For the first time in more than a month, several employees of the Toronto Humane Society were allowed inside the River Street shelter Tuesday.
However, the shelter is not yet open to the public.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) will still be in charge of animal care at the facility despite the fact employees have returned to work.
“”We are pleased the court has recognized that the unending occupation of the THS had to stop,” spokesman Ian McConachie told reporters on Tuesday.
“We are very happy to be returning to the shelter with our staff to resume business operations. We will not deal with legal matters in the media but in the proper forum which is the court of law – where we will continue to present our case and look forward to more positive outcomes.”
Both THS and OSPCA employees will now be working side by side.
“The OSPCA, as the courts have told us, will look after the animal welfare and the THS employees will look after the business operations,” spokeswoman Rosaline Ryan outlined on Tuesday.
“I think it’s a good thing that we’re going to be working together,” she added.
“I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.”
However, some THS workers and volunteers have reportedly been allowed in the shelter over the past month to care for animals.
Five top THS staff, including former president Tim Trow, were arrested and charged with animal cruelty when the OSPCA raided the shelter on Nov. 26. In addition, those five and the THS board of directors face charges of cruelty to animals under the Ontario SPCA Act.
The THS filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the OSPCA last week, claiming it’s the victim of defamation, trespassing and a negligent investigation, according to a published report.
The OSPCA has vowed to fight the suit and would like to have a new board elected and have a public guardian appointed to oversee operations at the shelter.
“This has been a difficult five weeks for all of us as we have been prevented from doing what we always strive to do, which is to treat sick, injured and abandoned animals and find them a good home or return them to their natural environment,” THS president Bob Hambley said in a statement Tuesday.