Tre Smith, a Toronto Humane Sociey Investigator, says that he was simply trying to save a helpless dog. But now, Smith could be in trouble for what he did.
Two weeks ago, Smith was called to an incident where Cyrus, a Rottweiler, was trapped in a car during an intense heat wave. The windows were not open and the car was extremely hot. Officials said that the temperature inside the car reached 158 degrees Fahrenheit. It was believed that Cyrus had been in the car for several hours.
When Smith arrived at the scene, he thought that the dog was near death. He saw that Cyrus was slumped over the back seat with his legs up and had a blank stare. The dog was also foaming at the mouth and non-responsive. Smith knew that didn’t have time to wait for the owners to return. He broke the car window and opened the car door to pull out Cyrus to safety.
After the window was broken, Cyrus’s owner came out to the scene when he heard his car alarm. Smith said that he had a difficult decision to make: either tend to the dog or hang onto the man. This investigator decided that he needed to save Cyrus.
Smith also stated that the man was dangerous and abusive, and for his safety and the safety of the people around the scene, he needed to restrain the suspect. Smith handcuffed the man to his car while he left to care for Cyrus. He also called the police to pick up the man.
Meanwhile, bystanders were helping Cyrus and pouring cold water on the dog. Veterinarians come on the scene and rushed him back to Toronto Humane Society to give him medical attention.
Fortunately, this 110 pound Rottweiler is recovering and on his way to being 100% healthy again. Cyrus is still receiving fluids and is getting around the clock attention, but he has made great improvements. Amidst his ordeal, he is still smiling.
But, it is not so happy news for Smith. While he was tending to Cyrus, two angry bystanders allegedly attacked Cyrus’s owner while the man was handcuffed to the car. The suspect was bleeding when police officers took him away.
“The police hadn’t got here just yet but they were almost here, and I had to leave because the dog was non-responsive, had stopped breathing and I had to stimulate the dog just to bring him back,” Smith said. “So I had to leave for the life of the dog.”
Now, the decision to save Cyrus’s life first and handcuffing the man may possibly have hurt Smith’s job. The Ontario SPCA has suspended his agent’s license pending an internal review. Smith is still able to work at the Humane Society, but he cannot investigate animal cruelty cases.
Smith said that he is shocked and deeply saddened of the news. A witness at the scene is supporting Smith and said that the investigator did his job 100%. He said that Smith needed to handcuff the man because he was erratic and threatening.
Cyrus’s owner has been charged with cruelty to an animal. If convicted, he can be fined up to $2,000 and jailed for six months.
Police have also charged the two bystanders who assaulted the man.
Many people were outraged by the response of the Ontario SPCA. They have sent angry emails to the organization saying that Smith should not be suspended and that he is a hero.
The SPCA said that they had no choice regarding Smith’s suspension. Chief Inspector Hugh Coghill agreed that he thought Smith was a hero for saving Cyrus’s life. But he said that the review is not about the rescue of a suffering animal. The review is to see if Officer Smith’s conduct was appropriate.
Coghill also said: “The priority for everyone in our organization is animal protection, but the way we provide that protection is just as important. We train our investigators to do what they do as effectively and safely as possible and we expect them to carry out their activities according to that training and our standard operating procedures.”
Source: City News