Thursday, August 16, 2007


Tre Smith, an Animal Investigator with the Toronto Humane Society with Cyrus, the Rottweiler he rescued from inside the overheated locked SUV. A brouhaha ensued after the incident that was all over the Front Page of Today's Dailies...

The Dog Fight..

Looking at Today’s Toronto Star Print Edition Headline I was thinking no more worthy news that this deserve the Front Page. Well this is the worthy news.

The article asked did animal rescuer go too far? The debate is still ongoing.

Tre Smith, the animal investigator with Toronto Humane Society and Paul Sonderholm, the owner of the dog named Cyrus, had both been telling Night and Day versions of what happened between them July 31.

The indisputable facts however, Smith, the investigator smashed the rear window of a SUV to rescue the overheated Cyrus inside, and when owner Paul came to the scene from somewhere, handcuffed him to the passenger side of the car, waiting for the police while rushing Cyrus to an emergency, and Paul lost Three teeth from animal lovers vigilantes nearby.

And the incident also re-discovered the dangling faulty lines between the Ontario Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals and the Toronto Humane Society, Still Deep, that refused fixing for a long time...

The Toronto Humane Society who employed Tre said that he did the right thing both with Cyrus and his owner Paul, While the OSPCA said that what he did to the owner was not within his mandate and suspended Smith until the investigations resolve the issue. Note: although Smith is employed by the THS, as an Animal Investigator, his profession is regulated by the OSPCA.

And here’s is the summary of each character version of the event.

The Dog Owner
Paul: He said he left Cyrus in the back seat of his Equinox SUV to visit a friend and leave a little opening in the window as to allow a “cool breeze” and he check once in while to run the air-con to cool the dog.

But the visit lasted longer than expected and when he went down to check, he saw Smith and others trying to cool Cyrus, the Rottweiler down with a bowl of water. And as he approached the Dog investigator “yelled” at him asking “ is that your dog?” and as soon as he said yes, he was handcuffed and called names and said the investigator was trying to incite the crowd around to take the law into their hands.

And he said he was in his best behaviour despite Smith belligerence. Believe it or Not.. And added Cyrus didn’t look comatose....

The Investigator:

Tre: He said when he arrived at the scene upon reports of witnesses seeing Cyrus locked inside an closed SUV, he say the dog slumped in the back seat foaming in the Mouth, gasping for Breath.

He immediately summoned Police and called out to some passerby to bring buckets of water and after smashing the window, pour the water to cool off Cyrus. That when the ‘villain’ appeared to the scene and more perturbed about his car than his dog. He added that Paul scared him and other bystanders by spouting profanities and tried to pull and push Smith away from the Pet.

After repeated pleas to allow him to do his job, he decided to handcuffed the “bad guy” and push him to a picnic table but it didn’t work and decided to handcuff him to his SUV and put him in a gentle watch of five female friends instead of an angry mob. He called police again as he realized Cyrus needed to have an emergency attention as he rushed the Dog to the clinic. the “stoning of the sinner”, begins.

Now back to the OSPCA who suspended the investigator:

The SPCA doesn’t train its investigators in handcuff use. And the spokesperson said that animal investigators don’t exactly have the same power as the Police, simply because they are not trained to use weapons. But she also added that the Society has not received the full report of the incident yet and the lead investigator has yet to put the whole matter together.

This is not the first time both societies butt heads. In mid-8o the SPCA accused the Humane Society of unethical conduct of its internal fights, links to vandalism and the way it nominate its board.

The Humane Society challenged the SPCA Act in Court for the ability to train its own investigators to gain more control of its activities. It lost.

Paul the Dog Owner was Charged with Cruelty to Animals (the cops did eventually came to the scene).

Two bystanders (both male vigilantes) were charged with assaults, one assault with a weapon (stone).

Cyrus, the Rottweiler: Recovering quite well and his fate will be decided by the Court soon.

Smith: Animal Investigator, appeared in reality show ‘lofters”, also a regular in an animal show, was suspended from work by the Regulating Body, the SPCA but has the support of his Employer, the Humane Society and suddenly will get his t.v. shows ratings a few bars higher and a hero to most animal lover and city residents...

Police-like powers unleashed

Animal cruelty investigations by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and its affiliated Humane Societies are governed by the Ontario SPCA Act.

The province's 205 inspectors and agents are trained criminal investigators.
The act specifically states that investigators have the same powers as police officers when enforcing animal cruelty laws, issue orders to relieve an animal's distress and enter private property.

The legislation also provides investigators with police powers to investigate Criminal Code offences related to animal cruelty.