Animal rescue effort continues at Burford home

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A Brantford woman believes there may be more animals in a Burford home where more than 40 dogs were found earlier this month after one of their owners died.


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Cassia Bryden, operator of Brantford’s Sato Saved End of the Line Dog Rescue, said she was returning home on October 7 to search for several other dogs and a cat or two that may be in hiding.

“I haven’t slept in five days,” Bryden said. “I want to make sure every one of them comes out. “

Sato Saved is one of many animal rescue groups assisting in the rescue after Brant OPP responded to a call about a death at the Burford home on October 2.

“These dogs now have a chance,” said Bryden. “In time, they will improve and find loving homes after all of this.”

She said the call for help is a call she “will never forget”.

“Never in a million years did I think I would see something like this. I went wandering the dung and saved the dogs. The house must be condemned.

Brant OPP Const. Conrad Vitalis said the man died of natural causes.

“That’s when we noticed the condition of the dogs inside the house,” Vitalis said, adding that police had called Hillside Kennels Animal Control to Innerkip.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but I hope the dogs will recover and be well.”

Bryden, who also works for Hillside, said 47 dogs were removed from the house over several days.

“There are still a few dogs that need to be rescued from the house,” she said. “It could take some time due to the difficult conditions in the house and the condition of the dogs. I went in and took the dogs out. Some dogs are wild. They are afraid and hide in the corners. It may take a while, but I am working with the owner to get them out.


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“I promised the owner that I would defend every dog. None of them showed any vicious behavior.

Bryden said pet owners are likely suffering from mental health issues and hoarding.

Many of the dogs – mostly large breeds, including Shepherd, Lab and Rottweiler mixes – were found with skin conditions and were starving and severely skinny, she said. They are about seven months to seven years old.

Despite the dogs’ poor condition, Bryden said she had compassion for the owners, who had become overwhelmed by the situation.

“The owner has a lot of remorse and is sad. The owners are responsible, yes, but they have struggled with mental health issues for years. The woman living in the house recently lost her husband. They have both asked for help in the past. They have called the Society for the (Ontario) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on several occasions, but there has never been a follow-up from them.

Logan White, head of fundraising and resource management for the Brant County SPCA, said she was unaware of this specific case, but pointed out that dog rescue efforts had been made in the passed through the agency.

“We recently dealt with the rescue of several animals in June,” White said. “If this was an animal cruelty case, it would be reported. The (SPCA) offers programs, including the Pets for Life Program and the Community Emergency Program, to anyone in need of assistance.

With most of the animals now out of the house, the focus has shifted to ensuring the animals are properly cared for.


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Seven pet rescue organizations stepped in to help, including Hillside Kennels, Pet Save Sudbury and a North Bay-based operation. The cats found in the house were taken to Purrfect Companions in Norfolk County and a turtle was taken by Tropical Fish Room in Brantford.

“It’s such a sad situation,” said Bryden. “I just want to clear this up. Right now it’s all about taking care of these dogs. Some are still very shy and scared. It could take weeks or more, but some dogs are already starting to wag their tails and come back. “

To help with the costs associated with the rescue, Hillside Kennels posted a fundraiser this week on its Facebook page. As of Thursday afternoon, nearly $ 17,000 had been raised. Bryden said all the money will go to veterinary care for the animals.

“Donations keep coming in,” Bryden said.

“My porch is a mountain of boxes. I just started to cry when I saw him. We are very grateful for all the support from the community. The University of Guelph is also helping us. Everyone has been so generous.

Bryden even took one of the rescued dogs to his own home.

“The dog is six or seven months old. I have a six year old boy so the dog is getting a lot of love right now.

To donate or for more information visit the Hillside Facebook page.



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