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Toronto Humane Society

The Toronto Humane Society is a Toronto charity that operates animal shelters and animal rescue operations. It was founded by crusading journalist John J. Kelso after he added the comment “Why don't we have a society for the prevention of cruelty?” to a November 1886 letter in the Toronto World about a horse in distressed condition. Subsequently, a total of $74 in donations was sent to the newspaper which was used by Kelso to found the Toronto Humane Society in 1887 as an organization dedicated to promote both children's aid and the humane treatment of animals. The Children's Aid Society ultimately became a distinct organization in 1891.[1]

Toronto Humane Society
Toronto Humane Society logo.gif
Formation1886; 133 years ago (1886)
TypeAnimal welfare organization in Canada
Legal statusActive
Purposeadvocate and public voice, educator and network
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Region served
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Official language
WebsiteToronto Humane Society

The THS was originally located at the intersection of Bay Street and what is now Wellesley Street in downtown Toronto. It is currently located on River Street.[1]

Following an investigative report in The Globe and Mail,[2] the THS was raided by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in November 2009 as part of an investigation into allegations of animal cruelty at the centre. THC president Tim Trow and several other society personnel, as well as the board of directors itself, were subsequently charged.[3] A new board of directors was elected in late May 2010,[4] and the shelter re-opened a month later after having been closed for seven months.[5]

All charges against former board members and personnel were withdrawn in August 2010 due to problems with the search warrant under which the 2009 raid had been carried out.[5] An article in the February 2011 edition of Toronto Life suggested that the root of the dispute was that the THS was trying to run its facility as a no-kill shelter, a policy which the OSPCA opposed.[6]


  1. ^ a b "History of the Toronto Humane Society", Toronto Humane Society website
  2. ^ "Killing them with kindness". The Globe and Mail, May 29, 2009.
  3. ^ "Animal cruelty charges laid at Toronto Humane Society", National Post, November 27, 2009
  4. ^ "New board looks to restore Toronto Humane Society image", National Post, June 2, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Toronto Humane Society charges dropped", CBC News, August 16, 2010.
  6. ^ "Shedding light on the OSPCA-Toronto Humane Society debacle". Toronto Sun, January 10, 2011

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