In Chatham, the Ontario SPCA is seeking permission to euthanize 21 dogs seized from a dog fighting ring in Tilbury last year. The organization continues to care for the dogs, however according to the Chatham Daily News, Inspector Brad Dewar states the dogs are not the SPCA’s property, and therefore he is not permitted to accept the multiple offers willing to evaluate the dogs for both their temperaments and their health.
Rescue organizations, trainers and behavioral experts across the country have offered to help, including the owner of Handsome Dan, one of the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick dog fighting operation. Heather Gutshall, who lives in Rhode Island, is a certified dog trainer and behavioral consultant and stated she offered her services at no charge, however has never received a response. Heather operates Handsome Dan’s Rescue and has fostered several dogs who had been victims of dog fighting operations and notes how the attitudes have changed since Vick’s case, citing the extraordinary success of dogs that have been rehabilitated. “What they found were these dogs were not dangerous. They were extremely unsociable ‘with no exposure to the outside world,'” Heather explained. And the Rhode Island rescue was not the only help offered. In Ontario, Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in King City, offered to take all of the dogs last November; again at their own expense. The organization is extremely disappointed to hear the dogs might all be euthanized. “We do not believe that these dogs should be punished for the abuse that they have endured, nor should they be killed because of their breed,” stated media director Clare Forndran of the organization.
Chatham-Kent police seized 31 dogs as part of a dog fighting bust last October; four people are facing a total of more than 500 charges. The animals have all been described as “pitbull type dogs.” At the time of the bust, 31 dogs were seized, in addition to one dog found dead. Three of the dogs were previously euthanized in December. According to Inspector Brad Dewar, in his six years at the agency, this is the most dogs he has ever asked to euthanize, stating the reasons are for the benefit of the dogs and for public safety. Dewar explained an order to euthanize that many dogs is extremely rare. “This is only the second time I’ve had to request an application like this,” he said. “It is not an easy decision to make.” It beguiles logic how anyone could state the dogs need to be euthanized for their own benefit.
Dewar contends the decision to euthanize the dogs was not due to the Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario banning any pitbull type dogs under the age of ten. On the Facebook page of the Ontario SPCA, Thursday’s announcement stated a surrendered “pit bull type dog” named Kenna had been successfully rehabilitated and transferred to a Quebec shelter to be adopted. The court date for the application to euthanize the 21 dogs is scheduled for March 10. Read the previous story here.
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