Gizmo's story

Tribute to Gizmo

Letter from Dr. Jeff Kubinec, DVM

Neglected animals

Letters of Support

Local Dog Rescue

This page details only the animals I am aware of during my employment.
Allowing one animal to suffer is more than should be allowed, but as indicated below, Gizmo is not an isolated incident. The practices of the Humane Society are questionable. Sick animals are not treated adequately because they either cannot afford or refuse to provide licensed veterinary care. The incidents below were witnessed by staff, co-op students and board members, yet no one speaks up because they are told not to interfere.

Where is the line drawn when it comes to violating Animal Cruelty laws and who is responsible for enforcing these laws when they are being violated by the very organization mandated to uphold them? Unfortunately these practices continue to this very day as the Humane Society board of directors refuse to acknowledge their animal care policies are seriously flawed. They cannot afford to provide veterinary care and allow many animals to suffer as a result.

  • Mr. Happy (dog)
  • Toby the cat
  • Felix the cat
  • Hound puppies
  • Spikie (dog w/giant kidney worms)
  • Cats w/ kittens
  • TOBY (now deceased):
    A female cat named Toby, who arrived at the shelter before my employment began, supposedly suffered from an incurable liver disease as explained by the vet technician. Dozens of concerned visitors were told this was the reason for her becoming jaundiced and losing weight. Despite being locked in a 2x2' cage, they were told she had a good quality of life (see bottom of this letter - cat in cage #52 - written December 30/02). Her life expectancy was unpredictable, and she would have been much happier living her last days in a home with a loving family. Instead, she was moved from the cat room into isolation for 5 months (out of sight, out of mind) before again being moved to a larger cage where the public could see her.

    Soon after this move she experienced problems standing and walking, and at that point was finally taken to a vet. The Humane Society had her euthanized soon after.

    This cat was not provided veterinary care for more than ten months. She had not received any medication or care for her illness. In my opinion, that is unnecessary suffering, and its dispicable.

    In November 2002, this female cat (named Felix) suffered severely from feline upper-respiratory infection. She had not eaten or drank any fluids for more than 5 days, and after seeing her remain untreated for 6 days, I could no longer watch her suffer. I spoke to a board member for suggestion and it was recommended she be taken to a vet. Board member Valarie Mackett scheduled an appointment at Crossroads Animal Clinic, and I took Felix to this appointment.

    Felix was diagnosed with severe dehydration and a high fever. She could not open her eyes, nor could she breath through her nose. She was admitted for several days for 24-hour care. This can all be verified at Crossroads.

    I was confronted by vet tech Christine L'esperance because I "stepped on her toes" - bringing her neglect to the attention of others. Judy Atkinson kept her mouth shut about this incident because it involved Agent/Board member Mackett. Felix recovered from the virus only because of the veterinary treatment she received.

    Read this story from the BC SPCA of a cat left in similar conditions

    Should she have been left to suffer in this condition?

    These are two 4-week old hound puppies who had been abondonded by their owner. These pictures show them the first night they arrived at the shelter. Unable to walk or stand because of lack of muscle development, they were severely dehydrated, malnourished and in need of personal care. Though aware of this, the "humane" society left them alone at the shelter at closing (from 5pm - 8am). When I returned to get them at 6 pm, these two pups were laying seperated from the litter, shivering on the cold concrete floor with no blankets or heat.

    A concerned volunteer who also witnessed the condition of these pups was shocked that they were left at the shelter without care. She too felt they would not have survived the night. I brought them home to ensure they got food and fluids, and they did survive.

    Spikie came to the shelter in approximately October, 2002, with a litter of 6 puppies. In early November she was made the housedog, meaning she was free to run loose in the shelter. One morning while roaming inside, myself and another animal care worker noticed she had urinated several large puddles of blood. The shelter's vet technician was informed of this at that time. Throughout the next few weeks, Spikie continued urinating puddles of blood on a daily basis. The vet tech was alerted to this numerous times; we were told she probably had a bladder infection as a result of her litter, and it would go away in time. A month went by and no testing or vet care had been provided for Spikie.

    On December 30th, 2002, despite countless requests for vet care, Spikie remained untreated. This prompted me to write THIS LETTER to the manager. About a week after receiving the note, the vet tech was ordered to send a urine sample to Crossroads Animal Clinic.

    This urinalysis came back inconclusive because urine for the test had been collected off the office floor. Crossroads explained to the vet tech this was not acceptable and that she would have to get a urine sample directly from the dog. The vet tech commented that she "had better things to do than follow a dog around all day waiting for it to pee".

    A second urine sample at Balmoral Park Veterinary Clinic showed that Spikie suffered from "giant kidney worms". The worm's eggs were discovered in the urine sample. She was so badly infected that they had escaped the kidney and were also found inside her abdomen.

    By this time many people were alerted to Spikie's condition, forcing Judy Atkinson to arrange for surgery for the dog. On January 14, 2003, Spikie had the worms and her infected kidney removed at Balmoral Park Animal Clinic. Despite numerous notices and warnings, the vet tech had left this dog untreated for two months before any testing or veterinary care was provided. Had it not been for the publicity surrounding her condition, this dog likely would have been denied veterinary care and probably would have died at the shelter.

    The day following Spikie's surgery, I visited Balmoral Clinic to see how Spikie was doing. I did not get to see her at that time, but I spoke with the vet and took the following pictures of the worms which could have killed her. I was told her kidney could have been saved had a urinalysis been performed at an earlier date.

    Four adult cats were brought in from City of Thunder Bay Animal Services, each cat with 4-5 kittens aged from 1-3 weeks. The adult cats lived. Most of the kittens died. None were admitted to a vet clinic or received any veterinary care. Animal care workers tried to help dying kittens but they, along with co-op students, had to watch them suffer for weeks. Some kittens were euthanized by unlicensed vet tech Christine L'esperance while co-op students held them in their hands.

    As the surviving kittens grew, they were cramped in a 2x2' cage with their mother, litterbox, food and water dishes. At approximately 3 months, when they were put up for adoption, it was discovered their muscles had atrophied as a result of being cramped in a tiny cage with no room to move or stretch for such an extended period of time.

    A mother cat and her 3 remaining kittens locked in a 2x2' cage for 3 months, 24 hours a day. The cage also held a 1x1' litter box and food and water bowls. They had no room to lay down, let alone run or play.