A shocking and disturbing case of what appears to be animal cruelty was just discovered in Ontario–a case very similar to one we exclusively first told you about in April. That’s when “Lucky 500” a stray dog was found in Greene County, Tennessee. Vets confirmed the beagle mix was freeze branded with a giant “500” on both sides of her body. This past Sunday another branded stray beagle was discovered in Offord Crescent Aurora, Ontario.
Now the Ontario SPCA wants to know how this latest beagle, found blind in one eye, bruised and branded chemically with a giant “191” on both sides of his body, ended up that way. A York Regional Police officer helped save the life of the dog after responding to a 911 call for an injured animal.
The SPCA says, “Constable Netashia McLellan found a dog in obvious distress curled up below a tree. It was apparent to the officer that the dog had been a victim of suspicious circumstances and required immediate medical attention.”
The dog was rushed to an emergency veterinary clinic in Richmond Hill, where doctors were able to stabilize his condition and begin treatment on his wounds. The beagle was transferred from the veterinary clinic into the care of the Ontario SPCA where he is continuing to heal.
Investigators now want answers about what happened to the dog they’re now calling “Lucky 191” and are asking people who may have details to come forward.
Constable Andy Pattenden said there is no word on who the owner of the dog is or the meaning of the number “191.” Police said the number may indicate a possibility that the dog could have been involved in a sport of some kind.
As we first revealed in April, experts say freeze branding giant numbers on a dog is a practice some hunters use to identify their dogs during a hunt. First the dog’s hair is shaved from the area that will be branded. Then a branding iron is “frozen”, usually by cooling it in a combination of dry ice and 99% alcohol or in liquid nitrogen. The ice cold iron is then applied to the dog’s skin. At first the branded area turns red and puffy. After the swelling goes down the dog’s skin flakes off and in a few weeks the brand will begin to appear. The goal is to kill the hair follicles so the hair grows back in as one color. Other hunters sometimes paint or bleach numbers on their dogs.
If the owner of “Lucky 191” does not come forward before the dog recovers, it will be put up for adoption.
Anyone with information is asked to contact OSPCA investigators at 1-888-668-7722 extension 392.