SOURCE: Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary

Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary

July 25, 2017 12:00 ET

Former Fighting Dogs Will Be Given a Second Chance At Life

18 dogs rescued from an illegal dog fighting operation will now have a second chance at life

KING CITY, ON--(Marketwired - July 25, 2017) - In January 2016, an application was placed before the provincial court seeking permission to euthanize 21 dogs who had been seized from an alleged dog fighting operation in Tilbury, Ontario. Providing the specialized care required to help severely abused dogs overcome their past requires significant resources -- resources that can be hard to come by when operating within a public shelter system. Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary -- a privately-owned animal rescue operating out of King City, Ontario -- recognized this, and immediately took action, filing an intervenor application before the court in hopes of saving the dogs and transporting them to Florida to take part in an enrichment and socialization program lead by world-renowned canine behaviour modification specialist, Aimee Sadler, founder of Dogs Playing For Life.

"When we heard the story of these dogs and all that they had endured, it was important to us to ensure that they be given a chance to experience love, kindness, and life as it should be," said Robert Scheinberg, co-founder of Dog Tales.

When the intervenor application was denied by the court, Dog Tales then mounted a large scale public awareness campaign. "The #SaveThe21 campaign was born out of necessity. We were desperate to help the dogs, but were running out of options. The purpose of our campaign was to demonstrate just how many people around the world cared, in hopes that it would inspire a different outcome," said Danielle Eden, co-founder of Dog Tales. "We were completely overwhelmed by just how viral the campaign became."

Tens of thousands of animal lovers around the world joined in the effort by sharing photos of themselves and their dogs across social media with the campaign hashtag #SaveThe21. At the same time, more than 30,000 letters were written to the Ontario SPCA and to the Ontario Provincial Government, requesting that the euthanasia application be withdrawn. A number of animal-loving celebrities added their voices to the campaign, including Paris Hilton, Sir Richard Branson, Enrique Inglesias, Adrian Grenier, Natalie Imbruglia and Maggie Q.

Two weeks into the campaign, Dog Tales received the news that so many had been waiting for -- both sides had agreed to transfer the dogs to Florida pending third-party behavioural assessments.

Dog Tales then arranged for canine behaviour specialist Jim Crosby to travel to Canada in the month of May for the purpose of re-assessing the dogs. Of the 21 dogs subject to the original euthanasia application, two have tragically passed away. Of the remaining 19 dogs, 18 were recommended for transfer to Florida for enrichment. Sadly, for a dog named Tommy, a second euthanasia recommendation was made, citing serious human-focused reactivity. This reactivity comes as a direct result of the terrible abuse that Tommy suffered prior to his rescue, and it is devastating that he will lose his life as a result. The remaining 18 dogs will begin the next part of their journey in memory of the three who were lost.

On July 20, 2017 -- 21 months after the dogs were originally rescued -- the outcome was made official in the form of a court order from Justice of the Peace S. Hoffman. Dog Tales will cover all costs associated with the future care of the dogs, the enrichment program, and transport.

"The dogs are getting an extraordinary opportunity due to the resources that Dog Tales is providing. We have been pleased to work in partnership with them on this outcome and hope to work with them on other initiatives. Our role in this case has always been to provide the balance between the welfare of these dogs, the safety of other animals and public safety. We need to remember that dog fighting is a criminal act," says Deputy Chief Jennifer Bluhm, Ontario SPCA.

"The Ontario SPCA rescued the dogs from the nightmare that they had been living each day. Now, Dog Tales will provide the dogs with all that they need to move forward and start a new chapter of their lives," said Robert Scheinberg. "We are so grateful for each and every individual who never lost hope, and who gave these dogs a voice after they had been voiceless for so long. If only these dogs, once forced to fight, knew just how many people have been fighting for them. We are overjoyed."

Those wishing to follow the progress of the dogs can visit

Those wishing to learn more about how they can join the Ontario SPCA in ending dog fighting can visit

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Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Clare Forndran
    Media Director
    Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary
    p: 647-515-5022