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3 resign over ACC contract/claim intimidation and conflict

September 17th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Here's an article about how poorly the negotiations are going.....the poor animals are going to be the loosers.....they already are in the hands of London's ACC!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A city task force asked to improve the welfare of cats and dogs has been torn apart by resignations and allegations of intimidation and conflicts of interest.
The strife comes at a critical time. On Monday, council considers a recommendation by staff to renegotiate aspects of a renewable five-year contract with the company that now holds it, London Animal Care and Control. The current term ends in December.

The practices of the company, which in the last four years euthanized 5,833 cats and 963 dogs, have been criticized by some.

Until a year ago, the company euthanized cats without sedation by sticking a needle into their hearts.

The practice is allowed in Ontario, but concerns raised prompted the company to switch to an injection into the abdomen that avoids major organs, its executive director Brett Harlton said yesterday.

There were "adverse relationships" already when in April a representative of Animal Care and Control and others who had criticized the company took seats on the animal welfare task force, Coun. Susan Eagle said.

On Aug. 8, 10 of 14 task force members recommended to the city that it rewrite the contract, worth about $1.5 million annually, and seek bids.

Since then, three of the four dissenters have resigned, two of them writing to the city expressing concerns about how the task force operated.

They included the executive director of the London Humane Society, Lorna Chamberlain, who described the process as "disturbing."

"There's been intimidation, manipulation and condescending remarks made by some members, not necessarily directed at me," said Chamberlain, who wouldn't say what was said, who spoke or who was the target.

Also resigning was animal behaviourist Yvette Van Veen, who said she agreed with Chamberlain's remarks.

Chamberlain, along with Lawrence Hartshorn, who represented Animal Care and Control on the task force, accused the task force of sending a business plan to council that hadn't been approved.

Allegations of a flawed process were disputed by Eagle and the chairperson of the subcommittee reviewing the licence, Marie Blosh, neither of whom saw intimidating behaviour.

All task force members, including Chamberlain, asked for a business plan at their Aug. 9. meeting, said Blosh, who was appointed to represent the Urban League.

All agreed the plan would be given to the city Aug. 24, well before the task force's next meeting in October, Blosh said.

Members were e-mailed the business plan and asked to comment, Blosh said, her recollection the same as Eagle.

"(Chamberlain) never responded," Blosh said.

Those who resigned never questioned the process while they were part of it, she said.

"Things are being said in the press that were never said at the task force," she said. "It's people who voted against the recommendations. . . . I don't know if it's because they didn't get their way."

The only thing troubling about the process, said Blosh, was Hartshorn voted against changes to the contract his company has held for 22 years.

"He shouldn't have voted," she said.

But Hartshorn says he wasn't the only task force member potentially affected, that others who provide animal services might benefit too.

His view drew this from Blosh: "That's kind of a stretch. He has a direct interest."

Task force member Dianne Fortney, an animal rights activist, agreed, saying, "The changes may have decreased their profits."

The task force was formed after concerns about the number of euthanized pets was raised at a public meeting last year. A final report by the task force still needs to be prepared.

September 20th, 2005, 05:15 PM
with the Thames Valley Companion Animal Network? Last I heard they were trying to set up an adoption centre at Westmount Mall.

September 21st, 2005, 10:21 AM
I will investigate....interesting! I haven't heard of them. Do you have any info such as phone # etc??

September 21st, 2005, 10:31 AM
Well, I called Westmount Mall and spoke with Cindy in administration, and apparently the TVCAN has NOT rented a space within the mall. Cindy is trying to find me some contact info and I am on hold at the moment......

Okay, I found out some contact info on this group. I have sent out feelers to some other folks too, to see if they know much of this group. Good lead!! :D

September 21st, 2005, 11:00 AM
So what is going to happen since these people resigned??? Is the ACC contract going to be renewed :eek: ???
I've never heard of this group either.

September 21st, 2005, 11:17 AM
Mornin' Georgia!

:rolleyes: I think it's pretty much a done deal and always was from the get-go, that this awful contract will be renewed, but some changes MAY be implemented, as suggested by the Task Force. This is why my Pres (of London Dog Owners' Ass'n, who sits on the Task force), wants to step down as Pres, so she can jump all over this and get the changes made that need to be made! It has been an awful experience for those involved...very stressful.....

Here's what I found out further about the Thames Valley Companion Animal Network, (TVCAN), from the President of LDOA:

From what I have heard they are a small rescue group
that is working with-in the City of London. They,
like us, (LDOA), are trying to get their name out there. We
have about 8 (animal welfare groups),in the city. Not all the groups are
working together but we are trying to get them to.

So, JonathanLondon, it would appear that your idea is in the works!! Will keep you posted on how things progress, as I gleen more info.