It appears 21 alleged fighting dogs who were at risk of being euthanized may be saved.
The owners of the dogs have allowed Dog Tales, a dog rescue facility in King City, to adopt the animals, the facility says.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) had filed an application in January to kill the animals, which they had seized in an alleged dogfighting ring in Tilbury last October.
The OSPCA says the 21 dogs haven’t received any attempts at behavioural rehabilitation, the Canadian Press reports.
According to Dog Tales, the dogs can be rescued.
“The issues present are nothing that we haven’t seen before, and nothing that we feel cannot be changed with time, patience, and the proper technique.” says Clare Forndran, a spokesperson at Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.
“The OSPCA was clear from the beginning that they could not work with rescue [facilities] willing to take in the dogs, as they were not the owner of the dogs. Now that the owners of the dogs have agreed to [give] the dogs to Dog Tales, we see no reason why the OSPCA shouldn’t work with us in order to save 21 lives.” said John Nunziata, the lawyer for Dog Tales.
“My clients have agreed to the adoption of the dogs as a means of avoiding their unnecessary destruction,” said Ken Marley, defence lawyer for the owners.
Because the dogs have been deemed pit bulls by the OSPCA, there is an added complication because pit bulls are banned in the province. Only a pound can take in pit bull-type dogs and Dog Tales is not a pound.
Nunziata said the sanctuary is applying to the local municipality in an effort to get that designation.
Brian Shiller, who represents the OSPCA, said it doesn’t matter who owns the dogs.
“When a dog is bred to fight, it’s very dangerous to have them out there,” Shiller said.
“What if the OSPCA acquiesces and says they can all be rehabilitated and then one dog goes to a family and rips into a five year old? We can’t take that risk.”
The case is in court on Thursday.
With files from Alanna Kelly