An animal-loving Canadian celebrity has pulled out of supporting the Ontario SPCA over past controversies surrounding the animal protection agency.
Monika Schnarre, a Muskoka-based actress, entrepreneur and former model, confirmed Tuesday she has decided to “pull back” from entering into a formal relationship with the OSPCA — a relationship she said would have included a public service announcement warning pet owners about leaving animals locked in hot cars.
Schnarre’s announcement comes less than two months after she visited the OSPCA’s Newmarket headquarters with plans on lending her name to the animal agency’s cause.
Subsequent to that April 27 visit, Schnarre said she received e-mails from concerned people who cited past controversies surrounding the OSPCA, including a report detailing the May 2010 euthanization of a number of dogs due to fears around what the authors classified as a clinically unproven ringworm outbreak at the organization’s headquarters.
A later controversy involved protests outside the OSPCA after it put down an old and arthritic Husky it had taken from a woman’s home without her knowledge following a neighbour’s call about the animal’s condition. The dog owner’s veterinarian subsequently deemed the killing unwarranted.
Schnarre said she needed to research both the ringworm story and other allegations before lending her “name and likeness” to the OSPCA, and that she called the organization Monday to cancel the filming of the public service announcement, which was to be shot Wednesday.
“Many people e-mailed me with concerns about the organization and I just wanted to pull back and do my own research,” Schnarre said, adding she has not yet entered into any formal relationship with the OSPCA. “I’m an animal lover and I was interested in helping them out.”
OSPCA spokesman Alison Cross provided few details about what happened with Schnarre and said the organization had yet to determine what her role would have been.
“The Ontario SPCA was approached by Ms. Schnarre and we’ve had discussions but did not reach a formal agreement to work together,” Cross said in an e-mail. “While (it is) not a fit at this time, we’ll keep the door open for future opportunities.”
Cross did not respond to questions regarding the planned public service announcement.