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OSPCA files court application to destroy 21 pit bulls

Discussion in 'Pit Bull News' started by Vicki, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    OSPCA files court application to destroy 21 pit bulls


    Tuesday, February 23, 2016 12:52:05 EST AM

    Lawyers are lining up to fight a court application by Ontario's animal welfare organization to destroy 21 dogs seized in an alleged Chatham-area dog fighting ring.

    The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a charity with policing powers, has already killed three dogs for medical reasons, ostensibly on the recommendation of two veterinarians. The society said the application to euthanize 21 pit bulls is due to irreconcilable behavioural issues.

    "Ultimately this is the most humane course and is in the interest of public safety," the OSPCA's Brad Dewar said in an interview.

    In an unlikely alliance, several lawyers representing animal rights groups said they will try to intervene in the case alongside the lawyer representing the four people accused of running the alleged dog fighting ring.

    "It's appalling to see the law enforcement agency tasked with protecting animals going to court to actually attempt to execute them," said Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, an animal rights organization that's considering a legal intervention in the case.

    "These dogs themselves are innocent victims of an alleged dog fighting operation."

    Labchuk said her organization is also considering intervening in the case to give a legal voice to the animals. It's a rare occurrence for an animal rights organization to intervene in court, but Animal Justice was recently successful in intervening in a Supreme Court case about bestiality.

    Ken Marley, who represents all four people accused in the case -- they collectively face more than 300 charges related to owning pit bulls, animal cruelty and weapons-related offences -- said he will "vigorously oppose the destruction of any more of his clients' dogs.

    "It's disturbing to me that three of them have been destroyed already without a court order," Marley said, adding that he and his clients didn't find out about those deaths, which occurred in December, until two weeks ago when he received the society's court application.

    "Usually if there are charges under the Dog Owners' Liability Act, the destruction of the dogs will be determined after the conclusion of the trial, but the Crown Attorney's office is trying to get this application done more quickly."

    Last October, Chatham-Kent police and the OSPCA raided a home in southwestern Ontario -- Tilbury Township -- and seized 31 pit bulls, which are banned in the province, alleging they were part of a dog fighting ring.

    Elizabeth Quinto, a lawyer in Cambridge, Ont., says she's planning on intervening on behalf of several dog rescue and animal rights organizations.

    "I want the OSPCA to allow a third party, a reputable rescue or reputable behaviour assessment specialist, to come in, positively assess the dogs and be able to allow rescues to take them out of the province," she said.

    Dewar said that likely won't happen, explaining that although the dogs are in the society's care, they are still the property of the owners. Either the dogs are destroyed if the court agrees with its application, or they remain with the OSPCA.

    "We have no legal authority to move those dogs out of our care, they have to remain there, unless the decision by the court is to have them humanely euthanized," Dewar said, adding that the dogs are currently being housed at an undisclosed location.

    He said it was a difficult decision for the OSPCA to proceed with the application to kill the dogs.

    "No agency involved in the health and welfare of animals wants to see animals removed from a situation to end up with a fate to be humanely euthanized."

    Labchuk has sent a letter to the OSPCA, imploring the society to allow for an independent assessment of the dogs, saying there are many rescue organizations who are willing to help out.

    She cited the success of similar organizations that stepped in to work with nearly 50 dogs seized from an infamous dog fighting ring in the United States operated by former NFL star Michael Vick.

    "All except for one of the Michael Vick dogs were successfully rehabilitated," she said. "That case goes to show the amazing progress dogs can take when given half a chance."

    Vick pleaded guilty to dog fighting charges and spent 18 months in a federal prison.

    The OSPCA's application goes to court March 10, when a date will be set to hear the case. Dewar said seven other dogs seized are doing well and won't be put down.

    Animal welfare and rescue groups said they'll protest the issue outside the OSPCA's headquarters in Newmarket, Ont., on Saturday.


    31: Pit bull-type dogs seized near Merlin on Oct. 9, 2015.

    3: Dogs euthanized in December. 21: Dogs whose euthanization fate a court will decide.

    53,000+: Names on an online petition calling for the dogs to be spared.

    7: Dogs evaluated for rehabilitation.

    4: People facing hundreds of animal cruelty, drug, firearm charges.

    Lawyers lining up to save dogs | North Bay Nugget
  2. Flipside

    Flipside CH Dog

    Fortunately laws in Canada aren't as server as they are in the USA. Nothing should happen and no decisions should be made on them dogs until the accused if/are sentenced.
  3. Dry creek and flipside could be responsible according to those that know
  4. Forever-So REAL

    Forever-So REAL Quintuple Grand Champion

  5. Zoe

    Zoe CH Dog

    I tried everythung I could to save some of the dogs. The judge shot us down. Super freakun bummed right now...
  6. Zoe

    Zoe CH Dog

    Excuse the typos. My phone is a piece of crap..
  7. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    From Bullies in Need FB page:


    It's a given that most dogs from these cases are under socialized, under exercised, hyper aroused and will likely fail badly with other dogs, but the job of the evaluator in our opinion is to identify the dogs that show some promise and then set them up to succeed in a foster setting with the best opportunities to rest, decompress and re-socialize.
    An evaluator's main objective should not be to determine which dog(s) should die, but rather, which dogs can be matched to available resources, including qualified organizations that are set up to meet their specific needs. If rescue resources just can't be located after an honest search, it's understandable when euthanasia becomes necessary. But of course then the humans wear the blame for the deaths, not the dogs themselves. A compassionate society doesn't blame the victims of abuse for their fates.

    When the application came forward from the OSPCA to euthanize 21 dogs, BIN was the first to apply to intervene and offer solutions, as we have done for the last 11 years when a prohibited Pit Bull has entered the shelter or court system and we have had great success so we figured the same outcome would happen for these dogs. We then teamed up with Animal Justice in order to better the chances for the dogs. Unfortunately, the efforts of the groups were denied.

    When the OSPCA or even our Court System jumps too quickly to condemn a dog without exploring viable options or even asking for a second opinion, we have a problem. The dogs fates were sealed long before the courts even heard the applications due solely to the fact they are Pit Bulls in a Province where they are illegal. This needs to change, we need to recognize that Ontario laws need to change to ensure this never happens again.

    We WILL NOT be appealing to " save the dogs" because as much as we would love for them to have an opportunity to have a better life, sometimes the kindest thing you can offer an animal is compassion and sometimes that comes in the form of humane euthanasia. Our mandate has always been to better the breed, and for the quality of life we can offer a dog. These dogs need peace and we hope that they finally receive it.

    Thank you to everyone who donated to the legal fund, who shared, who rallied and hoped. Let's channel that energy towards trying to find a solution to END BSL in Ontario.

    To the Chatham 21 dogs - We hope you are able to rock the bridge quickly and your mental and physical anguish is relieved.
  8. Zoe

    Zoe CH Dog

    Just fuckin heart broken...
  9. AGK

    AGK Super duper pooper scooper Administrator

    Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do is to euthanize them.

    These people really believe that crock of shit.

    One from here is caught up in a similar situation. fucking shame she'll never leave AC alive. How humane.


    There is still Vise and Hannibal alive and unfixed.

    The others have been shipped to Jacksonville, Florida ,and Novia Scotia

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