Concerned Animal Lovers To Demonstrate At the Montreal SPCA

Pierre Barnoti, Montreal SPCA executive director, in a June, 2006 file photo.Why will concerned persons hold on March 15th another demonstration in front of the Montreal SPCA?

MONTREAL, (RUSHPRNEWS) March 13 2008 -Another demonstration is being planned in front of the SPCA on Jean-Talon Street, on Saturday, March 15 at 1:30 pm.  You will receive more information this week.

These protests need to be continued, because in face of CTV revelations, the SPCA executive director Pierre Barnoti continues to side-step the truth and to misinform the public, while the SPCA board of directors and its president Michel Poulos are silent.  The CTV said that the SPCA Board eats out of Barnoti’s hand. In our opinion, events after CTV revelations confirm this.

To bring honesty and concern for animal welfare to the executive offices of the SPCA, a change of management and of the Board is required.  A few items below will illustrate this.
AN ISSUE:  KILLING-ON-DEMAND.  Animals are entrusted to the SPCA for their protection. But CTV revealed that, with Barnoti’s knowledge, the Montreal SPCA killed-on-demand a number of dogs for the veterinary faculty at St-Hyacinte, who wanted dog bodies. CTV revealed that Barnoti fired the manager who authorized this, but also that that manager was paid an extra $15,000.  Barnoti pretends now on YouTube that it does not really matter because the event was 2 years ago and that the SPCA paid that former manager $15,000 to prevent him from suing the SPCA, which would have cost the SPCA at least $25,000 in legal fees.  First, the SPCA has always had insurance for legal fees it incurred in its legal defense. Secondly, if by ordering these dogs to be euthanized that manager broke important SPCA rules (remember it is Barnoti who sets the rules at the SPCA), such lawsuit would have had little prospects for the fired manager. So first we conclude that, in killing these dogs, the man broke no rules set by Barnoti. 
 
But if the man broke no rules set by Barnoti and had these dogs euthanized with the boss’s approval, as CTV suggests was the case, then, we think, the man was paid $15,000 for something else – namely to keep quiet.  It stands to reason that Barnoti did not want him to testify in open court on how euthanasia is really authorized at the SPCA. Based on the information herein it is difficult to believe that this killing-on-demand at the Montreal SPCA, was the only time it was done.

The Board of the Montreal SPCA, officially Barnoti’s bosses, are silent on this subject. Why is that? Do they work for the protection of animals or do they work for Barnoti? 
 

ANOTHER EUTANASIA ISSUE:  WHO IS TO BLAME FOR EXCESSIVE EUTHANASIA RATES AT THE MONTREAL SPCA?  The SPCA veterinarian Dr. Leskiewicz has publicly stated (on CTV and J.E. broadcasts) that he is compelled to put down unusually large number of animals at the SPCA’s Laval shelter, and Dr. Leskiewicz’s records contradict the low euthanasia figures given by the SPCA to the City of Laval under the municipal animal control contract. In response to Dr. Leskiewicz’s disclosure, the SPCA immediately fired him.  Further Barnoti announced on the YouTube that it was Dr. Leskiewicz who was needlessly performing wholesale euthanasia at the SPCA, that employees had to hide animals from him, to save their lives. If so, how come Barnoti kept Dr. Leskiewicz at the SPCA for all the 13 years that Barnoti has run the SPCA? We find that, once again, Barnoti is not credible. We find that, that contrary to his spin, Barnoti fired Dr. Leskiewicz for telling the truth. 

Furthermore, Barnoti omitted to say on YouTube that on many occasions Dr. Leskiewicz, without success, appealed to Barnoti and the Board to improve conditions in which animals are kept at the SPCA. His recent appeal (by letter in December 2007) amongst others stated that the shelter was not heated this Winter, to a point that water froze in the euthanasia room. As you can imagine, the animals locked in SPCA cages could not seek shelter from that freezing cold.  Dr. Leskiewicz’s appeal letter also stated that that diseases are rampant at the SPCA due to lack of desinfection and cleaning, and that the management’s response to complaints about these matters was “This is not a five stars hotel”.  Is that the excellent animal care, including biosecurity, that Barnoti often boasts about?        

The Board of the Montreal SPCA is silent on this subject also.

Now a few of the many money issues at the Montreal SPCA, really Barnoti’s SPCA.
 
A MONEY ISSUE:  WHERE IS THE MONEY COLLECTED BY SO-CALLED SPCA INTERNATIONAL GOING?   CTV revealed that very large amounts of money (experts suggested millions) are gathered by SPCA International, a US charitable organization, run by Barnoti and two other Montreal SPCA officers (treasurer Howard Sholzberg and president Michel Poulos) through a website spca.com. The CTV reported that it could only trace 19 donations that SPCA International gave to American animal welfare charities during a year. CTV checked the amounts of five of them, and they were $1,000 each. The SPCA International website is oriented towards American donors and speaks mainly of support for American animal welfare charities. Now Barnoti says on YouTube that the bulk of the donations made by SPCA International was given to animal welfare organizations in Third World countries. But that does not agree with the tax returns that SPCA International filed with the US Internal Revenue Service (the IRS), as reported by CTV. 

CTV further reported that SPCA International collects 15% fee on funds raised, and that the Montreal SPCA gave rights to the SPCA International website to Barnoti personally for one dollar ($1).  Barnoti side-steps this issue.

And what does the Board of the Montreal SPCA say to that? Again, they are silent.

ANOTHER MONEY ISSUE:  WHY IS THE SPCA SHELTER BUILDING ON JEAN-TALON STREET MORTGAGED TO AN AMERICAN FUND-RASING COMPANY?  CTV revealed that a US fund-raising company, Quadriga Art of New York, holds a mortgage on the SPCA shelter building at Jean-Talon Street. That is highly unusual by itself, and more so when some of us remember that Barnoti arrived at the SPCA in 1994, presenting himself as a great fund-raising expert. He was a fund-raising supplier to the SPCA when he took over SPCA management! On  YouTube, Barnoti now side-steppes the mortgage issue, and states that he hired an American  fund-raising company because it is very efficient and because it agreed to charge its fee only against the proceeds of their fund-raising campaign for the Montreal SPCA. But, if the latter were true, then Quadriga Art would not hold the mortgage on the SPCA shelter. Barnoti’s spin on YouTube does not hold water.

As they say, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all the time!

A LEGAL ISSUE:  ARE THE SPCA BY-LAWS OBSERVED? We believe that this mortgage constitutes an alienation of the shelter immoveable property, which is forbidden under article 13 of SPCA By-laws, unless approved by 2/3 of voting members at a Special General Meeting of the SPCA, called for such purpose. No such Special General Meeting was called. Moreover, contrary to its duties, the SPCA Board has failed to organize even the regular Annual General Meeting in 2007.

THERE IS MUCH MORE.  For instance Barnoti takes for himself the credit for creating the Montreal SPCA’s volunteer program, foster program and sterilization program, but these programs existed in various forms at the SPCA long before he took over. Another example, Barnoti says that the SPCA is unjustly accused by CTV and such critics as we are.  He calls us radicals and accuses us of attacking the SPCA – simply because we do not like the way in which he uses SPCA money and the way he treats animals. We are individuals that include former SPCA volunteers, donors and Board members. We are not critics of the Montreal SPCA, we are its friends!  We are critics of Barnoti and his ever-compliant-to-him Board. 

The CTV reports that “Critics of the Montreal SPCA say the government needs to look a little closer at the organization’s activities”.   We believe that the government has not looked into the Montreal SPCA as yet at all, and that it should look closely and soon, starting with the money trail; and many of us are ready to tell the government what we know.

Please take an hour out of your busy schedule to join our protest on March 15, at 1:30 pm.  An HOUR.  The most meaningful hour you can give for the cause we are working for — an SPCA that would truly work for the betterment of the lives of helpless animals in its care, where donors’ money (YOUR money) will be used for the purpose YOU intend — for the protection of animals, and for nothing else. 

MEDIA Contact:  Cindy Marginson   email:  marginson@videotron.ca   ph.  514 694 1417   MEDIA ONLY

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