Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toronto Humane Society officials arrested for cruelty to animals

Kate Hammer

Toronto — Globe and Mail Update

Police have arrested the Toronto Humane Society's president, chief veterinarian and three other senior staff members and charged them with animal cruelty, six months after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed widespread troubles at the shelter.

At the same time, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals executed a search warrant at the shelter's River Street facility late Thursday afternoon.

Humane Society president Tim Trow is facing Criminal Code charges of animal cruelty, conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals and obstruction of a peace officer. If convicted, Mr. Trow faces a maximum penalty of $2,000 and six months in jail for the animal cruelty charges, and two years in jail for the obstruction charges.

Head veterinarian Steve Sheridan, shelter manager Gary McCracken, manager Romeo Bernadino and shelter supervisor Andy Bechtel have also been arrested and face animal cruelty charges under the criminal code.

All of the above, as well as the Society's board of directors, are also being charged with five counts of animal cruelty, a provincial offence under the Ontario SPCA Act (as opposed to criminal charges).

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