Owner Frustrated By Dog’s Condition After Being Held By Sault Humane Society

Photo of Odie, supplied by owner

Odie the dog has been back with his family for two weeks since being released back to Jenn Santana and her family following being held by the Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society.

Saultonline.com / ONNtv first brought you odie’s story back in June.

The Shelter believed the dog to be a pitbul, and pitbuls are banned in Ontario. For that reason, when Santana went to claim her dog after being lost , she was shocked to be informed that she could not have her dog back.

After numerous court appearances and 65 days of not being with his family, the court was satisfied that Odie is a boxer / lab mix and not a pitbul.  Charges were withdrawn.

The story should have ended there, but it didn’t.

The day Santana got Odie back, she started noticing problems

While Odie was being held behind bars, the dog experienced stress and caused injury to himself, mainly his teeth from biting the bars in his pen at the Humane Society.

we have fractures on all 4 of Odie’s larger canines are all affected by the trauma of being caged for 65 days” Santana tells SaultOnline.com

Santana says she has had no hope in finding a vet locally and she can no longer take Odie to her vet across  the river, as Odie is still listed as pitbul on papers released from the Humane Society. Meaning Santana would have a problem bringing Odie back into Canada.

He has 8 dental fractures and this is urgent we have started a go fund me in an effort to raise funds as we are looking at 2000+ just to fix his teeth, and the court order gave me several stipulations that I cannot meet as I can’t gets vet anywhere local, I’ve tried Sudbury, North Bay, Elliot L ake we are looking into Ottawa. ” Santana said.

Santana had numerous conditions put on her from the court and the Humane Society and all of them, including getting Odie fixed and all shots up to date must be complete by September 21.  Other conditions include, all appropriate vaccinations to the satisfaction of a Veterinarian in good standing with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario OR to the satisfaction of a Veterinarian in good standing with the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association by September 21, 2019; b. The Defendant is to apply for a City of Sault Ste. Marie Dog License for Odie by September 21, 2019; c. Odie is to be neutered by October 14, 2019; d. Odie is to remain on a leash while outside the Defendant’s domicile, for the remainder of his life.

Santana is more than willing to meet all the conditions, however the cost of fighting for her dog back and now along with the dental care he needs is adding up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Not surprisingly , a gofundme page has been set up to help with the mounting expenses.

“We are looking at a very significant veterinarian bill in order to not only comply with the terms of his release and to also make sure that Odies immediate health issues can be met in a timely manner.” Santana wrote, “He is psychologically not the same dog that left during the 65 days he was held and incarcerated I cannot imagine what he endured. He is scared of loud noises, his leash, people visiting , he doesn’t sleep he hyperventilates and surface sleeps and any noise causes an immediate stress/anxiety reaction.”

“I am told the same thing over and over “we are not taking new patients” meanwhile Odie is suffering, uncomfortable and we are fighting the clock of the provincial court system. It’s absurd” Santana said.
For those who can help, check out the gofundme campaign.


  1. If the injuries happened at the humane society, while Odie was incarcerated, then they should pay the bill. They are responsible for Odie’s safe keeping durring court proceedings, just like inmates.

  2. I doubt any vet service is in the business of providing FREE SERVICES…why should they? If one cannot pay the bills associated with owning a dog….give it up to someone who can provide the necessities for said dog.

  3. People should not judge humane society.they have their reasons to keep the dog as it looks like the agressive breed pitbull.they are thinking for the safety of the society when that pitbull looking dog was roaming around freely and pitbull can do a lot of damage once it bites and attacks and lockjaw .

    • The Sault Ste-Marie HS was wrong – they misidentified the dog as it is too often the case when it comes to BSL and made a victim out of a family dog while their mandate is to protect animals. And by the way – Appearance does not predict the behavior of a dog, it never did, it will never do – to judge a dog on its appearance is DISCRIMINATORY nothing more! You are obviously very misinformed. There is no dogs, nor breeds, whose jaws can locked! Dr. Brisbin, University of Georgia : “The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of pit bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is NO DIFFERENT THAN that of ANY BREED of dog.
      There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE for the existence of any kind of “locking mechanism” unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
      Furthermore, the APBT constantly reach the best results on temperament tests. In the 2015 American Temperament Tests – They achieved better results than Golden retrievers, Border Collies, Australian Shepperds, etc.
      Your allegations are myths and misinformation spread by fear-mongers.

    • Lockjaw in pitbull’s is actually false. I was surprised to learn this a few years ago. But it’s true. They do not have lock jaw.

    • They do NOT have Lock jaw there bite is actually less then German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher it has been tested and states in many forms if you just take the time to do some research instead of just going by a bunch of myths

  4. Firstly the Humane Society did not have to determine was a “pit bull”. If one reads the act itself the act says “may” determine. The society made a choice and shame on them for doing so. The dog obviously suffered greatly from being caged. It’s way past the time to remove this horrific legislation that never should have been put in law in the first place.

  5. Clearly not a responsible owner if wasn’t already neutered, UTD on vaccines, and had regular veterinary appointments. If she had a regular vet and was doing preventative care she would not be searching for vet now. Also vets don’t discriminate based on breed, vets don’t enforce breed bans. It’s more likely she doesn’t want to pay the vet bill, and most vets don’t take a payment plan for a non-client. I feel bad she has to get his teeth fixed, but the bill for the neuter, vaccines and exams is on her, should have been done long before now! In fact if she had of been a responsible owner in the first place the dog would never have been in this situation to begin with. I feel bad for the dog, not his fault his owner wasn’t responsible, she gives good Pit-bull owners a bad rep.

  6. I hope Sault Online will do research into what the vets and humane society’s rights and responsibilities are to validate this story.
    An important resource in our city, with a volunteer board and limited resources has been painted in a terrible light by one individual. The humane society has not yet been able to make a statement with their version of the story.
    Volunteers have faced terrible treatment, including death threats, because of this twisted story. It’s extremely sad and disappointing to see many individuals believe partial truths and some completely fabricated misinformation

    Clear example. Vets determine the breed of a dog; the humane society will not question that.

  7. I really doubt that the humane society did anything wrong to that dog. And of course the owner set up a go fund me account. She is ridiculous!! This is a case of the owner not looking after her dog properly to begin with. She should never have gotten the dog back to begin with. She is irresponsible and attention seeking. That dog was not as well looked after as she says it was and was on the loose all the time. If I was the humane society I would be taking action against her for all the damage she has done to their reputation. You have to know this woman to understand

  8. I have been following this situation since day one and have been biting my tongue, but no more. I can’t bear seeing the Humane Society trashed for doing their jobs any longer.

    First, to be clear, I vehemently disagree with BSL. I’ve signed petitions against it and contacted politicians about it. I believe in deed, not breed, and that it is bad owners who should be banned.

    That being said, from reading both sides of this poor dog’s story and talking to people who are more intimately familiar with it, I have to say this is a prime example of bad owners who should not have a dog.

    To begin with, as I recall, the very first post I saw on Facebook said he got out while chasing a squirrel, not a bear. From the beginning, people in their neighbourhood (which admittedly I am not) have said Odie is continually running loose, not neutered, not taken care of, not seeing a vet. This was not the first time this happened, and all of this is likely part of the reason why Ms. Santana is encountering roadblocks from our vets who know how to recognize an irresponsible owner.

    Like it or not, Ontario has BSL, and the law bans pit bull-like dogs. That means a dog who looks enough like a pit bull that it could conceivably be one. Odie definitely falls into that category, in more ways than one. He is too young to have been grandfathered in, and thus is illegal. Especially given the fact that he is illegal, no matter how sweet and gentle he may be (and most pit bulls are), a responsible owner would have been sure to keep him controlled, leashed, and neutered, and if she had, none of this would have happened.

    But it did happen. He ended up at the HS, and at that point the staff had no choice but to follow the law. That is their job. That is what they must do. They are not and have never been in the wrong, and I’m sick of the abuse being hurled their way. They do what they do because they love animals. The only one in the wrong here is the owner, and if she truly loves Odie she would have conceded that he was illegal by the definition of the law and allowed him to be re-homed (to an approved, responsible home) in Michigan. But she didn’t. And now this is the result, one which was easily predictable to anyone who knows and cares about dogs.

    Sadly, as is always the case, the victim here is the dog. He suffered and will continue to suffer because of his owner’s choices from the day she brought home a banned dog. He should be healthy and happy in Michigan right now, and that he isn’t is most certainly not the fault of the Humane Society.

    A law is law, whether it’s right or not. If you choose to break it, accept the consequences. Sadly, for Odie, this didn’t happen.

  9. The Courts and the Sault Ste. Marie S.P.C.A. conducted themselves very poorly, it`s actually disgusting. I thought animals were treated well at the S.P.C.A., apparently I was mistaken. Odie and his family have been treated very poorly, by both the Courts & S.P.C.A. or should I say mistreated ?

  10. There is two sides to this story!! However, unfortunately the humane society can’t reply do to confidentiality reasons!! If you guys knew the truth you will be walking with your tail between your legs!! The humane society has to put up with death threats and more from idiot pet owner etc!! If it wasn’t for the humane society were would all the unwanted abuse dogs and cats go that so called owners diguard!! You people need to stop taking this out on the humane society! I have six dogs two cats and all are up to date with shots and are all fixed!! I am a responsible dog owner! When you own a animal you need to be able to look after it financially and provide veterinary care! Until more information is out I would definitely Stop bad mouthing the humane society!! There is alot more to this than you think!! It’s not that this dog was a pitty!! What it comes down to is being a responsible dog owner!!

  11. Was never worried for the dog before..wasn’t its first time on the loose..a friend of mine found it last year full of fleas..when she returned the dog it would’nt even go to the owner, he stayed in the car shaking like a leaf, it’s owner had to come to the car and carry it in..🤬

  12. I’ve been in a similar situation in the past with my lil fella Yorkie jackrussel I hope u find some kind able souls to help you make your sweet boy well again. It’s a sad struggle way too many have problems with in the soo and area.

  13. There has to be more to this story. Either
    1) the humane society is in cahoots with the vets , and they are blacklisting this dog ..
    2) the owner after enduring ridiculous amount of expenses can’t pay upfront for the procedures and no one will take payment plan which Is very possible

    • Jack Derek Jackson yeah…you keep telling yourself that. If the SSM HS is in the right than please explain why they have not held some sort of press release to inform people that they did nothing wrong and set the record straight so people won’t stop supporting them?

    • Kayla Matthews so many triggers in this story has me fired up. The owner wouldn’t be facing thousands of dollars in vet bills if she was a responsible pet owner in the first place. Bully breed owners need to be even more diligent due to the legalities of Ontario. That dog should have been up to date with vaccines to begin with and should have been neutered. The owner has called vets trying to get dental care but has no intention of getting neutered. The vets in town are taking on new clients IF you are able to pay your bill. Too many times vets have to front the cost of treating an animal because the owner does not come back and pay. It’s no wonder they don’t do payment plans because people like this woman screw them over. Vets in town also won’t deny treatment due to breed. If you can pay the bill, they will see you eventually.
      I’m on the humane society’s side 100%. The owner never should have gotten the dog back, then it would have been neutered and up to date on shots and adopted to a more responsible owner. Smh 🤦🏼‍♀️

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