Animal Justice is seeking leave to intervene in a court case in Chatham, Ontario to help save the lives of 21 dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting ring in October, 2015.
Three individuals are facing hundreds of criminal animal cruelty and dogfighting charges in relation to the dogs. Meanwhile, the Ontario SPCA is asking a court to order the execution of the rescued dogs under provincial dog owner responsibility laws. It claims the dogs are pit bulls and the public will not be safe as long as the dogs are alive.
Dogfighting is a heinous crime and has no place in society. It is deeply distressing that the dogs — themselves allegedly victims of a brutal crime — could be made to pay the ultimate price for the immoral and illegal actions of humans. It is also troubling that as the agency with a mandate to protect animals, the Ontario SPCA is instead seeking their death.
At Animal Justice, we believe the victims of dogfighting deserve our help and compassion — not execution. We’re asking the court to let us participate as an intervener in this important case so we can speak on behalf of the dogs, who have no voices of their own.
Dogs rescued from fighting rings have been successfully rehabilitated, most notably the dogs seized from former NFL player Michael Vick’s vicious dogfighting operation in the United States. In the Chatham case, countless dog rescue organizations with expertise in helping former fighting dogs are standing by to assist. Our legal team is asking the court to hear evidence from one of Canada’s top dog behaviour experts to understand how dogs can be rehabilitated, and that execution is not the only option.
Court cases move slowly, and we are still in the early stages of this legal battle. The next court date in the case is November 3, 2016, when the court will hear our arguments as to why Animal Justice should be granted leave to intervene in the case.
We are pleased to be working closely on this case with Bullies In Need, an Ontario dog rescue organization with a wealth of experience in caring for, fostering, and rehoming pit bull-type dogs. We appreciate Bullies In Need’s support for our application to intervene, and we admire their tireless work to save dogs.
Animal Justice’s court fight has already earned celebrity support from hockey legend Don Cherry, a true hero for animals. If you want to join the fight to save these dogs from death, please consider answering Don Cherry’s call to support our court case.