Oh, that Tre Smith

by W. Andrew Powell

Call me daft, but it’s taken until today for me to realize the Tre Smith on the news, who is a Toronto Humane Society officer, is the same Tre from U8TV: The Lofters. I guess I never really got to know Tre that well, and I always expected him to take off into acting, but it’s very cool to see where he’s gone.

Hopefully this mess with his suspension can be cleared up, and he can get back to work. He’s certainly gotten quite a following from Toronto animal lovers. As far as the allegations against him are concerned, I’m not going to speculate on what might have happened on the scene, but the OSPCA and THS should be standing by Tre until they get through all the facts. It feels a bit like they’ve just distanced themselves from his actions more than anything else.

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F Harris August 17, 2007 - 4:15 pm

Tre Smith should be fired immediately. The dog owner was charged and
deserves his day in court. If he is guilty then let the Judge sentence
him. There was no need for Tre Smith to be the Judge, Jury &
Executioner. It was complete stupidity to Leave the dog owner handcuffed
to his car with a viscous mob. Tre Smith had the dog owners name and
license plate number. He should have let the dog owner go. The police
could track him down very easily since they would have had his name and
license plate number. Why has Tre Smith still Not filled a report on the
incident? Could it be because he knows what he did was wrong? Also since
when are humane society workers allowed to arrest and handcuff someone?
Did Tre Smith read the dog owner his rights? Only police officers should
be allowed to arrest and handcuff someone & there is no way that police
officers would handcuff someone to their car and then just leave them
with an unruly mob. This dog owner is now going to sue the humane
society for major money and he will win. How would you like to be
handcuffed while an angry mob punches you in the face and throws rocks
at you, the dog owner lost 3 teeth while he was beat and unable to
defend himself as he was handcuffed to the car? What the dog owner did
was wrong but what Tre Smith did was MUCH worse.

GATEkeeper August 17, 2007 - 4:44 pm

Wow – Holy rant Batman. I don’t think anyone reading about this case, or watching TV news has gotten the full details yet. I’d reserve your own judgement, and my own as well, for when we know more – if you want to talk about judging that is.

Some of the details you question have also been revealed. Tre’s report has to go through the Toronto Humane Society before the OSPCA gets it (or, again, so I’ve read).

Anyway, time will tell.

mike. August 17, 2007 - 6:01 pm

holy rant my ass. tre was an idiot on the lofters and he’s demonstrated his limited mental capacity here. either he handcuffed the guy intentionally to get some media attention (not implausible), or he didn’t feel that he needed to take responsibility for the health & safety of someone he had “arrested”. if a cop did this he’d be strung up, but because it’s an animal control officer, he’s a hero. people are nuts.

GATEKeeper August 18, 2007 - 12:23 am

I think a lot of people who are slamming Tre have to think about the chain of events. If the suspect was being abusive or ill tempered in some way, and the dog needed serious medical attention, AND the police told Tre they were moments away, then I’m not sure Tre can be blamed.

In the end Tre’s case seems to come down to neglect. No matter what happened the biggest issue seems to be that Tre may have left the suspect unattended.

mike. August 19, 2007 - 1:26 am

MAY have left the suspect unattended? this isn’t in dispute – he handcuffed him and drove off.

and even if the suspect was abusive or ill-tempered, he should have just taken the dog and left. regardless if the police were moments away. Tre is a cowboy, and he’s a danger to the community.

why on earth are you defending him?

GATEKeeper August 19, 2007 - 9:41 pm

I don’t understand how anyone who has read a newspaper or watched the news can presume to know everything about a case. That’s all I’m saying. Does The Star or the Globe and Mail get every detail? Do we turn to them to make decisions about criminal cases?

I’d also say he’s only a danger to people who seem to have abandoned pets in blazing, overheated cars.

mike. August 20, 2007 - 11:41 am

the “you don’t know all the facts” argument is only relevant when all the facts matter. in this case they don’t. he handcuffed a guy (to a stationary object no less!) and left him there. that’s all you need to know. what if the guy had been more seriously injured or killed? would you still be defending him then?

tre is a danger to every toroto taxpayer, because you can believe that his error in judgement is going to cost the city a substantial amount of money.

GATEkeeper August 20, 2007 - 5:12 pm

I’m just going to leave it at this – Tre may have made a huge mistake, but the ridiculous part of this case is that anyone would beat a man who was handcuffed to a car. Tre’s actions are minor compared to that crime.

mike. August 23, 2007 - 10:33 am

i agree with you that Tre made a huge mistake, and that is is ridiculous that anyone would beat a man who was handcuffed to a car. Where we seem to disagree is that I feel Tre is also responsible for the beating the man took because he abandoned him in a defenceless position. Tre failed to ensure the safety of a man he arrested. If he was a police officer, he’d be suspended, not just on a desk job (and doing interviews on city tv where he comes off as a cocky son of a bitch who doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and just wants to “get back out there on the front lines”, as if this is some type of war – hotheads like this should not be in positions of authority).

What it comes down to here is everyone is a dick. The dude with the dog locked in the car is a dick. The guys that beat on the dude when he was handcuffed are dicks. And Tre is the biggest dick because he abandoned the guy when he should have known better, and he thinks he did nothing wrong.

Lunachick August 25, 2007 - 2:54 pm

I do agree that all the people involved made poor decisions. I think we can all agree that Cyrus is the innocent party here. Paul Soderholm is trying to regain custody of Cyrus. If you think he shouldn’t be awarded custody of Cyrus, please sign this petition:

mike. August 27, 2007 - 12:30 am

i think he should be awarded custody of tre smith ;)

Janice August 27, 2007 - 9:23 am

If brain dead Paul would of let Tre do his job & look after Cyrus he claims so much to love, none of this would be happening. Think about it We already caught this guy in a few lies. One saying there was a cool breeze & kept checking on him. Bullshit if everyone reacalls that day was one of the hottest days and for days the TV, Radio & News issued heat alerts & urged pet owners to leave them at home in AC if possible. I heard over & over not to leave your animal outside or in a vehicle. Paul decided to ignore these heat alerts & left his only friend that would of protected him to die. This is not a mistake this was Stupidity brainless and he should never get Cyrus back. I do know this if I left my dog & came down & saw anyone trying to save his life I would be so upset at myself . I would run over get down on my knees & comfert him while Tre was trying to save him. I sure would not have tried to stop him or push him out of the way from trying to save my dog. But then I would of never had my dogs locked in a vehicle where it can reach 70 degrees cel. which is almost 160 Fahrenheit & only took matter of minutes to reach. Pauls is a complete brainless asshole. I guess hhis so called friends left him out to dry, while the only friend that would of helped his, Paul left him to die. I am with Tre 110%

marianne August 31, 2007 - 6:58 pm

I am with Tre 100 percent! Any idiot who leaves his dog to die in a car should be shot . Handcuffing him to the car was way too lenient an act!!!!

mike. September 4, 2007 - 11:24 am

it’s pretty obvious that janice and marianne are nutjobs too. thank god neither of them have handcuffs…

Francesco September 20, 2007 - 2:37 pm

As a SPCA agent, Tre Smith witnesses horrific animal abuse cases daily. Most of them are probably 100 times worse than what this guy did to his dog. If he is a loose cannon who cannot control his emotions, I am sure he would have blown up long long time ago. The explanation as I read is that the dog owner was actively PREVENTING Tre from taking the dog away for treatment. As a result Tre made the decision to restraint this guy. The guy is clearly lying when he said that he checks on his dog every 20 minutes and he would turn the aircon on in his car cool the animal down. There is no way the animal would be in the dire state it was at had he been checking at the intervals he stated. So let’s say if you see a kid that’s close to dying in the street and some guy is preventing you from taking him to the hospital, would you try to restraint this guy so you can save the kids?

Daisy October 11, 2007 - 3:25 pm

I absolutely despise people who abuse animals. The guy got what he deserved. He should never be allowed to own an animal again. It’s about time we started handling these low-lifes like the criminals they are. Enough is enough!

Debbie October 13, 2007 - 10:55 pm

Im with Tre 100%. But my biggest concern is, If this Paul is a father, then he should have his children taken away. If he feels it is okay to take an animal out in the heat of that day and leave it unattended to roast in his vehicle, then this is the type of individual that would not think twice of leaving a sleeping baby unattended in a car seat in the heat with the windows down a crack while he goes in to shop. This man should not be allowed to be a parent or own another animal. I also feel Paul should undergo psychological assessment as I am feelign that this man may have been abandoned or left in an awkward, or mental damaging situation which has led him to behave in this manner.

Dave October 30, 2007 - 9:36 am

I can’t believe what I’m reading on this board. Some of you guys need to get your heads adjusted. The facts are in dispute regarding the dog. That’s the deal. The fact that isn’t in dispute is that Tre handcuffed the guy in front of a hostile crowd. Anyone justifying that is an apologist for someone whose actions were clearly out of bounds. I hope Paul Soderholm sues their asses. It’s amazing that you people actually believe the speculation in the press over the actual known facts. You’re brainwashed. I don’t think anyone is debating whether dogs should be treated well – and that animal abuse should be a crime. The debate is about what happened – and what is undispusted is frankly hard to believe. I wish none of you ever have to be in the position of being judged by angry people that have partial information and are being led by their emotions. It’s quite possible Soderholm did nothing wrong. How many of you people have been screwed around by bureaucrats? I doubt it’s a rare thing. But in this case you prefer to believe one – a known media whore. Yeah. Tre’s judgment is unimpeachable. Right.

James October 30, 2007 - 10:19 am

Re Dave’s comments. Why is Tre’s action wrong if Soderholm is preventing him from treating the dog? If somebody prevents paramedics from treating a sick child steps aways from death, is it wrong to restraint that person? How did you come to your conclusion? So Soderholm may ‘have done nothing’ wrong by leaving his dog in a car where the inside cabin temperture is high enough to give cause brain damage? Perhaps you should experiment with this and see how it feels to be Soderholm’s dog. Sadly you have to wait until next summer though.

Anti-Dave October 30, 2007 - 2:17 pm

I can’t believe what Dave has written. He needs to get his head adjusted. The facts are in dispute regarding whether there is a need to handcuff Soderholm, the irresponsible and allegedly aggressive owner. That’s the deal. The fact that isn’t in dispute is that Tre the dog is seconds from dying and Tre saved it. Anyone justifying Paul Soderholm’s action that is an apologist for someone whose actions were inhumane and cruel. I hope Tre Smith sues his ass. It’s amazing that Dave actually believes the his imagination over the actual known facts. He is brainwashed. I don’t think anyone is debating whether dogs should be treated well – and that animal abuse should be a crime. The debate is about what happened – and what is undispusted is frankly hard to believe. I wish Dave encounters the situation where some cruel inhumane brute is beating him and nobody like Tre Smith is around to help. Hopefully all the bystanders will consult with their lawyers rather than let their “emotions” take over to save Dave. It’s quite possible Tre did nothing wrong. How many of you people have been screwed around by bureaucrats? I doubt it’s a rare thing. . Yeah. Dave’s judgment is unimpeachable. Right.

HAL-9000 October 30, 2007 - 5:32 pm

Hello D A V E
I detected an imminent system failure … your brain has malfunctioned

Ahmed Barabora October 30, 2007 - 5:50 pm

What if the guy, Paul, suffered a heat stroke or a heart attack while being handcuffed to the car? No matter what he did, I do not think he deserved the treatment he got!
Why is this stupid idiot Tre Smith values the welfare of an animal more than the life of a fellow human? I would not feel safe while he is around! They should put him in the nut house!

Joey October 30, 2007 - 7:33 pm

What kind of “human being” is Paul Soderholm anyway? They say that you can judge a society by how it treats its weakest member. Well if Paul SOB represents the typical human being, then it is a pretty sad world. Do you really think that someone who abuses his dog like that cares about anyone else but himself. You should not feel safe around Paul SOB!
I work with Children’s Aid and frequently witness parents who think they have the right to mistreat their kids and tries to prevents us from taking them. In these cases they are incarcerated by officers who accompany us. Is Ahmed saying that we should just let these poor kids continue to be abused because the poor poor parents may get a heart attack because they are stopped from us taking away their abused children? Nice going, nice logic.

GATEKeeper October 30, 2007 - 8:55 pm

I really appreciate that you’ve all taken the time to discuss this topic here, but at some point you’re going to have to accept that you’re not going to agree on this.

There is also something to be said for a fair and even view of the world, but it’s not something I’d accuse most of you of.

Anyway, play nice kids.

Dave November 1, 2007 - 10:19 pm

Genius responses guys. Like I said. You’re fueled by emotion and are unable to question your belief system (or what you want to believe, anyway). Hey, if you have valid points I’ll listen to them. I’m even willing to change my mind. But I haven’t heard anything that would. If you want to convince someone try logic not victimization next time.

To Anti-Dave. I’m surprised we can exist in the same universe and it won’t collapse. Anyway, to your points.
– how do we know the dog was seconds from dying? Did the vet say that? Or are you believing Tre. This particular point of yours is not fact. But it is a convenient belief. For you anyway.
– noone is justifying Paul Soderholm’s actions. Animal abuse is wrong. Nice that you would put words in my mouth though. Hey try to make the people who don’t buy your particular brand of koolaid evil. It’s an awesome strategy. Why aren’t you in politics?
– Tre Smith is an awesome saviour guy who helps people in distress. Did you watch the Lofters? Tre Smith illegally handcuffed someone so they could be beat up. He didn’t say, oh I don’t know, get on the phone and call his people to come and watch out or even ask for guidance. He didn’t go to the pub nearby and get someone to help. He didn’t do any of the things that you might want to do to justify your behaviour when you illegally handcuff someone. He just said fuck it.
Also, re: the Tre Smith suing someone. Uh. The reason he’s under suspension is because the OSPCA realizes he is actually in the wrong and they want to distance themselves from him. Because it would look bad when BeatUpGuy sues and they haven’t done anything. Makes his case a little bit stronger no? Oh right. You must have forgotten that the OSPCA has already dropped this guy. Does that make them bad people too because they don’t support the all mighty Tre? Those bad people that help animals. And on we go…

Wtf are you trying to say? I’m unable to discern a coherent thought there. How does Paul Soderholm become a bad parent now? What’s the evidence of that? How the fuck would you know? But I guess, like many of the people here, that it’s better to demonize than think. You’re right. It is a sad world. When people like you would rather hate than think.

Yeah that joke is played out man.

Tally ho!

Dave November 3, 2007 - 12:23 pm


Guys, you need to come up with a better strategy to get your point across other than character assassination. I guess you’ve failed to realize that I keep calling you on this and , like a crazy person who does the same thing over and over again hoping for different results, you keep doing it. Sad. Pretty fucking sad. If this is the best that Toronto has in terms of socially-conscious people it’s no surprise the city is in the state that it’s in. And for the record, I’ve never met Paul Soderholm and I certainly don’t support what he did. But that doesn’t make Tre a hero. Sorry, no amount of empty fury will conjure this up as truth.

Jack November 6, 2007 - 11:54 am

I read that a number of non profit organizations and big corporations have extended employment offers to Tre. He is definitely doing quite well and he may end up as a spokesman for PETA! As for Soderholm, I think he’s going to have a slightly more difficult time finding employment… enough said.

Russell T November 7, 2007 - 3:22 pm

From reading the latest exchanges, I think the point is that

Some people acknowledge that the dog owner is irresponsible but that does not automatically make Tre Smith right in the way he handled the situtiation. Hundred of SPCA agents are out there dealing with animal abuse cases and yet they do not make it to the front pages, why, because they follow protocol. Perhaps Tre let his temper get the best of him, something we are all guilty of, at one time or another, BUT being in a position of authority, that could be dangerous. Ask yourself, do you really want cops out who act on impulse?
Again, not to judge anyone prematurely, the truth will eventually come out. Sadly in a case like this, nobody wins.

Dave November 8, 2007 - 5:39 pm

I am tired of listening to all you bleeding hear liberal animal lovers. Time to grab my beer, hop on the pickup and get my buddy Paul Soderholm. It’s dog fight night tonight. YEE HAAAAAA

Dave November 8, 2007 - 5:44 pm

In case you idiots are wondering, the above message was not me. It’s an imposter. While I do think it is okay to leave one’s dog in a hot car if one has a legitimate excuse, I do not support dog fights. There is a big difference in being forgetful and leave one’s dog in a hot car by mistake and intentionally abusing animals.
Tally ho!

Dave November 8, 2007 - 5:46 pm

Yawn… I am the real Dave. The last 5 posts are fake. I cannot believe how low you guys will go to discredit me. I support Tre Smith 100%. My ex-girlfriend must be here.

The real Dave November 8, 2007 - 5:48 pm

I am signing off for good. I cannot believe how stupid this is getting. I love animals. Someone, most likely friends of Paul Soderholm is trying to make it look like there are people who support him. I don’t think so. Go Tre Go!!!

GATEKeeper November 8, 2007 - 5:51 pm

FYI – for anyone who cares – the last four posts all came from the same IP address. Yep, can you say multiple personality disorder?

Sam Jones November 8, 2007 - 11:54 pm

You guys are absolute idiot ass%&**&. Paul Soderholm was attacking Smith while Smith was trying to revive Cyrus. Smith told Soderholm to step back multiple times, but he wouldn’t and kept getting in Smith’s way and Smith didn’t have time to go wait or escort Soderholm away from the dog. Smith handcuffed him to the car so he could revive Cyrus. Otherwise, Cyrus would be a dead dog. Understand now? Get your facts straight before shooting off about stuff you know nothing about

Paul Wills November 16, 2007 - 5:01 pm

I find the most fishy thing to be:


He only has to report the truth, and there are dozens of witnesses to back up his story. His official statement is that he wants to see the OSPCA’s notes from interviewing witnesses first before filing his own report. Again WHY??? Perhaps he is afraid his side of the story may be refuted by what witnesses saw? I am not supporting the dog owner but I just find this very questiionable.

herself December 8, 2007 - 9:44 pm

Tre Smith has been reinstated back to his job I’d say that FACT speaks for itself !!
He was justified in what he did .

Jenz December 9, 2007 - 12:35 am

I would for sure do the SAME thing Tre did, even if it delt with a gang member/child abuser /anyone who was being attacked/abused for sure … If I had back up I would have probably beat the crap out of that loser owner with NO REGRETS ! For some poster’s…. you have not been raised correctley, and need to get on med’s for sure ! ** Now here’s my devil adv. coming.. yah.. u probably haven’t checked this in awhile, but who ever u are…. I know some people are animal lovers/ some just aren’t as the majority of us, so I’ll give u some slack. But animals are the one Humans’s Have Always depended on for farming,herding,protection etc, besides being a pet/family member to that home. Have a heart, and it shocks me these typical (male) **no offence to other men/males out there** comments. Hoping Karma and Santa sends you more then coal in your stocking !!**
BTW : I lost a dear good friend … resently, and NO one NO one came to help him, I doubt a certain poster above, would stand up and then on that fact, report it, act on it ?! If an accident or crime of any type what would u do ?! When you witness something so horrible/tradgic .. it depends on that person(s) would do, maybe these stupid people just don’t like other’s DON’T want to “get involved” .. I say shame on all of those who were there and haven’t said anything …. gonna bite my tongue now… cause I wasn’t there but even if i was I would have hit everyone of them afterwards for sure. I’m glad Tre is getting his position back more stand up/ good people in this Proven. need it !!!
ANd on that sour note, I due want to say this is My opinion… and I do hope and wish the best for all, expect for those who are narrow minded/abusers in any catorgory. Happy holidays to one and all, Best wishes for u and your’s this next coming 2008 !

Kelsey December 9, 2007 - 8:52 pm

I was watching the news just now…and I kept on thinking I recognized this guy. And then I remembered The Lofters! He was also on Queer as Folk at one point. I think it’s awesome that he went from wanting to be an actor to doing some good…I don’t know enough details about what happened, but good on him for working as an animal rescuer.

Mitch December 10, 2007 - 7:49 pm

Don’t any of you know how completely fucked up the THS is?? Have you not heard… that place has practically been run into the ground by a psycho volunteer who seems to be solely interested in CONTROLLING people!! How about you check out http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SavetheTHS/ and get a little more insight into what’s going on there.

As a former volunteer and employee, I can tell you that anyone who has a concience, a backbone and true desire to help animals does not last long there as it is completely heartbreaking to not be able to do what you know is right for the animals, simply because someone else wants to have control and say over absolutely everything. And in the process, not too enjoyable being berated on a daily basis. The only reason I lasted as long as I did was purely for the animals. To speak up while volunteering or employed there will only get you fired fast. So that’s why every good person who actually gives a shit about the animals ends up leaving sooner or later.
So I have to wonder, what is Tre still doing there? Does it not occur to people that perhaps he is a total media whore?? He went from Lofters now every bloody chance he can get it seems, he’s on t.v.! Fifteen minutes is up buddy! Look at the THS website; they use every oppportunity to plaster his face and story all over it… I have an idea – how about you focus on the animals for once instead of another b.s. photo op…

Dudley December 11, 2007 - 12:35 pm

I can’t believe that they reinstated him. What a terrible example and message it sends to this type of individual. Nobody adores dogs more than I do but to say that it’s okay to treat another human being in the fashion that this so-called anti-cruielty officer did is disgraceful. It seems that all ethics and respect are no longer important. This type of individual will definitely screw up again. To give somebody with this mentality authority over other people is so dangerous because next time the screw-up will be worse.

Dudley December 11, 2007 - 12:37 pm

Mitch – Is there any way you could contact me as I would like to get your feedback about a situation I had involving the THS. My email address is [email protected].

JenniferBlowJobHedger January 8, 2010 - 10:05 am

Tre Smith is arrested at the Toronto Humane Society headquarters at Queen and River Sts. A senior THS agent, Smith is accused of continuing to act as an animal cruelty investigator despite his suspension last June when the OSPCA stripped the THS of its affiliate status. (Jan. 7, 2010)


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