A Brantford woman who helped authorities retrieve more than 52 dogs living inside a small home in Burford, Ont., in early October is hoping that the bulk of the rescues will be able to be adoptable via a rehabilitation process.
Cassia Bryden, operator of Brantford’s Sato Saved End of the Line Dog Rescue, is optimistic there will be a positive outcome for many pulled out of the residence near Brantford in varying states of trauma, including illness and hunger.
“Obviously, with 52 dogs, there is a chance that some of these dogs aren’t going to be able to be rehabilitated and I am a realistic person,” Bryden told 900 CHML Good Morning Hamilton.
“But right now, I am hopeful that at least 50 to 48 of them will be adoptable in time and we’ll find forever homes.”
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) initially said they had counted about 40 canines in the home when they responded to an ambulance assistance call at the residence on Oct. 2.
In a press release on Wednesday, OPP said officers and paramedics discovered the situation when they went inside the home to aid a man found unconscious.
He was later transported to hospital and pronounced dead due to natural causes.
Bryden, who also works part-time for Hillside Kennels Animal Control in Innerkip, Ont., on weekends, says they got the call early on Oct. 2 from the police requesting assistance.
The kennel’s staff were not prepared for what they found, according to Bryden.
“A lot of them had even been chewing on themselves for a number of years, so they were missing hair on half their bodies,” Bryden said.
“Basically anywhere their mouths can reach. They’ve got no hair.”
In all, staff found 52 dogs alive in the home along with four cats and a turtle. Three dogs were found deceased.
Once authorities were able to get the surviving homeowner to agree to surrender the pets, the retrieval process took days.
“The dogs just kept coming out and coming out and it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is just crazy,'” said Bryden
“How is it all these dogs got in this tiny little house?”
Over the next three days, 17 dogs would be taken back to Hillside, while Sudbury’s pet save would arrange to have the remainder shipped to a pair of facilities in Quebec for more specialized rehabilitation rescues in North Bay, Ont., and Montreal.
Bryden says aside from treating skin conditions, many of the dogs will have to be trained as if they were puppies since many are not house trained, don’t trust people and are not used to walking on a leash.
“They’ve been in this house and never gone outside for three or four years, so it’s almost like somebody coming out of a detention centre,” Bryden said.
“You know, they get out of there and they have no idea what’s going on in the world.”
Through a Facebook fundraising effort, the Hillside collected close to $18,000 for costs tied to the rescue and care of the animals.
Bryden said those efforts have now been redirected to a GoFundMe campaign to cover an estimated $800 to $1,000 in medical expenses for each dog.