Toronto Humane Society 'star' arrested

Toronto Humane Society investigator Tre Smith is marched out of the society's River St....

Toronto Humane Society investigator Tre Smith is marched out of the society's River St. headquarters in handcuffs yesterday. (STAN BEHAL/Toronto Sun)

BRETT CLARKSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

A prominent animal cruelty investigator with the Toronto Humane Society was arrested yesterday and paraded out in handcuffs before the media, and another OSCPA agent was fired from his job and arrested for allegedly tipping off the THS that they'd be targeted for investigation.

But THS lawyer Frank Addario blasted the arrest as a "publicity stunt" in the latest chapter in the public and ongoing feud between the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the humane society.

Trevor Smith, more commonly known as Tre, was arrested at the THS's River St. facility.

Smith was a star on the reality TV show The Lofters, and was a frequent guest on CP24's Animal House Calls.

He also appeared on Sun TV's Pet Thursday.

Smith was charged with two counts of impersonating a peace officer and one count of perjury.

Smith made no comment as two Toronto Police officers walked him out to an awaiting patrol car.

Mark Beauchamp, an OSPCA agent based in Newmarket, was arrested yesterday morning and charged with obstruction of a peace officer over allegations he informed humane society staff on June 2 that the OSCPA was on its way to investigate.

"These new arrests reveal that this ongoing investigation of the THS is necessary in order to protect animals in need and uphold the public trust in the institutions that have been established to protect these animals," OSPCA chief executive officer Kate MacDonald said in a statement.

Outside the THS yesterday, OSCPA lawyer Chris Avery said Smith was charged for allegedly claiming in an October 2009 affidavit that he hadn't been acting as a peace officer or an animal cruelty investigator since his OSCPA investigator's badge was suspended.

The OSPCA believes Smith continued to act in the capacity of a peace officer after his badge was taken in June, Avery said.

A news release issued yesterday informed the media that an arrest at the THS facility would take place at 4 p.m. and that OSPCA reps would be available for comment afterward.

Reporters and photographers arrived and waited before two Toronto cops brought Smith out in handcuffs.

Avery denied the agency is putting on a show by inviting media to the arrests.

"It's a matter of public interest, the public has a right to know what's going on, and it appears to be a matter of media interest as well, so when something like this takes place, the media have a right to know as with any large, important arrest," he said.

Addario wasn't buying it.

"It is appalling that media arrived before the police did today," he said.

"This is not a tactic that professional law enforcement use in Canada. It is (an) American-style publicity stunt that can damage reputations.

"The allegations against Mr. Smith are serious and they will need to be examined carefully in court.

"However, there is no necessity for handcuffing or a perp walk," Addario said.

"I deplore the use of tactics that have the effect of gratuitously embarrassing people who have been arrested on unproven allegations."


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