Escape from Ontario

January 11, 2011  

Four dogs make it to safety – 1,600 miles across Canada

StubbyDog staff report

Pups from Ontario arrive at their new shelter in Saskatchewan. Photo by Roy Antal, Leader-Post

Four homeless dogs have made it to safety — from Ontario, where pit bulls are banned, to Saskatchewan shelter more than 1,600 miles away.

“We got lucky with these four,” said Jamie LaFlamme, operations manager for the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society (KWHS) in Ontario.

Ontario’s pit bull ban has been in effect since 2005, and shelters across the province work hard to ship dogs with a pit bull appearance to shelters in other provinces across the country.

These four – Lucky T. Mohawk, Cowlick and Lola – arrived at the Regina Humane Society In Saskatchewan on December 3, and are now looking for good new homes.

“If we hadn’t taken them, they would have been euthanized simply because they are part pit bull,” Regina Humane Society (RHS) spokesman Don Simons told the Leader Post newspaper.

The challenges, he added, involve finding room for the dogs in other shelters and paying to have them spayed or neutered and transported to a new province. The KWHS drew money from its donation fund usually used to pay for animal surgeries to fly the four puppies to Regina.

To save the lives of these four pups, the KWHS paid to have them spayed or neutered and flown across the country. The dogs also had to pass behavior evaluations to make sure they were suitable for adoption.

The Ontario ban allows people who already had pit bulls when the law was passed to keep them as long as they were spayed or neutered and were leashed and muzzled in public. But any pit bulls not grandfathered in have to leave the province or be destroyed. And that was the situation that these four pups found themselves in.

“If you treat a dog with love and respect and train it, it’s not going to be a mean, vicious dog,” said the RHS’s Simons, noting that some municipalities in Saskatchewan have breed bans in effect. “Any dog could be mean; any dog can be gentle.”

Read the full story at the Leader Post.

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