Twenty-one dogs who were “rescued” from an alleged dogfighting ring in Chatham, Ontario are now slated for euthanasia, CBC News reported on Friday. According to the Kelowna Daily Courier, the Ontario, Canada SPCA is trying to receive approval to euthanize the “pit bull type” dogs, who were seized last year from a dogfighting ring.
Brad Dewar, inspector with the Ontario SPCA, stated that three dogs were euthanized in December – and that it was “in their best interest” to kill them. According to Dewar, it is highly unusual to ask for the euthanasia of one dog – let alone almost two dozen. Dewar said that in his six years at the SPCA, this is the largest number of dogs that the courts have requested to be euthanized. He stated: “This is only the second time I’ve had to request an application like this. It is not an easy decision to make.”
Two months before the dogs were killed, Dewar said that he “didn’t believe that any of the animals seized were in a condition that suggested their lives were in danger.” While the dogs’ lives were not “in danger” when they were rescued from the dogfighting operation, their euthanasias – and potentially those of 21 others – were requested in the interest of public safety, the animals, and with the recommendation of “industry experts.”
The Michael Vick case, which was one of the most highly publicized dogfighting rescue in recent memory, saw dozens of “pit bull type” dogs rescued from deplorable conditions. These animals experienced unimaginable torture. And according to the ALDF, only one of these dogs was euthanized.
In Oct. of 2015, CBC News reported that 31 dogs were seized from a property in Tilbury East Township, Ontario. Three people were charged in connection with the dogfighting ring at that time; one month later, a third person was charged with weapons and drug offenses.
According to the Tilbury East Township Police, hundreds of dogfighting training items were seized at the residence at the time of the bust. The four people who were charged in connection with the dogfighting ring were unhappy that the animals were euthanized. “[My clients] are disturbed and upset that the animals have been destroyed and that the SPCA is seeking to destroy more of them,” stated Defense attorney Ken Marley.
Dewar stated that a court date to determine the fate of the remaining dogs is possible as early as next week. The individuals, ranging in age from 21 to their mid-40s, face more than 270 charges. Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.