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1405 19th Sideroad
King, ON

Dog Tales is a dog rescue and horse sanctuary like no other in the world! 

Is Our Justice System Failing These Dogs?

Nearly one year later, and still no resolution in sight for 21 Tilbury dogs sentenced to death, despite numerous offers to help.


Is Our Justice System Failing These Dogs?

Nearly one year later, and still no resolution in sight for 21 Tilbury dogs sentenced to death, despite numerous offers to help.

July 21, 2016

On July 21st Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary travelled to Chatham, Ontario to attend a judicial pre-trial as a part of the continued fight to save the lives of 21 dogs seized from a Tilbury fighting ring in Fall 2015 only to be sentenced to death. These dogs have been held in limbo with the Ontario SPCA for nine months as the courts decide their fate. Today the case took one step forward and two steps back, as a date to hear intervenor applications was finally set, only to be cancelled hours later. Instead, another date to set a date has been scheduled for August 25th, with the court considering dates in November for the applications to be heard. 

“It is extremely disappointing to feel that, after spending half a year in and out of court, we are no further than we were on day one. Every delay robs these dogs of precious time that could instead be spent receiving enrichment from some of the top trainers in the world. We can’t forget that these are living, breathing creatures we’re talking about.” said Danielle Edenco-owner of Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.

“As humans, we have a right to be tried within a reasonable amount of time, and that same right should extend to these dogs. Continuing to house them in social isolation while prolonging the legal process when other options are available is a waste of taxpayers’ money, and is inhumane. ” said John Nunziata, lawyer for Dog Tales

Dog Tales first reached out to the Ontario SPCA offering to take in and care for the dogs in November 2015. What complicated the offer was Ontario’s discriminatory breed specific legislation, which prevents the dogs from being owned or housed within Ontario. 

“Within Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act, however, there is a mechanism by which the Ontario government could grant Dog Tales a designation that would allow them to house the dogs at their state-of-the-art facility for training and transition to out-of-province adoptive homes”. said John Nunziata, lawyer for Dog Tales

After months of lobbying the Ontario Provincial Government, including thousands of letters from concerned dog lovers in support of the dogs being transferred to Dog Tales, the members with the power to grant this designation have yet to set foot on the property, despite repeated invitations.

“It is disappointing to us that our Ontario government has the power to help us give these dogs the chance that they deserve , and instead refuses to act.” said Clare Forndran, Media Director for Dog Tales. “It has reached a point where we have been forced to find a location outside of Ontario where the dogs can stay and where we can send the team that we have assembled for their deserved care. It is shameful that we have all that we need to help these dogs right here in Ontario, and yet, instead, we may need to outsource their care to another country.”

Dog Tales arrived at the Chatham courthouse prepared to present an alternative option for the dogs - that they be transferred to an advanced behavior support center in Wellborn, Florida - the DPFL National Canine Center. The facility will be operated under the guidance of Ms. Aimee Sadler, the founder of Dogs Playing for Life.  Ms. Sadler is a internationally recognized trainer specializing in socialization and behavior modification. Her techniques have been derived from over twenty-eight years of professional work. In recognition of her work, Aimee has been honored with the Henry Bergh Leadership Award in addition to being recently inducted into the Members Hall of Fame for the International Association of Canine Professionals. The DPFL National Canine Centre is Ms. Sadler’s latest project, where dogs in need of advanced training and behaviour work will be provided with extended opportunities by the dedicated DPFL team.

The DPFL National Canine Centre and Ms. Sadler have agreed to receive the dogs for further evaluation, training and/or behavior modification. Dog Tales will pay all costs including the cost to transfer the dogs to Florida, the costs associated with caring for the dogs including veterinary care, and the costs associated with National Canine Centre and Ms. Sadler’s team. Additional members of the Dog Tales team will travel to Florida to participate in the care of these victims of cruelty.

“Aimee Sadler is an important member the team that we had assembled to work with these dogs here at Dog Tales, and we are thrilled that she is able to step up for them and welcome them to her facility in Florida if we are unable to house them here in Ontario.” said Clare Forndran, Media Director for Dog Tales. “This is a significant offer, as it eliminates all concern about Breed Specific Legislation and still allows the dogs to be worked with by the expert team that we’ve assembled. We can think of no better person for the job than Aimee, and now see no reason whatsoever why the dogs should be put to death without being given a chance.”

Sadly, despite the perfect opportunity for a happy ending, the dogs continue to wait.

For more information contact:

Clare Forndran
Media Director