The Edmonton Humane Society continues to receive backlash from the public after three cats were forgotten in a transport vehicle for three weeks, and the organization said it is open to an external investigation.
“One of the specific concerns we’ve heard is the need for an investigation,” EHS CEO Miranda Jordan-Smith said in a statement Thursday.
“As advocates for stronger animal protection legislation, we recognize there is a need for an impartial body to investigate when such incidents occur at the organizations which enforce animal protection law. We are open to an investigation and the development of a system that will help navigate processes for when these rare instances occur.”
While no official external investigation is underway, Jordan-Smith said the organization will hire a consultant to “provide an objective review of our operational policies and procedures.”
“We are moving forward with an eye on continuous improvement related to this incident, and our commitment of the community is that we will take all of the necessary steps to ensure a similar incident never happens again,” Miranda Jordan-Smith said.
The consultant will be tasked with providing recommendations and a plan regarding operational policies moving forward.
Earlier this week, Global News learned that an EHS crew picked up some animals from another shelter on March 27 and “upon return to Edmonton, during the unloading of the animals, three cats were unknowingly left in the vehicle,” according to a statement from the humane society.
The cats were not discovered until April 18, when staff were preparing for another animal transfer. The cats were dehydrated and hungry with mild urine burns on their paws, but “alert and responsive,” the humane society said.
Watch below: The Edmonton Humane Society launched an internal review after three cats were forgotten in a transport vehicle for three weeks. Sarah Kraus explains.
After an internal review, the society produced an eight-page document to cover every step in the transport process, including checks and double-checks for staff who load, unload and receive animals.
However, concerns were raised about the humane society investigating its own incident.
The Alberta SPCA said it is aware of the incident but wouldn’t comment further on the incident.
All three cats involved in the incident have since been rehomed, according to Jordan-Smith’s statement.