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The Ontario SPCA Launches Dog Fighting Awareness Campaign “Help us find dog fighting operations”

 

ASPCA says they are some of the most aggressive dogs they have ever seen

Seized dogs undergoing careful and knowledgeable individual assessments to see if they can live with people

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 10, 2016, Toronto, Ontario – Dog fighting exists in Ontario and we need to stop it.

The Ontario SPCA is asking for the public’s support in identifying more dog fighting operations in Ontario. Once largely thought to be a US-based activity, charges have been laid in Ontario in three separate incidents in the last year – two in Chatham and one in Lanark County. While in different parts of the province, both municipalities are close to the US border.

The Ontario SPCA has launched an awareness campaign to help people understand more about dog fighting – including ways to identify and report it. Dog fighting is an illegal and highly secretive organized crime.

“Dog fighting exists in Ontario and we need to stop it. We need public support to help us identify dog fighting rings so that we can thoroughly investigate and prosecute these animal abusers,” says Senior Inspector Jennifer Bluhm, Ontario SPCA. “Dog fighting is purposeful and systematic animal cruelty for profit.”

"When dogs are recovered from suspected dog fighting rings, our focus is to rehab and re-home whenever possible," says Chief Inspector Connie Mallory, Ontario SPCA. “We are working with the ASPCA, the world leader in dog fighting rehabilitation to determine if these dogs have the ability to live with people,” says Chief Mallory. “Some of them are the most aggressive dogs the ASPCA has ever seen.”

Below are some things to look out for when trying to identify a dog fighting operation:

• An inordinate number of aggressive dogs being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are heavily chained and seem un-socialized.
• Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, and stifle area (hind end and thighs).
• Dog fighting training equipment such as treadmills used to build dogs' endurance, "break sticks" used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle, tires or "springpoles" (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs, or unusual foot traffic coming and going from a location at odd hours.

To report dog fighting:
• If you witness a dog fight in progress, call your local police immediately.
• If you suspect dog fighting is taking place at a residence, call the Ontario SPCA Animal Cruelty Hotline at 310-SPCA (7722) 24/7.
• If there are multiple reports of dogs missing or being stolen in your area, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police.
• If you see an animal that appears to be neglected outside of involvement in dog fighting, report it at 310-SPCA (7722).

Last week seven dogs were recovered and have been taken into the care of the Ontario SPCA. The Ontario SPCA has engaged in the process of assessment of each dog to determine its suitability for rehabilitation and re-homing. So far, five of the dogs have been determined to be suitable for rehabilitation.

The Ontario SPCA is one of the most responsive Animal Welfare organizations in the country. The Society is working hard to end dog fighting. The Province of Ontario has robust laws in place to prosecute individuals who are involved in this heinous act of cruelty. The public can help, know the signs of dog fighting and report suspicious activity. Together, we can #EndDogFighting.

For more information on the #EndDogFighting campaign please visit EndDogFighting.ca


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MEDIA CONTACT

Kallie Milleman
Communications
Ontario SPCA
289-383-5639

 

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