say saint-like."

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Advertisement: Oh My GOD You Totally Need to Get a Dog

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I've answered a few questions on whether or not people should get a dog recently so I thought I would do a little mini advertisement on just how FABULOUS dogs are. Sure, they crap on your carpet, don't always do as they're told and they wreck your stuff... but watching their happy puppy bums trot across a dog park (almost/not quite) erases all that frustration and is PRICELESS reminder to chill out, have fun and remember your sense of humour. A sense of humour, in addition to a good floor cleaner and insurance, is about the most important tool you can have at your disposal when adding a (pain in the ass) wonderful dog to your home!*go to end of post for other important "Should I Get a Dog?" points

Dogs rock, basically. Some of my friends think I need to get a life, or children or something... but whatever. Top 5 reasons for why I will always have a dog:

  1. When a dog likes you, you know you are GOLDEN. Nothing better than a pup shining to you when you walk into a group. Having dogs makes every other dog like you because you already smell like a dog. This point does not help your popularity with other PEOPLE.
  2. Happy dog tails- it is IMPOSSIBLE to be a in a bad mood when you watch a happy dog with a crazy tail thwapping chairs and walls and sending small children flying. That is SUCH a smile-inducer right there.
  3. Dog tricks- teaching a dog to "roll over" makes you feel like a Super Star Master Dog Trainer and gives you a (somewhat undeserved) sense of amazing-ness.
  4. A tired dog falling asleep on your lap can make the even the most uptight, A-type personality slow down and stay still for as long as the little guy snores. In my house, if a dog is asleep on you, that can get you out of doing the dishes RIGHT THERE. Please don't make a big deal of this to my husband.
  5. Every dog has their own funny and unique sounds that make you smile every time you hear them: Kayloo groans like an old man as she is falling asleep. Mickey makes a sound that is a cross between a dog and a cat when he's excited. Kayloo has a hard time howling and makes a HILARIOUS hacking sound when she is coming out of a croon (I am trying to record this to share it with you guys. John and I practically start popping popcorn for the show every time there are sirens or church bells (yeah, my dog doesn't like church bells. I'm pretty sure she's Satan's dogs' spawn)).

If all that hasn't convinced you: when was the last time you went to the beach and watched the waves for entertainment? Aside from the hacking-o-hairball Mickey performs at the beginning of the clip, it's pretty idyllic, right?

Other Should I Get A Dog? Stuff:

  • Dogs are A LOT of work. Hour walk in the morning, hour walk at night. Are you away all day? Say goodbye to going out for dinner because you will feel guilty (and you should) about leaving your dog for the evening if you have already left them all day.
  • $$- on average, people spend about $1,000 on their dog each year. And if you are into swoopy outfits you will spend a lot more than that. You will be your pups Sugar Daddy/Mama.
  • You are TOTALLY responsible for this animal- if your dog barks, your fault; is aggressive, your fault; doesn't listen, your fault & ALL your responsibility to deal with. You don't get to take your dog to the SPCA if it turns out he's a bit more jumpy than you expected. You also don't get to take your dog to the SPCA because he gets too old and suddenly you think he is lame (HEAPS of jackass people do this every year).

That said, John and I are SO GLAD Mickey and Kayloo are a part of our lives! If you decide to get a dog I cannot recommend highly enough. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, but it's how we found Kayloo. Millions of dogs in shelters are euthanized each year- you can get puppies and pure breeds if that is what you are after and you will also have the heart cozy feeling of knowing that you saved a life! How often do you get that opportunity?

Oh my god, I feel like we should all hold hands and listen to After Glow by Sarah McLachlan!

WARNING!!! If you click that Sarah McLachlan link above you will CRY like a wee baby! Damn cute pups and their innocent-ness!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Pitch Black Vegemite Spiders

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Ummm. So, I took this bat photo of Kayloo at 5:30pm on Saturday night. Aside from the issue that the most exciting thing I did on a Saturday was take pictures of my dog... there is something else wrong with this picture...


From this photo you might think I was kickin' it up at the North Pole, but no, on no, I live much further south than that. I live in Canada, yes, but I DO NOT hang out with polar bears and this whole not-being-able-to-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face thing bites.

Which, for some reason, makes me think of Australia. Did you know that water goes down the drain THE OTHER WAY in Australia? It does. They also have big hairy non-poisonous but COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY TERRIFYING spiders that are the size of the palm of your hand. I AM NOT KIDDING. My friend found one in the bottom tray thingy OF HER TOASTER. Can you imagine that? Peanut butter? Check. Jam? Check. GREAT BIG FREAKING HAIRY SPIDER? Yeah, check the shit out of that one too.

They also have Vegemite which is basically like spreadable salt. Mmmmmm. Spreadable salt... Most non-Aussies hate Vegemite because they eat it wrong and Vegemite is HEINOUS when you eat it wrong. When you it it right it is spectacular, when you eat it wrong it is disgusting, horrible, gag-inducing, grossness and the taste never ever really goes away. You're stuck with it forever. I'm pretty sure scientists have proven that. Pretty sure.

Moral of this post: Check your toasters for spiders just in case, don't mess with vegemite and bring a flashlight on your next outting. That's all.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Role Model with Shutzpa

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Photographic evidence that my little terrier is a terror. The 50lb dog is sitting on the floor while the 15lb dog is sitting smack in the middle of the GIGANTIC Molly Mutt cushion.

The cushion is HUGE- it takes up most of the hallway. There is enough room for two of BOTH OF THEM and Mickey goes ahead and dominates the thing!

Go on admit it, you wish you had just a little of Mickey's shutzpa. Just THINK of how your work day would ROCK if you had the guts to tell the "big dog" to get the hell off YOUR cushion.

Of course, upon meeting ANYONE Mickey promptly sprawls out flat on his back (check him out in action here), so maybe we shouldn't be using Mickey as a role model just yet.

Editors note: I MADE A MISTAKE! As you can see below my friend The Pet Food Guy pointed out that I spelled "chutzpa" with an "s" rather than a "c." He would know better than me because he is from New York. Sorry Pet Food Guy! Thank you for telling me!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Magical Wonderfulness of FRIDAY!!!

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It's Friday, it's Friday! IT'S FRIDAY!

Oh my god. I just got that slightly hysterical, elated feeling I normally reserve for when I'm at the airport and I'm getting a trashy magazine and I get to read all about Bradgelina and their army without feeling guilty for filling my mind with smut because I'm going to be on a plane and IT DOESN'T COUNT WHEN YOUR ON A PLANE. Seriously- you can read what you want, watch what you want, eat what you want... nothing counts. Trust me. Try it. Coffee Crisps DON'T COUNT ON AIRPLANES!

Holy crap, I'm glad it's Friday! It's been a bit of a week. Came off the weekend with the Alice in Wonderland ridiculousness (pic here), had my hairy canary kanipshin on Monday (read about my looniness here), and tonight I came home to many broken things that may or may not have been orchestrated by the turkey in the photo above, which is NOT COOL because we are supposed to be PAST THAT SHIT.

But I'm not going to bitch about that right now.

Right now I'm going to bitch about... NOTHING! Because it's Friday! Oh my GOD did I mention that I'm happy that it's Friday?!!!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kickin' It on the Couch

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After my crazy Grumpy Pants post from yesterday (you can find it here) I thought I would lighten up a bit and share this example of my lax Dog Parenting skills.

Kayloo is not supposed to hang out on the couch like this... but here she is! She's also not supposed to be in the kitchen while I'm making dinner like she is here. What can ya do? I'm going to get all militant tomorrow.


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Monday, November 2, 2009

If Only I Was a Ninja

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Wow. I am in an extraordinarily bad mood because I had a fantastically HORRID HORRID CRAPTACULOUS maddening day.

This is what my day felt like:

Imagine first, falling down. Not a spectacular fall, just your normal, ordinary uncoordinated spill that lands you on your butt. Next, imagine some random person sashaying along and thumping you in the middle of your forehead over and over and OVER again every single damn time you try to creep up off the ground. And then, just when you think OH MY GOD I THINK I MIGHT MAKE IT ONTO TWO FEET!!! I MIGHT ACTUALLY STOP LOOKING LIKE A TOTAL JACKASS AND GET A BIT OF DIGNITY BACK they crack you right between the eyes with the heel of their hand and you are DOWN.

But, this time around it's no innocent, uncoordinated spill. Oh no, this time when you fall, you SPLAT onto the ground with a lack of grace that is LEGENDARY. You're on all fours, you've managed to wedge the entire back of your skirt up into the top of your tights and you've landed in a GREAT BIG HUMONGOUS SMELLY MUD PUDDLE that is so deep you are now covered from head to toe and it's even in your mouth and your eyes and your nose and even behind your ears. This dang puddle is full of tar and molasses and PERMANENT MARKER and gum that is totally caught in your hair and a bunch of squished up caterpillars that is going to STAIN SOMETHING AWFUL. AND you stub your toe and one of your eyebrows disappear and if ONLY YOU WERE A NINJA you could have karate chopped that forehead thumper right in the beginning and NONE OF THIS CRAPPY MUD PUDDLE MUMBO JUMBO WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

Breathe in, breathe out.

So, what does this pic of my dogs have to do anything? I dunno. All I know is I took it over the weekend, I like looking at it and right at this present moment looking at this photo a bit more seems like a nice idea.

What do you do to calm yourself down? I'm happy to hear any ideas, any ideas at all.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stupid Freaking Halloween: Alice

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Okay, well, there ya have it. In my last post (which you can find here) I was telling you about Stupid Freaking Halloween and my Rock Star Seamstress friend. My group did Alice in Wonderland and I have blonde hair so I was Alice.

I am never going to live this down. I think my friend did a really amazing job on the costume, I just feel like a dork.

And here I am with Mickey, who is looking sad that his mom/owner/whatever is acting like such a tool.

Until next year: Happy Halloween!

PS- Thank you to John for taking the pics of Mickey and I!
PPS- Why yes, I AM standing in front of a white flannel bed sheet, thank you for noticing!
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