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A man accused of leaving his dog in a sweltering car

September 24th, 2008, 03:11 PM

A man accused of leaving his dog in a sweltering car in Toronto last summer has pleaded guilty in an out-of-court agreement.

Paul Soderholm pleaded guilty to one charge of animal cruelty for leaving his 50-kilogram Rottweiler in a car on July 31, 2007.

Toronto Humane Society officer Tre Smith smashed a car window to rescue the dog, named Cyrus.

Smith was suspended by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after he handcuffed the dog's owner to the vehicle.

Before police arrived, the man was allegedly assaulted by angry onlookers.

Smith says the plea agreement includes a conditional discharge, one year of probation, a one-year animal ownership ban, an order to pay $3,500 to the Toronto Humane Society, and an agreement to forfeit ownership of Cyrus.

Smith's suspension sparked a public outcry, resulting in a rally and online petitions calling for his reinstatement, which came last December.

September 24th, 2008, 03:14 PM
i was watching that on the news earlier, apparantly cyrus suffered some brain damage from the heat. and a big round of applause for the th worker for handcuffing the moron to the steering wheel. i'd have given him a few shots to the head too if i'd been there.:frustrated:

September 24th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Good for the officer to handcuff this idiot - maybe he earned a darn good lesson by passer bys and the humiliation! He is darn lucky we no longer (or ever) have public flogging! If so - I would be first in line. Sorry the dog suffered ill effects due to the ordeal.

September 24th, 2008, 03:15 PM
benmax, several people in the parking lot beat the crap out of the owner. That's partially why the th guy was suspended.

September 24th, 2008, 05:21 PM
Pet Owner Pleads Guilty To Cruelty To Animals In An Infamous Case Stretching Back To 2007
Wednesday September 24, 2008 Staff

Cyrus the dog is staying home - and it's not the one of the owner who left him in a boiling hot car in July 2007.

Paul Soderholm became embroiled in one of the most infamous and controversial cases of animal cruelty in recent GTA history when Toronto Humane Society investigator Tre Smith found his 6-year-old Rottweiler inside his parked car, with temperatures nearing 60C.

The dog was nearly dead when the THS agent broke the window and rescued the animal, handcuffing the owner to the vehicle while he took the canine for treatment with no time to spare.

Now, more than a year later, Solderholm has pleaded guilty to one count of cruelty to animals and not providing adequate care for his former pet.

It means Cyrus won't be going back to the man who left him in the car that day. The plea agreement forbids him from owning an animal for at least a year and he's also agreed to give up ownership of Cyrus, who remains happy and well with a foster family.

Soderholm will also have to pay the Humane Society the $3,500 they rang up in medical bills saving the dog's life.

He receives a conditional discharge and a year's probation.

The 44-year-old avoided a possible half a year jail term and a $2,000 fine by agreeing to the plea.

The judge in this case notes the accused didn't deserve to be beaten up. "[It was] "totally unacceptable, inappropriate and I'm disappointed that you incurred those injuries," the jurist noted. "You have already been punished."

Soderholm claims he's glad Cyrus is with a loving family and agrees it's only fair he's prohibited from dog ownership for a year.

But his lawyer wants you to know there's another side to this story. "Six years ago Soderholm rescued Cyrus from a family who was abusing him," reminds Lorne Honickman. "He loved that dog."

But now his client has signed a contract agreeing never to have any more contact with the dog.

The case became even more notorious because of Smith's actions. While the owner was chained to his car, several angry animal lovers assaulted him as he stood unable to defend himself. Police found him beaten up and bleeding at the King and Jameson parking lot where the drama unfolded.

It resulted in Smith being suspended from his job for a time and questions about animal cruelty and what the law does, doesn't - and should - allow.

The judge called his actions 'unconscionable' but Smith claims he wouldn't change a thing that happened that day.

"Do you know what? I said it before. I'll say it again: The events of that day happened, and at that point, I really saw no other way to protect myself from further harm. There's two things I needed to do that day, and it was rescue a Rottweiler named Cyrus and save his life and to protect myself and the Good Samaritans who were helping me. They were being threatened, myself was being threatened. I wanted to go home at the end of the day."

But Smith's fate is far from certain. Soderholm is contemplating a possible civil suit against the investigator for his actions.

Kris Reyes will have reaction to this case on CityNews at Five and Six.

September 24th, 2008, 11:20 PM
I saw the video of cyrus when he was first let out of the car and It was Horrible!!!!! I don't feel sorry for the owner for getting beat up at all. The thing with animals is that they love us no matter what and for thier loved one to leave him in a hot car the poor dog doesn't understand why he is boiling. he just knows he loves his owner. I won't even take my dogs for car rides on hot days let alone leave them in the car. the question is If you won't stay in a hot car, why would you leave your best friend in one? I am sorry but any case of animal abuse just makes me boil:pawprint:

September 25th, 2008, 12:30 AM
What an *sshole. He tries to make himself sound like a good guy by saying he rescued the dog years before from a bad situation.

I am glad those people got a few hits in. I'd have helped if I'd have seen it.

I've had Dracko with me in the vehicle on hot days and I ALWAYS have left the car running with the a/c on. And even with that I worry that something might have happened (the a/c stopped working, the car stalled, etc) and don't take a long time doing my tasks.

September 25th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Tre has been my hero since that incident :lovestruck::cloud9:

That guy did not LOVE his dog, nobody who loves their dog keeps it in a hot vehicle.:evil::mad:

September 25th, 2008, 07:29 AM
Tre has been my hero since that incident :lovestruck::cloud9:

That guy did not LOVE his dog, nobody who loves their dog keeps it in a hot vehicle.:evil::mad:

And so he should be considered a hero. Sorry that I am not a bleeding heart and feel bad that people reacted as they did. I see so much animal brutality/neglect/abandonment....the justice system sucks, so I guess this was an opportunity that people took to display their disgust.

I guarantee that this guy will always remember never to do this again...I just hope he never gets another animal, because it is obvious that he has absolutely no sense of what is right nor wrong.

September 25th, 2008, 07:31 AM
i hope that if this :loser: tries to take the humane society guy to court that the witnesses come forward to state that the owner WAS threatening him, so he did it for his own safety.