Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hamilton Animal Control, now called Animal Services, is the City Pound

Renate Simon
Hamilton Animal Control, now called Animal Services, is the City Pound. If you have lost a pet, check HAS's list on Petfinder:
They have NO ADOPTIONS, TNR, or any other life-saving services which help lost, abandoned or unwanted animals. If no owners shows up to take their pet home, the only way out alive for any animal is to be pulled by an approved rescue or the HBSPCA. That makes HAS a 100% kill facility. The HBSPCA shares the building with HAS, and gets first choice of any animal there - even if another rescue has already selected it. All rescues who wish to save animals from HAS must sign a non-disclosure agreement and a contract with them. These documents give HAS control of any and all rescues who wish to pull from them. See our Files section for a list of approved rescues, statistics, and other helpful documents. Below are links to monthly lists of Albums of cats and other animals waiting to be saved. Contact a Hamilton rescue if you want to help by fostering or adopting. List of rescues:
Aug. 2016 -
July 2016 -
June 2016 -
May 2016 -
Apr. 2016 -
Mar. 2016 -
Feb. 2016 -
Jan. 2016 -

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29th is Treena and Britain Day

Claudia Vecchio, 4/29/12
Project Accountability NOW: Stop the Killings at the HAC!
Founder of ORA

On Friday, April 29th, 2011, Treena and Britain were killed at the Hamilton Animal Control (HAC).

Tuesdays and Fridays are killing days at the HAC. Every Tuesday and Friday morning before the pound opens, cats marked for killing are administered horse sedatives and then put down at an average rate of over 20 at a time. Treena and Britain were two of the 2,231 cats killed by the Hamilton Animal Control in 2011.What makes the case of Treena and Britain different?

We do not even have a picture of Treena or Britain. We do not know their story. Were they someone’s beloved pet who was allowed to roam outside and for that reason were they picked up by the pounds staff as no free roaming cats is allowed in the city of Hamilton? Were they surrendered by their owners who thought the pound would have adopted them out? Were they missed by their caregivers who probably just thought they had strayed away and gotten lost, then never thought to contact the pound or never had the time to visit the pound during their short opening hours?

The reality for cats entering Hamilton's Animal Control facility is that there are no second chances. The Hamilton Animal Control is not open for public adoptions and the only possibility for an animal to escape from death is either to be saved by a “recognized rescue” (that means a rescue who does not question the actions of the HAC) or for a few purebreds or especially attractive ones to be handpicked by the Hamilton Burlington SPCA that occupy the front of the building. Interestingly, against all evidence to the otherwise, the Hamilton Burlington SPCA proclaims to be No Kill, while its chair is the vet who, twice a week, does the killing himself at the back of the building at the HAC.

Last year on April 28th, local rescue groups collaborated as usual to save all of the cats marked urgent so we expected that the killing would have been cancelled April 29th. For reasons unbeknownst to us, (and note that what happens at the HAC stays at the HAC, absolute secrecy, even though the staff are just civil servants paid with taxpayers’ money and therefore accountable for their actions), one staff member independently decided, after the pound had closed, to mark Treena and Britain for death. Before the pound opened on April 29th and without, therefore, the possibility for any rescue to know in time to save them, Treena and Britain were killed by the vet (that is, the chair of the Hamilton Burlington SPCA).

Similar episodes, we were told by trusted sources, have happened before, but this is the first time that we at ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals were made aware. We found the whole situation absolutely heartbreaking and disgusting - and we decided to take action.

ORA started two online petitions on Causes and Care2. We called on fellow animal advocates for help and together, we organized rallies to speak up against the murderous modus operandi of the HAC. Treena and Britain’s death and what followed made us realize that while we at ORA have rescued hundreds of animals since our founding in 2002, we must also consider the bigger picture: the thousands of animals we cannot save directly, those unfortunate beings whose lives often end so violently in shelters and pounds. We have to ensure that they, too, can be saved. With vision in mind, ORA invited Bill Bruce to Toronto on September 30th, 2011, and more recently, Nathan Winograd on April 14th, to share their expert knowledge and first-hand experience helping to save the lives of shelter animals.

Animal advocates and animal caring people who attended these seminars have arrived at the realization that NO-KILL is neither an illusion or a dream; it is something that can easily be put into practice. It has been done in so many places where more and more pounds and shelters are embracing NO KILL. No Kill advocates in Toronto and Southern Ontario are now organizing and actively working towards the triumph of the No Kill revolution. There is no going back.

So while we commemorate Treena and Britain’s murder this year in the name of the many thousands of companion animals senselessly, pitilessly and unnecessarily killed every year in pounds in Toronto and in the Greater Toronto Area, we remain optimistic about the future. Treena and Britain are like the “unknown soldiers” who died in our ongoing fight to stop the killing.

Treena and Britain, we deplore the violence that has been committed against you! You will always have a special place in our hearts and we will think of you every time we encounter an obstacle or experience a temporary setback in our mission. You will be our inspiration to remain steadfast, and to see our No Kill efforts through to the very end. All shelter animals have the right to live. No More Killing!

Feel free to use this optional profile pic today to honour Treena and Britain Day with us.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

HAC Animal Photos and HAC-STK Updates




Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Animal control position going to tender, by Brenda Johnson, City Councillor Ward 11

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
    • Janice Boast: "NO VET TODAY .....................HOORAY over 20 cats and kittens were pulled by various rescues yesterday, but Friday is fast approaching."

    Friday, March 30, 2012
    "RE: Meeting of April 10th at HAC. I am hoping there will be a couple of more people from Hamilton willing to come with us to HAC in April. I also need to be sure prior to going that everyone understands the importance of having ONE agenda; I do not want this to become a fight and therefore break down any further communication. This is for the animals and with the offer to discuss the issues, we can keep the doors open to work WITH HAC rather than against them. I understand that emotions run high when you have been 'fighting' for something close to the heart and for so long, but we NEED to be sure our emotions are in check and we need to listen. If for any reason you feel that you have an agenda of your own (and that is fine in another setting) please refrain from attending this day. This is a chance to voice our concerns and listen to what HAC has done and is doing to make the changes we all would like to see. This can't and will not be an attack on HAC. That is not the way to reach our goal. thank you :)"
    Contact: Jill McKerrow via

    November 15, 2011
    ORA on the Best Friends Network: The planning committee's next meeting re: the Responsible Animal Ownership By-Law has been scheduled for January 2012. Now would be an excellent time for you to write once again (or for the first time) to Hamilton's Mayor and Councillors and have your say at this critical juncture. Your valuable suggestions and input will not only help Hamilton to shape the Responsible Animal Ownership By-law so that it balances the needs of both humans and animals, but also help Hamilton's Animal Services to eventually achieve necessary changes in order to stop the unacceptable killing of so many animal lives.

    October 22, 2011
    RALLY IN HAMILTON - CANCELLED. Eva McDowell: "Rally this coming weekend - Saturday, Oct 22, 2011 - in front of Pet Smart at Meadowlands Plaza in Hamilton, Ontario, to inform Hamilton pet lovers and get signatures on the petitions. 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM. Please join us!" Sign up to help today.
    Contact: Eva McDowell, Sandra Dobson Lovell or Jack Clark for the HAC-STK, or Claudia Vecchio for ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals

    October 5, 2011
    "How many of you live in the Hamilton-Burlington Animal Control cachement? How many live in the general area and can travel to Hamilton for a planning and brain-storming get-together before the rally/protest? If so, day or evening?"
    Contact: Suzanne Kelly

    October 3, 2011
    "RALLY IN HAMILTON - we are looking at holding another Rally on Oct 15 or 16 - who will join us and speak up for the thousands killed by HAC each year." Sign up to help today.
    Contact: Sandra Dobson Lovell, Jack Clark, or Eva McDowell

    September 30, 2011
    Don't let Sandra pass out flyers on her own this weekend!
    Contact: Sandra Dobson Lovell

    September 28, 2011
    "Is anyone available on Saturday to hand out some information flyers at HAC?
    Please PM me if you can."
    Contact: Eva McDowell

    September 23, 2011
    "I'm wondering if there are any Hamiltonians / folks in the area who would like to get together for coffee one afternoon soon and do some hard-nosed planning on how to best work on this issue."
    Contact: Suzanne Kelly

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    HAC-STK: Sound Off with Eva McDowell

    As you may know, there is a public meeting on Tue Nov 15 with Hamilton mayor & council regarding the new bylaw for Hamilton Animal Control. They have posted the proposed new bylaw on the Hamilton Spectator website. After reading through it carefully, the only positive change is the removal of the 2 pet limit. They have also stated they are running a public education program. Other than that, nothing will change.:

    No public adoptions
    72 hour hold time
    inconvenient hours for public to reclaim their pets
    Still picking up people's pets
    No high volume/low cost spay neuter program
    no volunteers

    What does that mean? The killing of thousands of animals every year will continue.

    Yet, they state they are working towards no kill. How can this happen without the necessary changes.

    They are depending on only the rescues to save the animals. They would rather pay the vet to kill the animals than save them. The rescues are faced with the high vet bills, as almost every animal coming from there is sick. The rescues are not paid a City salary to save these lives - they do it out of love for the animals. They blame the rescues when they have to kill - no one spoke up for him, so what else could we do?

    Bill Bruce of Calgary has a proven method and in fact no city funds are used to support the Calgary Animal Services. He is more than willing to share his method. Hamilton Mayor, Councillors and animal control were all offered tickets to come and hear Bill Bruce, yet not one of them came.

    The public are allowed to give a 5 minute presentation. We need as many people as possible to come and speak up for the thousands of animals who are killed by HAC each year. By just removing the pet limit, we will be faced with the unending cycle of killing for who knows how many more years.

    The time is now - let's stand together and let Hamilton know that this is not acceptable.

    -Eva McDowell

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    ORA re: Hamilton Animal Control, Public Meeting Nov. 15th on amended bylaws

    Please view attachment and see link below for The Spec's full article with meeting info plus the new by-law report and recommendations: 

    It is the moment to be heard: register now, voice your disagreement and offer suggestions and alternatives or the killing will continue.

    Anyone interested in making a presentation on the “Updated Animal By-law for the Entire City of Hamilton” is asked to preregister as a delegation by no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, November 14, 2011, by contacting:

    Vanessa Robicheau
    City Clerk’s Office,
    1st Floor, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y5
    Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext. 2729
    Presentations are limited to 5 minutes.

    P.S. On a positive note, in the aftermath of Bill Bruce presentation in Toronto, there are talks of beneficial initiatives for the animals. It will take time, but there is good will and determination. Let's be present on Tuesday at Hamilton City Hall in large number. Call Vanessa now and register. 

    Claudia Vecchio
    Volunteer Chairperson
    ORA - Organization for the Rescue of Animals
    (416) 726-5762