Friday, July 29, 2011

Why are we demonstrating in front of Hamilton's City Hall tomorrow?

Our past rally and petitions seem to have already produced some positive results: aeration at the Hamilton Animal Control has been improved, and several “scheduled killing days” have been cancelled. Tomorrow, we rally again!

Undoubtedly, pound managers have become complacent about the number of animals they kill each year. They often blame the public for being irresponsible pet owners, not sterilizing their pets and abandoning them as unwanted objects.

Though the public is certainly not free from blame, when we simply place the responsibility elsewhere, we fail to see the opportunities for improvements and change. Pointing the finger to other culprits may help a conscience cope with the killing of thousands of animals, but it precludes compassionate, necessary change.

Without denying the serious problem of irresponsible pet owners, animal pound decision makers can act to reject the status quo. They can refuse to continue the massive killing of animals and implement life-saving alternatives. Many pounds and shelters in North America have successfully embraced No-Kill options, and we, too, can adopt and implement these models. Innovative shelters are more than willing to share the recipes of their success with those who want to embrace positive change.

Perhaps the most prominent example here in Canada can be found in the accomplishments of Bill Bruce and his team at the Calgary Animal Control. Bill Bruce is the Director of Animal Services and Bylaws in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. When he took over a struggling animal shelter for a city with over one million residents, he developed and implemented a reform program which lead to phenomenal success in a short period of time. Calgary now has no limit by-laws and no breed-specific legislations, boasts high licensing compliance rates for both dogs and cats, returns the majority of lost pets to owners, and has substantially lower euthanasia rates than any other major pound in Canada.

Mr. Bruce will be in Toronto on September 30th, 2011, to lecture, providing proven examples and a wealth of information to animal caring politicians, pound managers, advocates and anyone willing to participate in actively helping to stop this complacent killing of animals. This ongoing practice is repugnant, ineffective, and beneath the morals and character of our community.

That is why we are demonstrating tomorrow in Hamilton: to convince authorities and local pound decision makers to stop the routine and unnecessary killing of thousands of animals each year, and to move toward the workable no-kill alternatives using Calgary’s model as a starting point of reference.

We are also rallying in memory of the many animals whose lives were cruelly ended at the HAC in the last decade, including innocent creatures heartlessly abandoned by their owners and wandering strays who never knew the comfort of a home or regular meals, lacking the care and protection of someone who might could have loved them.

There was little hope for these unfortunates, because the Hamilton Animal Control is not open to public adoptions. Nobody came for 30,000 to 50,000 cats and dogs routinely and unceremoniously disposed of in the last decade. We are rallying to ensure that this senseless cycle will become only a sad memory of the past, and that animals arriving at the HAC in future will be given a chance at life and happiness.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing," Edmund Burke

Please read our petition at to see the real, concrete alternatives to killing that we have proposed. We ask the decision makers to open their minds and their hearts. Our actions, petitions, and rallies are aimed at creating change for the benefit of animals and our community. Life is sacred, and there is no need to continue throwing the lives of so many animals away. Please join us tomorrow!

Claudia Vecchio
Volunteer Chairperson
ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals

ORA Event Invitation: Calgary’s Bill Bruce brings his shelter reform expertise to the Intercontinental Hotel at 220 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1T8, on Friday, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011, at 7:00 PM.

Tickets are $11.30 (tax incl)
Advance Sale Only - Call 416-726-5762

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