TORONTO — Officials leading a media tour of the Toronto Humane Society on Friday said a mummified cat was discovered in a live trap inside the building’s drop ceiling.
Insp. Kevin Strooband, an officer with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, called the find “very disturbing.”
He said the dead cat was found in a live trap, which is usually baited with food so that when the animal enters, it is caught and then transferred to another cage.
That wasn’t done, he said.
The media tour of the shelter came a day after the society’s president and four other people were arrested on animal cruelty charges after police raided the facility.
Four other animals — a puppy, two cats, and a raccoon — were put down overnight due to their conditions, officials said Friday.
Strooband said finding the cat in the trap “sent chills down my spine.”
“This was pretty deliberate. Somebody set that trap and knew it was up there,” Strooband said.
Earlier Friday, a spokesperson for the Toronto Humane Society was briefly arrested when he tried to get into the building following the police raid.
Ian McConachie said he was told by an investigator with the OSPCA that his name is on a “do not let in” list and that he is not allowed on the property.
He said he was released from custody without charge about 15 minutes later.
Alison Cross of the OSPCA said while four animals were euthanized, some 1,100 animals remain inside the building. Veterinarians have been watching the animals’ health and addressing their medical needs, she said.
The Toronto shelter, one of the largest such facilities in the province, is expected to reopen Tuesday.
The society’s president, Tim Trow, and the other four officials were arrested and taken away in handcuffs Thursday. None of the allegations against Trow or the others have been proven in court.
McConachie has said the humane society provided excellent care for the animals at the shelter.
“We’re confident we’ll defeat those charges in court,” he said, blaming the raid on political reasons.
“The THS and the OSPCA have never seen eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, said McConachie. ”To march our officials out there handcuffed like that was uncalled for.“
He said he went to the building Friday morning to find out what he could after the raid.
“I was just seeking some information to provide the public with our side of the story,” he said, adding he was told his name was on the “do not let in” list along with several other people, but he was not allowed to see a copy of the list.
McConachie said the humane society’s policy is to only euthanize animals deemed to be terminally ill or injured.
“We have a very proactive and responsive euthanasia policy. It’s only when the animals are suffering … terminally ill or injured, that we will euthanize them.”
“They may have taken a more liberal approach and euthanized animals that they feel should be euthanized. We probably would not have taken that approach.”