Family Pleads to Humane Society to Let Them Have Their Dog Back

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It’s been over a week since Jennifer Santana has seen her dog, Odie. He’s not missing, he’s being held by the Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society, who is refusing to release the dog back to his family because of an Ontario law.

The ordeal started just over a week ago when Odie scared a bear off his Goualis Ave property. When Odie didn’t come home, the family tried to search for him. Meanwhile, a motorist picked up Odie and took him to the Humane Society that same day .

Santana was relieved when she learned her dog was safe and promptly went to claim her dog at the Humane Society on Second Line. That’s when the problem really started.

The Humane Society has no choice but to hold the dog.

The Humane Society believes Odie to be a pit bull, and that breed is banned in Ontario. They asked Santana to prove ownership and what type of dog Odie is.

“I had provided to them as requested, they said they believed it to be a forged document. What I had done was get a Deacon who knows the dog personally to swear an affidavit and presented it the following morning but they refused it claiming it was not a credible,” Santana told ONNtv/SaultOnline.com

According to Santana, Odie is a boxer mix, but she claims the Humane Society is purposely being difficult because she  took her concerns to social media creating a major backlash against the Humane Society.

“It was the community that had done that, I hadn’t said or posted anything that was against the Humane Society. I have a dog from there, I support them” Santana said.

Cindy Ross, the manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society, was not available for  comment but did issue a statement to ONNtv/SaultOnline. It states :

As the contracted Animal Care & Control Service provider for the City of Sault Ste Marie, we enforce the Animal Care & Control by-law and the Dog Owner’s Liability Act which includes regulations for pit bull type dogs. As a result of this service contract we are designated as a Pound in the province of Ontario and must follow legislated requirements and are subject to inspection.

When releasing animals that come into our care we are required to determine the rightful owner and in keeping with provincial pit bull regulations, the breed. We cannot comment on matters that are or may come before the courts.  

And that’s exactly where this case is headed. Santana has been subpoenaed to appear before a judge on July 10th in provincial court. There, a judge will determine the breed and the fate of Odie. Since 2005, legislation bans pit bulls in Ontario, places restrictions on existing pit bulls, and toughens the penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public.

The OSPCA does not support the law but must uphold the legislation. That’s the only reason Odie is being held. Various people on Facebook commenting on a page created called “Free Odie” comment that Odie is not a vicious dog or a trouble dog.

Support for Santana and Odie’s return has garnered a huge response on social media pleading however not everyone is in agreement that the dog should be returned to the Santana family.

Some people have commented and also contacted SaultOnline.com claiming that Odie is constantly on the loose, isn’t fixed nor has had any veterinary care.  Santana says that simply  isn’t true.

“He’s my baby, he’s part of our family”  Santana said. Santana said she is willing to do what it takes to please the Humane Society many requests but has been met with resistance.

Recently, Santana’s family doctor has claimed Odie is a therapy dog for Jennifer as she suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“He is the most amazing dog, it has really affected our family – our house is centered around him.”

Santana and her supporters say holding Odie is inhumane and should be returned to his family as soon as possible.

“At this point I am worried about the physiological affect this is having on my dog. He is locked in a cage, I have not be allowed access to him, I can’t get updates on him and I am thinking in his little brain is he thinking , does my family not love me anymore? Why are they leaving me here, have I done something wrong?”

For now, the fate of Odie remains in the hands of a provincial court judge and that decision could be made in the next week. If Odie is deemed a pit bull the Humane Society says Odie would be transferred to a no kill centre in Sault Michigan and adopted out to a new family in Michigan where there is no pit bull ban.

124 COMMENTS

  1. She smuggled the dog from Michigan with her ex boyfriend when it was a puppy. The dog is a legitimate pitbull and its sad to see her lie to the public like this.

    • Making a commenting that is so cowardly, you are slandering these people without providing any proof to support your claim

  2. The dog in question is a pure bred Pitbull. The current owner and her ex boyfriend brought the dog to Canada as a puppy from Michigan years back with fraudulent papers…What a shame what she has led people to believe.

  3. About 9 years ago, I went away for a weekend and had someone come feet my cat and change the litter box. He was young and it was not time to get fixed yet. My friend was coming every day after work (3 nights I was gone) and checking on him, using my wifi, that sort of thing. She showed up and my cat was gone. Apparently, someone heard him meowing and called my landlord stating I abandoned my cat and they took him to the humane society. My friend had called just hours after they had done this. I immediately called the humane society and told them what had happened. They didn’t want anything to do with the situation and if I wanted my cat back it was like $150 because he was not fixed and basically hung up on me. I have friends that work there, and they are good people. But sometimes they just don’t want to hear it. My landlord apologized afterwards and said they were in the wrong. And that it turned out to be the neighbour across the hall with the issue. It can be very frustrating sometimes when something out of your control happens. I am not sure of the entire situation here, and I can say with confidence that most of us commenting on here can’t either- but sometimes they can be unfair.

  4. That’s a pit bull if there ever was one. The owner is not only irresponsible but a liar. Then again whoever the owner got the dog from was lying about the breed. This is becoming common, to lie about the breed to get it adopted out. BTW breed does define a dog, and it is really ridiculous to say otherwise. Don’t let this owner get the pit back, next time it will kill something. Pit bulls don’t kill because of bad owners, bad owners are attracted to pit bulls because they kill.

    • Please don’t comment on things you don’t have the correct information on. This dog is not a “pitbull” which isnt even a specific breed, theyre pitbull terriers, american bully, american bulldog, staffordshire terrier, bull terrier, and Dogo plus a few others which this dog is not either. They’re not “attack dogs” or naturally vicious its the owners that train them to be that way and mistreat them. (Chihuahuas are more vicious and actually have a higher attack rate just so you know)
      I don’t know the owner but from the video i highly doubt shes training this dog to be aggressive let alone kill things or it would have been an issue long before this, i honestly feel sorry you were brought up with such ignorance and misinformation.
      As for the humane society, it could definetly use better management or atleast some kind of investigation. I have personally witnessed the workers throwing around the dogs and treating them like garbage.

    • Would you shut the hell up! Breed means nothing when it comes to a dog! It’s all about the damn owner! And how it is treated! I’ve met plenty of dogs that were vicious because there owners made them vicious! The pitbull ban is stupid! This isn’t the first time they’ve put a ban on a breed and said its vicious when its actually not! For example German shepherds, rottweilers, and they were found not to be vicious! People like you that are uneducated come on these sites and run your mouth just to feel big, its ridiculous! That’s someone’s pet, someone loves that dog, someone treats that dog like there child and your on here saying it shouldn’t go home? I hope one day you go through something like this, I really do! I’ve had multiple people mistake my dog for a damn pitbull and my dog is black lab bull massive! And I’d like to see the day the humane society tries to take my dog because she’s a “pitbull”, itll be a cold day in damn hell!

    • Your comment shows how totally uneducated you are on the subject. You need to stop spreading your misinformation, you are causing so much harm, and for what?

    • You sir would not know a “pit bull ” if it jumped up and bit you in the ass…90% of people get it wrong..your comment is exactly why these owners and dogs have so much trouble …its best to keep your comments to yourself if you dont know what your talking about

    • Harve to YOU that are ALL “pit bulls”. You live them everyday. You go to sleep thinking about them, then you dream about that. After which you wake up thinking about them and then spend the whole day trolling all the news and commenting about them. You are totally obsessed with them so much you have different profiles so as much as you post, people don’t know how much you post. Pat, it has become a serious sickness and you really should seek help with it.

    • Are u retarted it’s how you raise and train your dog that determines how it’s personality will be. Dogs are not born vicious .

  5. I looked at the Sault Ste Marie Humane website. They only have 4 dogs for adoption and 20 cats, pretty much the same as the Winnipeg one. The one here raised a bunch of money, built a giant new facility, has sponsers and donations galore. Meanwhile there are dozens of small rescues with no budget, no space, few or no sponsers and they have way more animals. Makes me wonder what the Humane societys even do these days for animals.
    As far as this case goes, no animal should be allowed to wander the neighborhood off leash and that is on the owners. I see almost as many dead cats on the road as I see wildlife. If you pet gets loose that’s different.

  6. Agreed …breed dosen’t define a dog. A bad dog has bad owners…I ‘ve never met a bad dog no matter the breed if it was well taken care of and loved. I’ve met Odie …walked onto the property delivering a parcel and he wasn’t the least bit dangerous or aggressive….he should be given back to his family.

  7. im not sure about too much of this,but i read in a post the owners husband has been banned from owning animals for 2 yrs,also seen the owner tried to claim it but because it was in the husbands name then he went and tried to claim it,and if its true hes banned from owning animals that would be reason they are keeping him,and if he is a pitty then its against the law to own it,and if they think the vet document was fake there must be a reason,and no matter where you go you start acting like a maniac yes they are gonna ban you from the property,always 2 sides to every story until it goes to court no1 will know the truth

    • They could just call the vet. It’s not hard to prove real or fake, the vet either has a record of the dog or doesn’t. A shelter doesn’t get to claim that a vet is falsifying their own records, vets know more about dog breeds than any admin at any shelter.

      No breed of dog should be illegal in the first place. There was widespread disagreement with that law, from the day it was suggested to the present day. I’ve personally seen an SPCA branch adopt out a dog that was much more definitely a pit bull than this dog is, within the past year. Hypocrisy.

  8. wow….I stated I would like to hear the Humane Societies take on all this etc and my post was deleted.I guess some opinions are not good enough.I just can’t see the society purposely keeping a dog for no reason.

    • Many comments that there was nothing wrong with were deleted for no good reason. It’s starting to be like the other site where they have some wacky unknown agenda. If this keeps up this site will soon be a ghost town then gone entirely.

    • Yes, prohibiting free speech is what a lot of these groups are about. Obey the law you have no problem. Your dog runs off he isn’t trained gor voice command and shouldn’t be running loose. Peoe who can’t train properly shouldn’t havepets.

  9. It’s a pit mix and had they not been a low level owner and kept their dog contained then they wouldn’t be in the spot they are in. Rules are rules.

    • She did have paperwork but hs claimed it was fake so she had a deacon famIliar to her, who is allowed to notorize documents, to vouch for her and state the document was legitimate.

    • Sara PB i cant believe that the humane society would say vet paperwork is fake, considering a phone call can prove it. Hope everything turns oit good for Odie but i think there is more to this we are not being told. Just my opinion

  10. Give the dog back. Stop wasting tax payers money and traumatizing the dog in housing it in those horrid noisy cramped conditions with minimal care. Even if he was a pit-bull that law is ridiculous and has been from the start. Dogs are a reflection of their owners care and training no matter the breed. If pit-bulls are good enough to be police dogs (which recently occurred), they are good enough to be pets. Perhaps another service should be appointed/created instead the humane society.

  11. Typical. The liberals ban pits when they aren’t the problem but allow Isis in our country. The humane society is not sticking up for any animal anymore. It’s racist in a way. I have always stick up for them, but this happens constantly. How would they feel if this was their dog???

  12. There was a comment that made a lot of sense deleted that suggested a dna test to determine the dogs breed. What is going on here saultonline?

  13. Give the dog back to its family where he belongs…there should not be A ban in the first place…..i know some little dogs that are more of a problem then what this breed is .

  14. Very sad situation. Hoping Odie is ok and a happy resolution is found quickly. But i also believe there has to be more to this then is being said. Whether by Odies owner or the humane society.

  15. Dan Travaglini Dan I will . I had inherited a beautiful staffordshire bull terrier , he had a bad rap but I got to him and we were the best teem . A friend of mine had a female that was in heat , now this is all before the pitt bull laws , well we breed them and got six puppies it was like i had a family and it was an amazing experience . We slowly found good homes for them all accept for the girl that didn’t want to leave her home and her dad . So I kept her , she was so protective of me and her Dad that she would step on ants if they were crawling towards us . One beautiful fall day i thought they would enjoy a walk so i took them up my street at bush by Mount Ste. Joseph . Leo my male somehow already knew and he wouldn’t leave my side , the had just been passed but like any new law nobody was doing anything about it . So we are in the bush enjoying the sun and Leo still wouldn’t leave my side , I noticed Penny my six month female wasn’t around , I heard growling from the road and me and Leo ran out to see Penny being tossed back by a German shepherd , well when Leo saw that he reared up on his back legs and charged I ran with him and managed to grab his collar , the shepard came up for his throat , and the latches on both collars became locked together . So here I am with two dogs locked together and an old lady . I had to keep them separated and Leo was following my order and being a good boy , but the shepherd i had to put my foot on its head to keep him away , they were still locked together , so as I held them apart I asked the lady if she would unlatch them and she did . Well I apologized and asked her if there is any damage I would pay for them and to please not call the police because of the new law . She said everyone knows how much you love your dogs and she would be in touch . So when I got home I called a , what I thought was a friend who had a relative who worked for the humane society , he told me he will call me back . What I didn’t know was he was a police informant trying to bust the drug community . He called me and said my relative herself was going to my house and she’s got to take them and they would probably be given back to me tomorrow , she came and I handed her the dogs thinking they would be returned the next day . It was the last time I saw them alive . They had a court case and the old ladies story was two pitt bulls came out of the bush and attacked her dog , and she doesn’t remember me being there at all , when I asked her if she remembers me asking her to unlatch the dogs she said i was too frightened and all I know is two pitt bulls attacked my dog , even though she couldn’t tell me what type of dog was in a photo i had of a pitt . The judge and crown at the end geared and giggled at me as they passed the death sentence . In one last shot I asked for an appeal and I guess I they had to give it to me ? It was of no use my family my friends spent two years in a double grade cage , and their bodies were handed to me for burial . It was so hard on me that I almost died myself in those two years and the shock lasted much longer . So there you go good luck .

  16. Lets hear the OTHER side of the story. I doubt the humane society wants any more dogs to look after than needs be.

  17. It would be one thing if the dog was or had attacked someone while he was out or had a previous record and now a perfectly good dog who has a loving home is taking up resources for a possible other pet that needs the spot this is why I hate laws that dictate pet owner of certain breeds because like people not every dog is the same #freeodie

  18. There is always two sides to a story. There is way more to this story than what the owner is saying! Don’t be so quick to believe one side

    • and how do you know this? Seems the story matches humaine society’s pretty good and they are doing their job and she wants the family pet back sad situation. Pit Bulls are only as dangerous as the owner. I have the number 1 ranked deadiliest dog in the world and she is scared of her own shadow just a big suck. The Law is really b.s

    • This law is disgusting! Odie should be returned and the law abolished. I know many other types of dogs, huskys and labs, included, who cause more damage than pits. Poor animal’s probably so confused and scared. And for no reason. Ridiculous.

  19. This owner still doesn’t realize her actions backed the Humane Society into a corner!?
    When the dog was found the post should have been removed. Allowing social media to so called “advocate” for this animal in a barbaric manner, has caused the HS to enforce the laws.
    The Humane Society is doing their job.
    This owner is so caught up in other peoples opinions she missed the opportunity to get her dog back. Jmo

    • Rhonda McCauley I’ve been in a much similar situation with the Humane Society where I was clearly in the wrong. I had a cival conversation with them, treated them with respect and took the appropriate steps to resolve the matter and everything ended in my favor. By the looks of your comment you are clearly lacking those skills. You’d be surprised how outcomes differ depending on how you approach them.

    • Anna Bell okay lets get this right!! HS was uncooperative right from thr get go. Just under 2 weeks ago another dog was hailed a hero for chasing a Bear away and saving his family. There was NO need for whatvthe HS did. This law is so flimsy when it isnt enforced in so many cities, even the capitol of ON doesnt enforce it. SSM Humane Society sounds like they have some people running it that isnt using common sense. This dog has done mothing wrong except follow his instincts and keep his family out of harms way. You sit up there on your high horse pointing fingers lady but, had the bear killed one of her kids what would you be saying then?

    • Good greif! What did the Humane Society do? I beleive that the majority of these social media comments are based on nothing rather than assumptions and I am a true believer of facts. Are you certain that the Humane Society has contained the dog based on the breed or are you assuming? I have also read that there are two people involved claiming the dogs ownership. Is this a fact? Is this an assumption? Would that be good reason for the courts to be involved? Now that the media is involved I do hope that the reasoning and final outcome is released in a media statement so we can all get our facts straight.

    • Millie Jackson
      The dog hailed as a hero was on its own property, and remained on its property until taken to the Vet with life threatening injuries.
      Odie left his property, therefore he was caught and taken to HS.
      I do hope this ends in a positive fashion for the dog though…definitely a sad situation for all.

    • Why does no one have vet papers on Odie? I received a little booklet with all my dogs info on the first visit and it is updated at every visit. Where is Odies info and papers

  20. Well said Paige Dennie
    I own 3 giant breed dogs weighing in at 400+ pounds between all 3.
    They are all sterilized, up to date on vaccines, licensed and in a 1500 foot enclosure. When out of the enclosure they are leashed and by my side.
    They may not be bully breeds but they are very large and still young.
    As a pet parent I do everything in my power to keep them safe and happy.
    In odies case. He wasnt being cared for properly. He is always roaming. I’ve caught him on several occasions and so has my brother in law. Odie is always roaming. Last year he was dying of heat exhaustion in my back yard. I had to act fast to save him or he was going to die. He also was infested with fleas and sores from scratching. He had been roaming for days.

    Another instance he was dodging in and out of traffic and was going to get hit. The house this was happening in front of, the owner of the house had a bat ready incase odie went near him.
    There was atleast 3 other vehicles stopped helping us catch odie and about 15 vehicles in either direction stopped and waiting as they couldn’t get passed us.

    On several occasions odie has been picked up by his owner to only have his rescuers verbally abused and lied to.

    Odie in my opinion has spent more time on the streets then
    in his owners care. The humane society has done their part at keeping odie safe.

    Everyone needs to stop.

  21. You get a good, kind and loving family who loves their dog and takes great care of it .. and you won’t give it back, yet you get some idiots who let their dog roam free/ abuse and/or starve them .. and gladly send them back home. Crooked world!!

  22. You know the humane societies are always wanting you to adopt and give them money to help support them. Cool great let’s save animal lives, all for it. BUT the minute you need your dog or cat back, shit starts hitting the fan for whatever reasons. All these humane societies are always claiming to be at full capacity.. which is horrible, so why keep the ladies dog then?
    Don’t charge her money for keeping her dog, be happy that the dog had a good loving home. Honestly it’s a double edged sword with these guys.

  23. She’s didn’t have the proper paperwork for such breed and went to the humane society acting ridiculous- then proceeded to slander on social media
    Act like a grown up and handle things accordingly.

    • Derek Lendrum really? This pit bull legislation was from 2005…Kathleen Wynne was 2013-2018…maybe do some reading before making stupid political comments. (Although I’ll give you partial credit…it was McGuinty and his liberals…)

    • So I got the leader of the party wrong. Big deal. Still dumb legislation passed by the Liberals. And you can’t still thank the Liberals for it. 😉

    • Derek Lendrum true enough…but I think you can thank shitty dog owners for this kind of legislation. I disagree with it, and I know this dog….if you want to gaslight people with politics, you’re on the wrong page

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