Many are the products/trash of a throw-away society. Some, because they are no longer cute and cuddly puppies, others because they are sick, or hurt or old. Others because they are simply too much bother.
These are some of the dogs that end up at the South Dundas Dog Pound located at 5066 Prunner Road and operated by Kevin Casselman who is contracted by the municipality.
On a recent Saturday, “I picked up five dogs in one day. One had gotten loose and was claimed back by an elderly gentleman.”
Casselman advises anyone who has a dog that goes missing to get hold of him immediately either by contacting the township or calling him at 613-543-2980.
Although sometimes it is a matter of a dog getting loose, Casselman says, “A lot are being dropped. A lot are sick ones that we pick up. It’s the money. Vet bills are so high.” He suspects that some of the people are from the urban areas/cities that are abandoning the dogs, thinking they will be taken in by the rural folk. Most often they are not and once-loved and cared-for family pets are finding themselves in the wild to fend for themselves against coyotes and wolves.
“We’ve had them tied up to the sign at the end of the road, because they know we are here. We get everything from purebred to crosses to dogs that have obviously been family pets.”
Casselman is currently looking for a home for a purebred yellow lab that he has kept long beyond the four days the township pays for an animal’s care. This guy is a beauty. He is good with children, very friendly, very kind and has been neutered. Casselman with the help of Pam Bullard, who assists at the pound, has been actively seeking a new family for the yellow lab.
Casselman says it is a misconception that all dogs are automatically euthanized after the four day period runs out. Yes, euthanism is part of the job, but he also tries to find homes for as many dogs as he deems are suitable.
“I’ve shipped as far away as Sudbury,” he told the Leader during a visit to the pound on Friday, September 14. “Recently, we adopted out a Shepherd that had been here for 2.5 months. This past Monday, a little Black Lab mix went out.”
A purebred female Great Pyrenees was picked up Saturday, and taken to her new home in South Mountain and a purebred Welsh Terrier was expected to go to a forever home in Morrisburg sometime this week.
In all Casselman had 18 dogs on the property, some still in the four day period and that he had taken into his care and is now sheltering and feeding at his own expense.
Some of these included a beautiful purebred young chocolate lab (very high puppy energy), a husky and an adorable mid-size mix.
Casselman does not charge for dogs that he adopts out but he does gratefully accept donations to help him pay for their care expenses.
He explains that under his contract with the Township, “they pay for the heat, food and maintenance for four days. During the four day period, the dogs can’t be removed from the facility, except by their owner. As a municipality, we are responsible for them, and we are required to ensure that nothing happens to them while in our care. After the four days, the dogs go into my name and they go up for adoption.”
Casselman’s longtime dilemma is that people aren’t aware that they can get dogs through him. That is where Bullard comes in. In addition to providing some grooming, Bullard works at getting the information out there on the available dogs through her Facebook page and on various free advertising sites such as Kijiji. Bullard says she is hoping to soon have a link with the municipality’s website.
South Dundas owns the pound which includes three buildings, one outdoor, one indoor and one used for storage. All are heated and government inspected. The South Dundas pound can handle up to 10 dogs indoors.
“I have to dispose of sick dogs and our pound vet is Dr. Gray who issues me the stuff through the Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry has full access to the buildings, 24-7. They go through regularly, and we have had no bad reports.”
“I am well monitored. I must have proper ventilation, maintain proper temperatures and make sure there are no contaminants, no insects. We pressure wash every day and disinfect twice a month, more often if we deem necessary.”
Having worked with dogs for 28 years, Casselman says it is still tough when he has to euthanize the sick, or the unadoptable, the aggressive ones. He says it is especially tough when he knows it is an animal that has been abused. “I can tell right away. I know.”
Casselman says that when times are tough he sees more animals. People can’t afford vet bills for care or to pay to have the animals euthanized. So they abandon them.
He says he also has problems with image. “People just don’t know what all goes on down here,” he says, asking that we print that the name of the town is “Morrisburg not Rumourburg. I hear from people that there are those who say, I keep the dogs for four days and then I kill them. Enough is enough. I’ve had enough. If they are adoptable, I will find them a home. Unfortunately, when I get rid of one there are often two or three more that come in.”
Unfortunately, there has been occasions where people will adopt a dog and donate $20 to him even though Casselman has been feeding it for weeks if not months. “Then they’ll take the dog and put it on the internet for sale for $300.” According to Casselman, by law he has to go out of his way to ensure that dogs do not go to anyone who is going to turn around and sell them for profit.
Casselman says he will accept donations to help with the care of the animals he is housing, but he does not solicit. He can use cash donations, food donations and even old blankets, pillows, bowls and crates. “Some people drop off bones that we keep frozen. We’ll accept anything and we’ll even pick it up.”
Casselman’s job also has him dealing with cats and wildlife the latter sometimes being in places they shouldn’t be.
Thankfully, there are a lot more good pet/dog owners than bad. Unfortunately, there are the latter, and it is the results of their actions that the South Dundas Dog Pound and Kevin Casselman are dealing with.
Anyone who is looking to adopt a dog is invited to contact Casselman, and anyone who might be interested in any of the animals currently in his care should contact him for more information. He will refuse anyone he feels is not suitable and having worked around dogs and people for so many years, he says, “I know right away when there is a good match.”
Although some of the dogs in his care are neutered/spayed those that aren’t and are adopted, he strongly encourages the new owners to have the procedures done to prevent anymore unwanted animals.
Anyone who wishes to donate to help with the animal-care expenses (past the township’s responsibility), or to donate food and supplies or who has ideas on some effective advertising methods for successful adoptions can also contact Kevin.