WHY DID THE SPCA KILL MUNCHKIN?                                           march 2009

The SPCA protects the public by killing dogs for its City Hall masters.  It does this wherever it has a contract to control and dispose of dogs — where it is the dog-catcher.  In Surrey, where the SPCA also has a contract, the SPCA applied to the courts for orders to kill pups because they were pit bulls. How many of these contracts the SPCA has in BC it has always refused to tell AAS. AAS is being sued in part for harming the SPCA’s reputation, yet these dog control/disposal contacts make many animal-lovers very angry at it causing the loss of many donations, as the SPCA has known for many years. We believe that the SPCA does more self-inflicted harm than AAS can ever do.

The same test that failed Picasso and failed Cheech, was used to kill tiny, terrified little Munchkin. The SPCA kills dogs to protect both of itself and City Hall from liability.

Bonnie Curtis has told many people what the SPCA did to Munchkin.

March 2009    This is Munchkin's Story as told by Bonnie Curtis, who loved him and tried to save him from the SPCA.  It is a story of betrayed trust between Bonnie and Munchkin and the SPCA. It is a story that AAS has heard too often.

Bonnie spoke for an SPCA dog.
The SPCA silenced his voice by killing him.

Bonnie speaks for Munchkin:

"I had a horrible incident in which the Burnaby SPCA put a stray dog down that I was trying to adopt. I volunteered there, and this little 5 or 6 pound dog and I became best friends, however, when they gave him the "test" to see if he was adoptable, he failed because he was terrified of huge strangers in uniforms cornering him in his cell, so they put him down. I was devastated.

"This is Munchkin after the SPCA finally, at my repeated urging, had him groomed. If a groomer can do this to him, how can he be so aggressive? He would lick my face all over.  I work 5 minutes away, so I visited him every day and took him for 1 hr walks on my lunch hour.  When I asked if I could adopt him, they gave him the test, said he failed, and they put him down."




"When I first met Munchkin, his long hair was dirty and matted, and he was cowering in the back of his cage at the Burnaby SPCA.  As his name implied, he was small dog, perhaps no heavier than 10 pounds, and he was very frightened.  He had been in the cage for two weeks, and I was told that he was suffering from kennel rage; no one would go near him.  During our first meeting early in February, I sat with him in his cage and, to my surprise, within minutes he was on my lap.  And when a staff member who had been watching us carefully suggested that I might walk him in the parking lot, I willingly accepted.  Later, when it became clear to the staff that Munchkin presented no threat to either me or others, I began walking him in a nearby park during my lunch hours.  At first, Munchkin appeared intimidated by the larger dogs we met there, and he frequently sought refuge on my lap when anyone approached to pet him.  After several weeks of daily walks in the park, his fears subsided and he appeared to welcome the attention of both other dogs and passersby.  By then, too, his unruly hair had been washed and cut, and he had become a charming little friend.  No longer was Munchkin the terrified little animal I had met a month earlier -- he seemed ready for adoption, or so I thought." 

When the SPCA would not let Bonnie adopt him, Bonnie told a well-known and highly thought of small-dog rescuer about him, a rescuer whose society is on the SPCA's "approved" list, who has been allowed to take dogs the SPCA did not want, out of the SPCA for many years, usually for reasons of age or illness. The SPCA refused her offer to take Munchkin on the grounds of legal liability.  She had her lawyer write the SPCA assuring it that the rescue society would take all legal responsibility.  There was no reply and within days Munchkin was killed. The lawyer is the wife of a well-known retired judge who writes a regular column for a local paper.  The killing of Munchkin opened their eyes too.  The ripples that spread with every killing inflicts more damage on the SPCA than AAS ever can.

One day last week when I went to pick up Munchkin for our noon hour walk, I was told that he had been assessed as being unsuitable for adoption by one staff member and that should a second member agree, he would have to be euthanized.  I argued that he be permitted to live, that he was not dangerous, and that his size and demeanor would pose a threat to no one.  I pleaded that Munchkin be observed while he and I were together.  When this was denied, I offered to adopt him.  My offer was refused.  Moreover, I was told that my days as a dog walker for the Burnaby SPCA were terminated.  I contacted an association that “rescues” small dogs who are scheduled for euthanasia.  Almost immediately, its lawyer sent a letter to the SPCA requesting that Munchkin be released to the association, which would accept full legal responsibility for his behavior.  There was no response.

I learned two days later that Munchkin had been euthanized.

In brief, this describes a situation that has grieved me greatly.  There is much more to this story than I could include here, especially pertaining to my meeting with the directors.  I believe that many of your readers would be interested in learning about the practice of euthanizing animals without cause, as I believe was the case with Munchkin.  I am distressed to think that this event may occur again at the Burnaby or other SPCAs, and so this is my purpose in contacting you.  I think that only pressure from concerned readers will change this odious practice.

Bonnie Curtis
North Vancouver, BC

Write the BC SPCA and tell them that you don't want them to kill anymore dogs: info@spca.bc.ca


One of the most powerful things you can do is to spread our web of compassion for animals. Send the AAS Website to everyone you know who hates cruelty to animals. The power of
animal-lovers joined together by the internet is changing animal protection and welfare in this province.

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