Surrendered Niagara Falls dogs will be put up for adoption


Adult and puppy German Shepherd-type dogs from Niagara Falls surrendered to the Niagara SPCA and Humane society on Tuesday will eventually be made available for adoption.

The case generated outrage on social media, with people accusing the dogs’ owners of cruelty and running a puppy mill. Video of the dogs taken at a protest outside the home on Monday night showed one dog limping badly. Another protest had been planned outside the home Tuesday night.

John Greer, executive director of the humane society, said on Tuesday that his agency received information of dogs in possible distress.

“(We) received information and video via social media of shepherd-type dogs being physically abused at a private residence in Niagara Falls,” he said. “Once an address was determined, an animal services officer was sent to address potential humane treatment violations of the City of Niagara Falls’ animal care and control bylaw.”

Three adult dog and two puppies were surrendered by the owners to the SPCA’s Niagara Falls animal shelter and no dogs are believed to still be at the home, Greer said. It's not clear yet if other puppies may have been given away by the owners, he said.

He confirmed one adult dog was suffering from a broken leg. “It’s currently in our care and we casted the leg,” Greer said. “Our veterinary team has looked at all the dogs and is providing treatment to them. They’re pretty resilient animals.”

SPCA staff also notified the Ontario provincial animal welfare hotline, Greer said.

The dogs will eventually be made available for adoption, but they’re not yet ready to be adopted out, he said. The animals remain under the care of the SPCA’s in-house veterinary team, he said.

Greer pointed out that care for the dogs and others needing special medical attention is not funded by municipal animal control contracts. That care has to be paid for by corporate and individual donations and grants.

The immense attention on social media of the shepherd dogs taken into care may trigger an outpouring of financial help, based on similar cases that have happened in Niagara in recent times.

Greer said his agency would welcome any financial contributions to the care of the dogs, which will include having them spayed and neutered prior to adoption. “We’d welcome any donations to help them,” he said.

“We’re going to provide really good care for them and get them up for adoptions.”

Greer said all the dogs are affectionate. “All of them are really nice,” he said.

Greer said any potential animal cruelty prosecution would rest with inspectors appointed by the province’s Ministry of the Solicitor General. That’s because of a landmark Ontario Superior Court decision recently that challenged the constitutionality of animal welfare charities such as humane societies empowering their staff with broad-ranging policing authority, he said.

The Niagara SPCA and Humane Society is the newly amalgamated body of the former Welland and Niagara Falls humane societies. The agency provides animal services in eight of Niagara’s 12 cities and towns.