The Toronto Humane Society was open for just four days before it was once again rocked by scandal.
On Thursday, the OSPCA announced it had made two more arrests relating to the River Street facility – including taking one of their own into custody.
Trevor Smith, a former agent with the THS, will be charged with Personating a Peace Officer (two counts) and Perjury (one count).
Mark Beauchamp, an agent with the Ontario SPCA, has been charged with Obstruction of a Peace Officer (one count).
The Toronto Humane Society responded, saying the arrest of Smith was “a disappointing use of the police power,” THS lawyer Frank Addario outlined in a release.
“It is appalling that media arrived before the police did today. This is not a tactic that professional law enforcement uses in Canada. It is American–style, publicity stunt that can damage reputations.”
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been investigating allegations of animal cruelty and mismanagement at the Humane Society since November. Their probe shut down the shelter, which just reopened on January 4.
The charges against Smith stem from a June 3, 2009 incident in which Smith allegedly acted in an enforcement role as an Ontario SPCA peace officer
Beauchamp, for his part, is accused of informing staff at the Humane Society of an upcoming inspection.
“These new arrests reveal that this ongoing investigation of the THS is necessary in order to protect animals in need and uphold the public trust in the institutions that have been established to protect these animals,” outlined OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald in a press release.
“In addition, charging our own Ontario SPCA agent indicates that we are serious about holding all investigators to the highest standard of conduct, not just those at the THS.”
The Toronto Humane Society is still open for pet adoption. Approximately 25 dogs and 125 cats are ready to be adopted at this time.
The Ontario SPCA has established a trust account to support animal care at the Toronto Humane Society during the investigation. Contributions can be made at any branch of TD Canada Trust, Account Number: 5224209, Transit number: 0307.