Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The Ontario SPCA is taken aback that the reporter chose to ignore the information provided to him on the condition of the animal profiled in his article.

The Ontario SPCA is mandated under the Ontario SPCA Act to respond to reports of animal cruelty. The Ontario SPCA and the local police responded to a call concerning a husky named "Rocky". Rocky was found, vocolizing in agony, severely dehydrated, emaciated, unable to control his own bodily functions and as a result his skin had been scalded by his own urine. He was unable to walk when the investigators found him.

Efforts were made by both the Police and the Ontario SPCA to contact the family. Our investigation revealed that the owners had not been seen in days, and in our line of work we sadly see this type of neglect frequently.

Rocky was examined by two veterinarians, who each reported that on top of the health concerns found by the Ontario SPCA , he was showing neurological problems and severe dental disease.

As a 16 year old dog with obvious signs of sever pain and declining health. Rocky was euthanized humanly by a veterinarian to end his suffering.

No charges were laid nor later revoked, as incorrectly reported by the original article. Our primary concern with this investigation was with Rocky's well-being.

It was incorrectly reported that I claimed that the dog had not been examined by a vet. I informed the reporter that the dog showed no signs of receiving palliative care, and as a senior dog with Rocky's condition he should have be receiving that type of care.

Palliative care, as with humans, dictates that someone is with them at all times so they do not have to endure this type of trauma. Where was the family during this time? Why was Rocky left in the extreme heat in his condition without water?

In addition to the two veterinarians who examined Rocky. We have allowed a third veterinarian to review Rocky's medical records.

"At the request of the Ontario SPCA I reviewed the documentation regarding the decision to euthanize "Rocky", a 16-year-old Husky. After reading the attending veterinarians' comments regarding Rocky's condition I would agree with the decision to perform euthanasia.

Allowing animals to attain the full measure of their natural lifespan requires aggressive management of medical conditions and an effective palliative care plan. The condition Rocky was found in indicates the absence of an effective palliative care plan. In my opinion euthanasia is the logical final component to palliative care plan. Veterinarians have a duty to minimize pain and prevent suffering. Euthanasia is a crutial element in meeting our obligations to animals in our care." J. Bruce Robertson, DVM.

We are saddened that the concern for Rocky's well- being were not recognized by his owners.


Chief Inspector Connie Mallory

Ontario SPCA