Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Owners fear for fate of 50 missing dogs

Speculation growing they're dogfight bait

  • Print

At least 50 large-breed dogs have vanished from southeastern Manitoba homes in the past year, fuelling speculation the animals are being used as bait in illegal dogfights.

The RCMP say there is no proof of such a crime, but as the number of missing dogs grows, so grows the scuttlebutt.

Janine Acott volunteers for the 500-member Southeast Manitoba Lost Dogs site on Facebook. She says her group had 46 documented cases of stolen dogs two weeks ago and more animals have vanished since.

"While we have no proof what the dogs are being taken for, the one thing that all the missing have in common is they are all spayed/neutered, older, larger-breed country dogs," she says. There are likely many more missing animals, she says, but they only have numbers on the ones reported to the site.

Garett Aubin lives north of Dufresne, off Provincial Road 501. His dog, Callie, a two-year-old black Lab and his brother's dog, Chevy, a six-year-old husky-terrier cross, vanished from his acreage Nov. 26. Since then, he says, six more dogs have disappeared within 21/2 square kilometres of his place.

"It's almost like common knowledge around here that someone is taking the dogs," says Aubin. "Ours were rural dogs. They were kind of sucks. They just want a warm bed.

"I don't know what's happening to them. I don't want to believe someone is making them fight."

Aubin filed a report with the St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP detachment. He says rural residents should be on the lookout for strange vehicles near their homes and report anyone who seems to have an unusually large number of dogs in their possession.

Terry Bolton lives across the road from Aubin. He came home last Wednesday to find a strange set of vehicle tracks entering his property. He later discovered a dog biscuit in his yard.

"It wasn't something we'd feed him," he says. His mixed-breed bull mastiff, Caleb, was still on the property.

"My dog has an electric collar so he doesn't leave the yard," Terry says. "I think someone tried to lure him out. There's no rhyme or reason to this. They're not purebred dogs or anything."

Bolton contacted St. Pierre-Jolys RCMP, who came out, took a statement and bagged the biscuit. "These dogs aren't running away. They're not getting run over," Bolton says.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert says he's heard the rumours but only a handful of missing dogs have been reported to rural detachments.

"Dogs go missing all over the place," Hiebert says. "Certainly I can assure you if there is any criminal activity suspected, we will investigate."

Hiebert says he understands dogs become part of families and urges people to report their concerns.

Jessica Blue, who recovered her two German shepherds after they were taken from her Ste. Anne-area yard two months ago, thinks the animals are being tossed into dogfighting rings to incite the competitors.

After her dogs, Kota and Tucker, were stolen, she got a tip they were tied up at a home three kilometres away. She investigated and found them chained to a Hydro pole.

"The people said they were their dogs, they've had them for a couple of years. My name was on the collar. I took them back."

She reported the theft to the RCMP.

"Everybody's dogs are going missing. What do they think is going on?" Blue said.

Cathy Brule's five-year-old boxer, Bobby, went missing from her home near Ste. Anne in August. She and her family haven't stopped searching for him, putting up posters in neighbouring towns and on Facebook sites dedicated to lost dogs.

She says she's disturbed at how many dogs have vanished from southeast Manitoba.

"I don't want to think that anything bad would happen to my guy," she says. "I'm hoping someone has him and will bring him home eventually. We won't give up until we know he's died of old age."

She estimates there are 40 dogs missing and presumed stolen in the region.

Janine Acott's German shepherd cross, Keesha, disappeared from her parents' yard near Oakbank on Nov. 7. The dog and its sister were let out for a run. Only one dog came back.

"We've knocked on so many doors. Every time we got a lead ,we followed it up," she says. Since Keesha went missing, she says, she's heard of 20 more dogs disappearing from area homes.

"Literally, people let them out to go to the bathroom and they never see them again."

Erica Lenton lives close to Garett Aubin, near Dufresne. Her son's dog, a German shepherd named Max, vanished Dec. 19. They'd put him in the yard in the early evening and never saw him again.

"He doesn't run away," she says. "He's our baby. We've looked everywhere, posted notices on Kijiji and Facebook.

"I'm not thinking we're going to get our dog back."

Lenton has four sons, ages 11 to 19. Max belongs to her eldest, who was given the dog when its first owner, a friend of the teenager, died.

When eight dogs vanish from 21/2 square kilometres of rural Manitoba, that's not coincidence. Someone is taking these dogs and harming them.

If you spot something suspicious, don't just tell your friends over coffee; call the law. Whoever is stealing the dogs is breaking up families.

lindor.reynolds@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

About Lindor Reynolds

National Newspaper Award winner Lindor Reynolds began work at the Free Press as a 17-year-old proofreader. It was a rough introduction to the news business.

Many years later, armed with a university education and a portfolio of published work, she was hired as a Free Press columnist. During her 20-plus years on the job she has written for every section in the paper, with the exception of Business. She’ll get around to them some day.

Lindor has received considerable recognition for her writing. Her awards include the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ general interest award and the North American Travel Journalists Association top prize.
Her work on Internet luring led to an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada and her coverage of the child welfare system prompted a change to Manitoba Child and Family Services Act to make the safety of children paramount.

She has earned three citations of merit for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and has been awarded a Distinguished Alumni commendation from the University of Winnipeg. Lindor was also named a YMCA/YWCA  Woman of Distinction.

She is married with four daughters. If her house was on fire and the kids and dog were safe, she’d grab her passport.
 
lindor.reynolds@freepress.mb.ca

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google