Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Animal Laws in Ontario 115 Years Old??

I knew laws were not strong, but I didn't know they were this ancient. They were written in 1892.

This came to my attention while hearing about Tre Smith, the gentleman who saved a dog from a hot car. Of course, when faced with a judgement call to make in a high-pressure situation, one is often the victim of hindsight.

From CTV:

A handful of activists rallied at the Toronto Humane Society offices on Wednesday in support of an investigator, who was suspended after he handcuffed the owner of a dying Rottweiler to his SUV.

Tre Smith's suspension from active duty represents a reversal of fortunes for the animal cruelty investigator, who is being reviewed for actions that stem from the July 31 incident.

Smith smashed a car window to rescue the dog, which was gasping for air and foaming at the mouth inside the sweltering SUV, when he arrived on scene.

Initially, Smith was lauded for saving Cyrus, the 50-kilogram Rottweiler.

But Smith's actions came under review after the dog's owner alleged he was beaten while left handcuffed to the vehicle.


At the time of the incident, Toronto Humane Society spokesperson Lee Oliver said he was fully supportive of the officer's actions in handcuffing the dog owner.

"He was jeopardizing the rescue operation and was threatening the safety of people at the scene," Oliver told CTV News.

"He handcuffed him to the car to neutralize that threat."

However, the owner of the dog alleged that passersby beat him and that he was bleeding when he was eventually taken away by police officers.


Smith will no longer be allowed to work on the frontlines while the incident is being investigated.

I don't really have a problem with the investigation. There's nothing to indicate that it's of the "witch-hunt" variety, and if Mr Smith had to go to such lengths it's not surprising that his superiors would want to review the situation.

At the end of the day though, I feel pretty confident that there's one less person out there who thinks that leaving his dog in a hot car is no big deal. And the publicity from this situation may result in a much-needed update to anti animal abuse laws. So...Thanks, Tre!

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