Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Dog dispute in Chatham

A petition has been launched, after a stray dog named Zeus was seized by Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR) in Chatham.

On Thursday, December 24, 2020 PAWR officials posted an update on social media.

“In following the province’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act, animal control officers responded to a stray dog call,” PAWR officials say.

“This call resulted in animal control officers impounding a pitbull. Due to provincial law, pitbulls are prohibited in Ontario. It is unfortunate that the animal had to be surrendered to PAW Rescue by the owner, especially during the holidays, however, in doing so, this will ensure that we will find a new home for the pet in a jurisdiction that allows pitbull ownership.”

Meanwhile, a petition has been launched on Change.org.

“PAWR is the organization responsible for registering the dog just last year,” wrote Melissa Hawgood, who started the petition.

“Now that Zeus has gotten out (we’ve all had a pet escape one time or another) he is all of a sudden now illegal? Zeus has a beautiful family that loves him dearly.”

Hawgood added: “They are taking him away because he’s a ‘pitbull’ and there is a ban on that breed… yet, the owners have all of the proper paperwork and documentation to prove his breed as a bulldog. Please help #BRINGZEUSHOME before they send him far away. He is probably so scared and confused. He has a family that loves him and takes such great care of him. Let’s help get this handsome guy home.”

As of Saturday morning, December 26, 2020, just shy of 8,000 people had signed the petition.

PAWR officials said in their social media post that they are a two tier organization.

“The rescue side focuses on assisting animals and wildlife in need of help and promotes the welfare of animals in the community,” PAWR officials say.

“PAWR is also mandated to enforce the Responsible Animal Ownership By-Law (aimed at protecting the well-being of animals living and Chatham-Kent and ensuring the safety of the public) and the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (including dangerous dogs, pitbulls and search/seize warrants).”

PAWR officials added: “Should you be opposed to the Dog Owner’s Liability Act section on pitbull ownership, please direct your concerns to the proper provincial representatives.”

The petition can be seen, here.

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