OSPCA issues orders to Ontario dog-sledding operation amid ongoing probe
A dog at the Windrift Kennels in Moonstone, Ont., is shown in a video posted to Facebook. (Dylan Blake/Facebook)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 2, 2018 1:30PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 2, 2018 3:31PM EST
Ontario's animal welfare organization has ordered a dog-sledding business north of Toronto to take several steps to improve the well-being of more than 100 canines, as an animal cruelty investigation continues.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ordered Windrift Kennel in Moonstone, Ont., on Friday to provide insulated shelter, clean water, appropriate food and veterinary care to the dogs on site after a complaint was made by a couple on Sunday.
Natasha Guerriero and Dylan Blake, from Whitby, Ont., said they went dog-sledding and took videos of the animals afterward. The clips, which the pair posted to Facebook, showed dozens of dogs chained up in the snow, with one dog limping with an apparent open wound on one of its front legs.
The OSPCA said in a statement that officers visited Windrift Kennel on Monday and said "several areas of concern were identified."
"Our officers continue to oversee and monitor the conditions for the dogs to ensure the concerns are corrected and the dogs have the proper care and living conditions," it said.
Dogs at the kennel are receiving veterinary assessments, the OSPCA said, noting that the outcome of those examinations could result in more orders being issued.
"As the investigation progresses, we will continue to provide updates regarding the welfare of these dogs," the OSPCA said.
The owner of the dogs must comply with the orders or the animals can be seized, the OSPCA added.
Windrift Kennel did not respond to requests for comment.
The couple who made the complaint called the conditions of the dogs "sickening."
"Dozens and dozens of dogs, if not all of them, are in trouble -- they were limping, scrawny and starving and the owner said they sleep in little huts outside year round," Guerriero has said.
The couple booked their outing through a company called Toronto Adventures, Guerriero said.
The tour operator has since cut ties with Windrift Kennel, and a staff member said Toronto Adventures received death threats over the incident.