Earlier this week, a post emerged on Facebook about a situation involving a local dog and the Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society.
Megan Gauthier posted on the Paws For A Cause Facebook page condemning the Humane Society for wrongly euthanizing her ex’s dog, Neche.
“Throughout all of Odies trial I tried to keep in mind that there are two sides to every story and I was against boycotting the humane society because i thought it wouldn’t be good for the dogs.. but today I realized they’re monsters,” the post reads.
“Today I found out that Neche, a dog our family loves, was put down for no reason. He got off his leash last Friday and his owner (my ex) couldn’t afford the $200 to get him out of the Humane Society. His owner talked to them and told them he would pick him up on payday. I have been watching the Humane Society’s page thinking that if the owner lost his rights to Neche he would be listed. I was going to call the Humane Society today to tell them that I would adopt Neche if his owner still didn’t pick him up but I was too late. They put him down this morning, he never got a chance at being adopted. They said his ‘temperament’ was too bad to be put up for adoption. I just picked up his body and am having it cremated. It was still warm he looked like he was just sleeping I have no words to describe how upset I am right now. He was such a good dog I can’t imagine how his temperament was anything but loving.”
The Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society didn’t get back to SaultOnline in regards to this matter, but has released a statement. The statement reads as followed:
“Neche, the dog who is the subject of recent Facebook posts, was picked up running at large on August 30. The dog was not wearing a collar and therefore, no city dog license or means of identification.
The owner reported him missing on August 31 at 2:00 pm. He stated that he was away for the long weekend and could not come to get him until after the holiday and that he wasn’t really the owner, as he had taken him from someone’s backyard a few months ago because they were mistreating the dog. He was advised of the impound fees and time frames as set out in the City Animal Care & Control By-law.
The owner contacted the shelter on September 3 and asked if we could hold the dog until his pay day on September 6. We advised that we could hold his dog. The owner did not show up on September 6. He called the shelter on September 7 and stated he was still unable to pick up his dog and again reiterated that he wasn’t really the owner.
Several attempts were made to contact the owner prior to September 11. We did not receive a return call from him, nor did we receive any calls from other individuals with an interest in this dog’s circumstances. The dog was very aggressive towards other dogs and was posing a risk to the safety of the other dogs in our care and the staff. His behaviour was triggering aggression in other dogs in the pound, particularly other unaltered males like himself.
We cannot facilitate an aggressive dog for adoption to the public and knowingly put them at risk. We followed the impound provisions within the City by-law and even went beyond the stated requirements to accommodate the owner. All established protocols were followed in making this unfortunate decision. (*We have not named the owner of the dog as he has not, to our knowledge, identified himself to the public or made any statements.)
All of the staff of the Humane Society are very saddened when they are forced to euthanize any animal. The very unfortunate part of it is that it is not the fault of the animal whatsoever and we know that better than anyone having worked so long in animal services. It is truly heartbreaking when we work so hard every day to save lives that these situations become necessary. The real accountability for having to do this is not with the Humane Society as there is no other choice at that point.
Moving forward, we strongly encourage responsible pet ownership which includes spaying/neutering, vaccinating and licensing your pet, as well as not allowing them to run at large. When a pet is not provided with the basic components of responsible care, aggressive behaviours can develop. Lack of socialization, being kept confined for extended periods of time, or lack of food and water or lack of general kindness and concern can also contribute to these situations.
The Humane Society has and continues to save the lives of thousands of animals. Let’s all work together to stop these animals from being put in this situation due to how they were cared for previously. Let’s work to educate owners about responsible ownership such that these animals do not become dangerous to the general public including humans and other animals. Speak up or report situations that are a concern to you. Let’s do what we all want to do and the Humane Society does every single day of the year – save lives. ~ Sault Ste. Marie & District SPCA (Humane Society) Board of Directors”