Dogs taken and returned in Lachute; Huskies not so abandoned after all
Published Monday, August 8, 2011 7:39AM EDT
MONTREAL - A complicated situation involving animal rescue advocates, the government, and several dozen huskies led to the 'rescue' and return of nearly 20 animals Sunday night.
Some of the dogs in question were at one point the property of a dog sledding company which went out of business.
Rather than put down the animals, an employee volunteered to take them in but the dogs had not been neutered or spayed and he soon found himself as the caretaker of a pack of 37 dogs.
The financial burden proved to be too much, and this summer the man was evicted from his home in Lachute.
The man is now living in a tent, and for safety reasons has tied the 37 dogs to trees near his temporary home, but he is still feeding and caring for the animals which are used to being outdoors in Arctic conditions.
He also informed the SPCA Laurentides-Labelle and the provincial government's Agriculture ministry (MAPAQ) of the situation, and both are trying to find foster and permanent homes for the animals.
Worried about the situation, animal rescue advocates from Keepers of Animals Rights for the Mistreated and Abused (KARMA) and other agencies went to Lachute on Saturday and Sunday to find the dogs in question.
"Apparently the dogs have been there since September last year," said Dee-Ann Gallant of KARMA.
"Huskies are used to cold climates. They have to be either in the basement or somewhere cool in the summer, they can't be left outside."
As of Sunday morning Gallant had found homes for seven of the dogs.
However on Sunday evening, another group of animal rescue advocates says they took 19 of the dogs and drove away with them, only to be stopped by police and government officials.
People belonging to a group called Eleven Eleven Rescue said they took the dogs believing they had been abandoned, and were shocked and surprised to be stopped and ordered to return the dogs to their rightful owner.
The owner of the dog pack told CTV News that he is trying to find owners for the animals, but stresses that he is more than capable of taking care of the animals.
On Monday afternoon the SPCA Laurentides-Labelle will take possession of the remaining animals and bring them to their shelter.