150 rescued dogs are doing well, according to humanitarian society

Shocked owner says a couple rented the house in Delater St.

More than 150 dogs removed from a rented home in Niagara-on-the-Lake last week are doing well and will likely be adopted.

The house on Delater Street now smells and has suffered dog damage, owner Arthur Scauzillo said.

Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) staff rescued the dogs and a Lincoln County Humane Society employee in St. Catharines said she expects the dogs to be adopted once the property is investigated. -being animals completed.

Brianna Dingman, an animal care technician with the Humane Society, said this was the first big “hoarding” problem the organization has had to tackle to help PAWS officials. The PAWS agency handles all animal welfare cases in the province.

Investigators would say little about why the dogs were kept in the house by the water. The investigation is continuing and no charges have been laid.

Scauzillo, a Toronto lawyer, said he started renting out the house to Christina Grein and Anthony Biondi in April. He told The Lake Report that they were both in their 60s.

“Oh my God, this is crazy,” Scauzillo said when informed that more than 150 dogs had been found inside his property.

“There was no indication. I don’t know what to do about it. I feel like I have done all I can. It’s just bad luck, ”he said.

The couple passed all credit and background checks, including with their previous owner.

He said the couple rented a farm in Brampton before moving to NOTL.

Scauzillo suspects that the boxes that neighbors on Delater Street said they saw being moved overnight were dogs being transported to the Delater Street house.

Scauzillo, in his sixties and married with grown children, said, “We’re all dog lovers. It’s so horrible that it could have happened.

“My daughter has a French Bulldog and we all love her.”

He thanked the residents for alerting the authorities.

Scauzillo said he visited the house last Friday to inform the couple that they must leave by the end of the month and to inspect the damage.

“The whole house needs to be repainted. The walls are all yellowish, ”he said.

The vinyl carpet in the kitchen has also been stained yellow and there are scratches on the hardwood floors and walls, he said.

Scauzillo’s visit inside the residence confirmed that a bad smell reported by neighbors did indeed emanate from the house.

“Oh yeah, there is a smell.”

Scauzillo said Biondi apologized, but “that doesn’t get him very far in my book,” he said.

Grein wouldn’t see it, she was “too embarrassed,” he said.

While neighbors assumed the animals were part of a puppy mill, this has yet to be confirmed.

The dogs were removed from the home at 115 Delater Street between July 9 and July 14, according to Brent Ross, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

“Removing a large number of animals usually involves a high degree of logistics and planning to organize appropriate shelter and veterinary care,” Ross said.

PAWS staff have organized boarding schools, shelters, aid companies, animal experts and veterinarians to provide shelter and care, he said.

The rescued dogs were moved to several different locations across the province, but animal welfare officials declined to say where they were taken.

Dingman said the dogs are doing reasonably well, although she hasn’t seen them herself.

It’s unclear whether any of the dogs will need to be euthanized, but Dingman didn’t expect this to happen.

“From what I’ve been told, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be adopted at some point,” she said.

“(Putting them down) is a last resort. Our end goal is either to save the dogs or to adopt them and let them live the rest of their lives as they should. The ministry has the same objective.

However, dogs cannot be adopted until animal welfare services give the green light, Dingman said.

PAWS was established in January 2020 and now deals with all animal abuse and welfare issues in Ontario.

The agency has received more than 69,000 calls related to animal abuse issues since its inception, Ross told The Lake Report in an email.

Before that, aid companies handled cases, but now they are legally obligated to contact animal welfare and cannot take dogs in when abuse is suspected, Dingman said.

“If we have a stray dog ​​that is showing signs of neglect or abuse and the owner wants to claim the dog, we need to release the dog and immediately call the ministry,” she said.

Puppies rescued from hoarding situations typically suffer from hair loss, dental issues, and uncut fingernails, she said.

Those accused of mistreating animals can face up to two years in prison and a fine of $ 150,000 for a first offense, according to the Ontario government website.

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