In October 2015, a group of dogs were seized from an alleged fighting ring in Tilbury, Ontario, by the Ontario SPCA. When the dogs were first rescued, animal lovers rejoiced. But that joy soon turned to devastation, when, just a few short months after their rescue, the Ontario SPCA submitted an application to the court seeking permission to euthanize 21 of the dogs.
Countless rescue groups came forward offering to provide rehabilitative services to these dogs in order to ensure that, after all that the dogs had endured, they would be given a fair chance at a happy life. The Ontario SPCA refused all offers to help, and continued to seek the court's permission to euthanize the dogs.
Three separate animal welfare groups - Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary, Animal Justice, and Bullies In Need - then filed applications with the court for intervenor status, in hopes of preventing the application to euthanize the dogs from being successful. After nearly a year of courtroom delays, the Justice of the Peace responsible for the case chose to refuse all intervenor applications.
These dogs are running out of options, and out of time. But sometimes the best solutions are the most simple solutions. Just as the Ontario SPCA was able to submit an application seeking permission to euthanize the dogs, the Ontario SPCA can also withdraw their application seeking permission to euthanize the dogs. We just need to convince them that it's the right thing to do.
Our team of experts have had the opportunity to carefully review all behavioural assessments submitted to the court in support of the Ontario SPCA's application to euthanize the dogs. When reviewing the assessments, we did not see dogs who were "too far gone" to receive help - we saw dogs who were scared, dogs who were excited, and even a dog who could not focus on her assessment because she was so worried about her puppies. Out of 21 assessments , only 4 dogs showed any form of aggression towards humans, and some, like dog #31 (whose assessment is pictured below), showed no aggression whatsoever. To deny these dogs help after all that they have already suffered at the hands of humans is not rescue. These dogs can be helped, they can be rehabilitated, and they can become a part of a family. We have put together a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, which involves transferring the dogs to the Dogs Playing for Life National Canine Centre for Advanced Behaviour Support, based out of the North Florida Animal Rescue. There, rehabilitation will begin under the direction of Aimee Sadler - one of the world's most accomplished canine behaviour modification experts.