Animal Justice Fights in Court to Save Dog Fighting Victims from Execution

Animal Justice went to court in Chatham, Ontario today to fight to save 21 dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting ring last October from being killed.

Shockingly, the Ontario SPCA is asking a court to order the execution of the rescued dogs, claiming they are pit bulls and the public won’t be safe as long as they’re alive. Meanwhile, the dog owners are facing hundreds of criminal charges for animal cruelty and dogfighting.

It’s disturbing that as the agency with a mandate to protect animals, the Ontario SPCA is instead attempting to act as their executioner. It’s even more troubling that the dogs — themselves allegedly victims of a heinous crime — could be made to pay the ultimate price for the immoral and illegal actions of humans.

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. Our legal team wants the court to hear evidence from one of Canada’s top dog behaviour experts to help the judge understand that the dogs can be rehabilitated, and execution is not the only option.

Instead of moving forward with our application to intervene today, the judge ordered all parties to come back on May 18 for the next court date.

Court cases move slowly, and we are still in the early stages of this legal battle. It will be many weeks or even months before a judge decides whether Animal Justice can intervene.

Animal Justice won’t give up on this fight. We’ve already earned celebrity support for our work from hockey legend Don Cherry, a true hero for animals. If you want to join our fight to save these dogs, read Don Cherry’s tweets below and please consider making a donation to Animal Justice.


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