"Smokey paid his dues to that shelter at the very least he could have had a run in the park before they killed him."
There were lots of tears at the Toronto Humane Society today as staff and volunteers discovered that five well liked Pit Bulls were euthanized last night along with one other dog and nineteen cats. Rumours had been floating around last night but the identities of the dogs put down could not be confirmed until this morning.
Both the Toronto Humane Society management and the OSPCA are defending the euthanasia decisions but getting consistent reasons for the euthanasias is difficult. Initial responses were that the animals were all put down for health reasons but it was obvious to everyone who knew the dogs that they were not unhealthy. Aggressive behaviours and assessment test failures coupled with unadoptability were also brought up as reasons. This also did not sit well with staff and volunteers who believe these dogs to have been non-aggressive and adoptable.
Some of the THS staff planned to stage a short walkout today in protest but those plans were canceled when possible repercussions were mentioned.
I didn't have any problems with the dogs myself the day I helped Mel Laking take their photos several weeks back. I especially enjoyed the company of Captain and Smokey who were highly affectionate dogs.
All of these dogs also had shelters or rescues willing to take them in. I was involved in finding one of those shelters through the help of Best Friends Animal Society so I know this to be true. They would have been moved out weeks ago but for legal concerns around transporting them through the province (because these dogs, Pit Bulls, are of course banned in Ontario). We were in the midst of working out an acceptable transport plan when the euthanasias took place.
I am very disappointed.
These dogs should have been given a chance and that chance would have been so easy to give.