Humane Society Speaks Out Amid Online Backlash Over Euthanizing Dog

Facebook Photo

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”


  1. Here’s ONE board member. Humane Society
    Moved by: Councillor P. Christian
    Seconded by: Councillor C. Gardi
    Resolved that Councillor M. Scott be appointed to the Humane Society Board of
    Directors from January 4, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

    Thats one name taken from the City Council minutes from Jan, 2019.

  2. Did the dog actually cost the HS 200 bucks while he was there? Could they not have said to this man…give us what you can for now and when circumstances are better for you we would appreciate a donation?

  3. They gave this dog 11 days. They didn’t even give the poor thing a chance, knowing he had a family. If the humane society was humane, they would have waived the fee instead of killing him. All they care about is money. This place needs to be shut down. I volunteered there for one month, and I couldn’t go back after they euthanized my favourite dog. I knew it was going to happen, as he looked like a pit bull, but they don’t advertise what their intent is and are hush hush around euthanizing animals in their care. I watched them every day load the van with garbage bags of people’s euthanized pets. They kept the ‘unadoptable’ dogs in the back of the building, OUTSIDE, in all seasons, and they were all euthanized. When I questioned this they would not provide answers. They would not allow me near these dogs in the back of the building, although I offered to interact with them or just talk to them I was refused. They wouldn’t even allow me to look at them. It was restricted area. Staff did not interact with the animals. They chatted at the front desk. Only there for the pay cheque. I will never support a kill shelter. Shame on the Ssmhs. The community needs to support real shelters such as Northern Critters in need and TAAG. Cindy Ross should be embarrassed as well as the SSMHS staff. Disgraceful. I would also like the public to be aware that they delete every comment off of their Facebook page that does not agree with them. Very sneaky and shady. I regret buying tickets to the outdoor raffle. They don’t deserve to be supported.

  4. I’ve had them put down my cat an hour before they knew I was coming to get him… they talked me into adopting a cat that they said was fixed and it wasn’t and I’ve also had them trick my husband into surrendering our dog to them

  5. he only “humane” part about our Humane Society is that they don’t take dogs and cats into the front yard and shoot them in the head. Instead, perfectly adoptable pets are quietly euthanized, so long as they haven’t been made the center of a public post first.
    Every dog is adoptable. Every cat as well. Illnesses are treatable. Behaviour is changeable. We need more fosters, more volunteers, but the Humane Society also needs to loosen up, find their hearts, and forget about padding their pockets. They need to help animals, not themselves.

    They’re supposed to protect animals, love animals, but instead they’d rather kill them. Animals are sentient beings. They feel happy, sad, confused, scared, angry, worried; all of the emotions. If someone grabbed you and shoved you in a cage, would you be confused? Surrounded by other yelling people in cages, would you be worried? Anxious? Scared? Fight back maybe? How would you feel if they took you into a room that smelled of terror and death, inserted a needle in your arm, and proceeded to start the euthanization process? Probably terrified. You left the only life you knew, full of people you recognized and places you loved, and were shoved in a cold metal hell, to have your life ended by people who don’t care.

    I follow many people in the US who do volunteer work; their shelters spay&neuter for free or low-cost. They adopt out for low fees. They don’t ask for fees when lost pets are claimed by owners, fixed or not, licensed or not. They just want animals in good homes. They want animals in places where they’ll be loved.
    Our shelter just asks for more money, and makes it nearly impossible to adopt. And if your pet ends up there, good luck being able to afford to get them out. Don’t forget to license them, or you’ll be choosing between them or putting food on the table.

    Our shelter is about killing pets and making a profit. It makes me physically ill.

    (Posting anonymously, as some day I hope to rescue a dog from their slaughterhouse of a shelter)

  6. The City of Sault Ste Marie Contracts them- SPCA dropped them a few years ago…They are not a charitable organization and are in it to also make money.

  7. So they waited a WHOLE WEEK before kiliing the dog?! wow. Don’t fall asleep on these folks! I tried to adopt from there for months. I have autism and was having issues deciding on a dog. The last time I went in there I looked at 4 dogs. 4. And everyone they told me had an excuse for not going home with me that was NOT written on their card. I adopted from Northern Critters and they flew my baby to me from Dryden. I now have a beautiful service dog pup. Get bent, HS.

      • Thank you – I feel TRULY blessed and my heart is saddened by whats going on there. All I wanted was a friend to be with me as, even at 48, I don’t make friends and don’t really have any that have time for me. He is a life saver! 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment. I am switching over here because the toxicity at sootoday has become unbearable – full of bullies and they do nothing. Very sad in this day and age.

  8. What I don’t get is…the owner said he wasn’t the real owner as he “stole” it from someone’s back yard as it was being abused/neglected. my question is….what makes him any better than the people he stole it from….if he cared about this dog in the least…I think he would’ve done what ANY pet owner would have done…beg…borrow. …steal the $200 to get my pet back….I know I DEFINITELY would…well maybe not steal.

  9. This is a cold, disturbing story!
    So you mean to tell me that a formerly abused dog, who btw from the picture…wow looks so scary!!(sarcasm) who never had anyone to train him or love him or socialize him, deserves to have his life taken??
    There is somebody out there, who would have taken him and done some work on him, hell I would’ve taken him!! Humane society seems to only want the really cute, prim and proper dogs to be eligible for adoption. Well just like in life, no ones perfect, and just because he didnt fit the stereo type of a wanted or loved dog, did not mean they had to kill him. Dog should’ve been given a second chance at a friendlier environment, and should have been someones new project. I k ow many dog owners and adopters who would have worked with such a dog!! This makes me I’ll. And I am ashamed of the Sault Humane Society! Key word being: humane!!!!
    Shame on yall.

  10. I don`t think the Humane Society is always in the wrong, they do a lot of great work, but I`m glad to see that their conduct, and decision making is now more often publicly questioned. If their are enough questionable decisions or actions from the Humane Society perhaps some necessary staff changes will be made. At least now the SSM HUMANE SOCIETY knows they`re being watched.

  11. Does anyone know who makes up the board members for the HS? I have tried to ask the ssmhs and have gotten absolutely nowhere. I find it very disturbing that when the public has questions, they are being ignored and flat out refused. This should be available to anyone and everyone for a multitude of reasons, positive and negative.

  12. Michigan next to us is a no kill state ..why in SSM are we putting down what was someone’s loved pet. Not everybody can pay for things including a hefty $200 for their dog. The situation of behaviour while waiting for the owners ..humm put the dog in another stress free room ..not put the poor dog down…handled wrong I would be flippin if this was my dog..what does human society mean …than be human !

  13. Brutal! They can justify all their actions as much as they want! Good! Because everytime they kill an animal, we will make a fuss. Get use to it. Also, their city funding should be taken away and TAAG should have it. NO KILL!

  14. Some dogs don’t react well to a shelter environment. As they should know. He was also identified to them as a previously abused dog, per their post. Anyone who knows dogs at all knows unneutered males are going to have trouble with each other. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an aggressive dog. They put a stressed, scared previously abused dog near other unaltered maIes and were surprised there was issues?! If they’re incapable of taking care of animals that have the least bit of difficulty, they shouldn’t be working in a shelter! And considering they just wasted a lot of taxpayer dollars trying to murder a dog who had done nothing wrong, apparently they’re not that saddened by euthanizing innocent animals. If they didn’t receive a call from anyone interested in Neche, who do they think they gave his dead body to… Some random off the street? 🙄 I can’t believe people are falling for this obviously false narrative. This shelter has acted unprofessionally in more than one instance in the last few months. I think there needs to be an investigation before any more hard earned money is given to them. So angry right now!

  15. Kinda of strange that the SSMHS makes a statement about this situation but not about Odie. I will NOT support you let alone help you raise money. SSMHS you should be ashamed of yourselves

  16. I am not one to wish bad things on another but i cannot help to let my imagination stray. I try to invision this person or persons responsible and accountable for putting dogs down. For me, every animal put down would be followed by an emotional break down. The whole process would be emotional and tear filled. I dont believe it is a natural human reaction to be able to take life and be okay with it. I genuinely hope the serial killer like person or people who are tasked with killing these animals never has a moment of peace or a moment where they do not get to have the images of every animal they’ve killed racing through their head. Yet sadly i get the impression theyre enjoying it

  17. Poor dog. Scared and in a strange place. I can’t imagine. Look after your pets if you can’t afford to bail them out. Lesson learned here. If the family didn’t want the pet. Why not find that baby a good home. So sad

  18. So my perception of this is, ” we were not educated enough to help this animal that is only behaving this way due to his fear and past abuse history. We could reach out to other shelters even in other cities but it is much cheaper and easier for us to just kill the animal”

    • Agreed! 👏👏 iv seen dogs come from dog fighting and with proper training come into such beautiful dogs and become adopted. So because of him lashing because if fear/ steang smells and sounds not to mention the other unfixed male dogs why not try and send him to a rescue that deals with agressive dogs?

  19. The worst part about this is that if you go to the Humane Society website it tells you that dogs don’t always exhibit their true personalities when they are being held because of the environment therefore if this dog happened to be exhibiting any negative temperament perhaps it was that he was afraid of being away from his family he wasn’t a dog that was abandoned in the overnight drop box that nobody knew or wanted!

    No the worst part is the death of the dog not the hypocrisy but it takes a lot of nerve to kill an innocent animal just like that!

  20. Do we have an animal rehabilitator working at the ssm humane society. The dog was most likely scared for it’s life. I call Bullcrap on the response the the humane society. Once an organization I supported… I no longer will.

    • So because a owner did not care for this dog you assume that NO OTHER PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD CAN OR WILL , so the best option after 12 days ( which we have had colds last longer than that ) he’s unfit to continue living life?

    • I care for my dog very well…once she got out on me…broke her leash and ran like the wind…because of that I’m a shitty owner? Thank fuk I caught her…God only knows what would have happen if the human society would have snatched her up and imposed there ridiculous jail fees.


      They couldn’t find the original owners, they also do not tell us if they did enough to find them. Are they maybe in the hospital? In jail?

      Emergencies happened that is not defined as neglect with intent……

    • Regardless, in this current situation, the dog was not given the chance for rehabilitation. There are groups all over the province that help in situations like this. Seems the local hs is too proud to admit when they need actual help and not in the form of putting healthy animals down.

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