Brock Township is prepared to launch an independent peer review following a series of allegations targeted at the municipal animal shelter and its staff.
The claims have been made on a social media page launched earlier this month, as well as a digital petition that is quickly gaining traction online.
The Township issued a formal response late Thursday (Sept. 17).
“Within the Township of Brock, we strive to promote a safe and healthy environment for people and all animals and are committed to providing quality care to animals in distress – whether in our care or in the wild. Recently, there have been some serious allegations made about animal service within the Township of Brock, and its employees, related to the cruelty and neglect of animals in our care. Our senior leadership team took these allegations very seriously and conducted an immediate investigation,” reads the press release.
“The results of the investigation did not find evidence in support of the allegations that were brought forward. However, to ensure these findings are appropriate, the township is seeking another municipality to conduct an independent peer review – a process that will also include a review of Brock’s animal control services and shelter operators.”
The release notes that animal control/bylaw staff provide service in a number of situations, including emergencies.
“Similar to practices in neighbouring municipalities, the services that are offered aim to keep our animals safe, they include dog licences; doggy day care licences; exotic animal exemptions; and kennel licenses. It’s a philosophy that drives the Sick and Injured Animal Fund – an initiative that uses 100 percent of donations to provide emergency medical treatment to animals,” the media release reads.
“The Township of Brock remains committed to providing vital animal services within our community, continuing to build upon the work completed throughout 2020, which has included veterinary care for animals in our possession; reuniting or finding permanent homes for 55 dogs and cats (with an additional 42 moved to another shelter or agency); and the rescue of 27 wild animals (with 16 transferred to licenced rehabs and two released back into the wild). ”
In a series of posts on social media, the anonymous account is calling for improved oversight for the shelter, including the hiring of a dedicated manager and supervisor, as well as releasing employment policies for staff and improved training.
The author is also calling for the Township to disclose comprehensive set of care standards for the animals in their care.
“Brock Animal Services is no longer providing compassionate, effective and efficient care for our animals. We demand better for the animals under their care,” one of the posts reads.
The most recent urges residents to sign an ONLINE PETITION – which had garnered more than 250 signatures – and contact members of council, who have remained tight-lipped thus far as the matter involves members of staff and could potentially be the subject of legal action by the municipality.
It’s expected to be discussed during Monday’s (Sept. 21) committee of the whole meeting during a closed session.