Tim Trow is turfed (again) as the Toronto Humane Society overwhelmingly votes to re-elect its current board

Tim Trow is turfed (again) as the Toronto Humane Society overwhelmingly votes to re-elect its current board

(Images: Jacquie Labatt)

Animal lovers—and the rest of the city—likely remember the sordid story that unfolded at the Toronto Humane Society over the last few years. There were allegations of animal cruelty and overcrowding, charges laid against the then society president but later dropped due to some dodgy work by the OSPCA, and a general atmosphere of acrimony. At the centre of it all was the long-time president Tim Trow, who ran the animal shelter with the help of a particularly loyal board of directors. The embattled Trow stepped back into the spotlight this week with a bid to reinsert himself and his THS board in the charity’s operations. But his plan failed miserably when the THS members responded at Tuesday night’s annual general meeting with a resounding no.

The Globe and Mail has the story:

“The membership spoke loud and clear tonight. They voted for the future and not for a return to the past,” said Michael Downey after the meeting. “Tonight was a watershed moment in the future of this storied institution.”

Mr. Trow did not immediately respond to The Globe’s request for comment.

Although the final vote tallies were not immediately known, reports from inside the meeting indicated that board leadership controlled 521 proxy votes, mainly from members who did not attend the meeting, while Mr. Trow held 183.

While “proxy votes controlled by the incumbents” doesn’t exactly scream democracy, the result is nonetheless a sharp rejection of Trow’s tenure as THS president. On Tuesday, the Globe also reported that the current board wanted to change the charity’s bylaws to include term limits—basically to prevent board members from maintaining their positions for two-plus decades the way some did under Trow.

For those who’ve been following this story closely for years, the vote is a pretty big deal—not quite “fall of the Berlin Wall” big, but it does involve puppies, which, at least on the Interwebs, may just put it over the top.

Former Toronto Humane Society president fails to win board [Toronto Star]
Former president fails in bid to regain control over humane society [Globe and Mail]
Trow denied return to Toronto Humane Society [CBC]