Save Toronto Animal Services

Toronto's City Council is currently in the middle of a service review. They are looking at where to cut the 'gravy' in the budget, in order to deal with a deficit of over $400 million in the 2012 budget.

We need to tell City Council that Toronto Animal Services is not gravy and does not need to be cut!

TAS is a city service responsible for enforcing animal-related bylaws in Toronto. They run four animal shelters, deal with animal-related complaints, enforce pet licensing and try to reunite lost pets with their owners.
Each year, TAS adopts thousands of animals into new, loving homes.

Now, the service audit has proposed changes such as reducing service quality (making emergency response time over 2 hours), eliminating pet licenses and even contracting out the service.

Animal shelters CANNOT be profitable unless they are run in a cruel or neglectful manner.  It is ALWAYS cheaper to euthanize animals than to shelter them, provide vet care and adopt them out. We have to keep TAS public while we still have the chance!

CRUELTY IS ALWAYS CHEAPER THAN CARE. WITH A FOR-PROFIT ANIMAL SERVICES, TAXPAYERS WON'T PAY - BUT THE ANIMALS WILL!

In the public consultation, about 63% of respondants to the public survey said that the CITY should provide animal control! Only about 10% believed it should be contracted out.

Sign our petition to let City Council know that it's important to YOU as Torontonian that TAS remain public and well-funded!

We the undersigned are concerned about the idea of privatizing or reducing Toronto Animal Services.

 TAS is an important part of our city. Thanks to the work of TAS, the city has a good reputation for animal rescue, and Torontonians have a reliable resource for retrieving lost pets, adopting new pets, and reporting injured or dead animals. It’s important to us that injured or deceased animals are treated properly when they are picked up, especially as injured or deceased animals could be someone’s pet. It is also important to us that all lost or surrendered animals are treated humanely, and that adoption is encouraged. We are an animal-loving city and this is a service in which we can take pride.

 Animal shelters cannot be a profitable business when run properly. An adoption fee cannot equal the cost of housing, feeding, providing veterinary care, spaying/neutering, vaccinating and microchipping. If animal services is contracted out to a private business, the only way that business can turn a profit is to cut corners, raise euthanasia rates and neglect animal care. Montreal is currently experiencing this with the private pound ‘Berger-Blanc’, which has recently been exposed as a neglectful, cruel and inhumane shelter. With private shelters, there is also much less oversight and more chance for cruelty to continue unseen.

 On the other hand, the city of Calgary is often held up as the gold standard in animal control. Calgary has kept their animal services public and has strongly enforced licensing for pets. This has allowed them to create a shelter system that is lauded throughout North America as humane and effective. It’s clear which system we should be trying to emulate.

 We believe that Toronto Animal Services is an integral part of this city, and must be kept public. Privatizing animal services will result in cruelty, an increase of stray animals and a lack of resources for pet owners. Please do the humane thing and vote for care, not cruelty – vote to keep animal services public!

 Thank you very much for taking the time to read our letter.
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