An Etobicoke dog owner has accused the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of euthanizing her beloved husky unnecessarily and without her knowledge.

Gianna Tramontin said her 16-year-old brown and white husky, Rocky, was healthy and received regular checkups with a local veterinarian. But she was stunned when she returned home two weeks ago to find her pet was gone.

'When I got in the car, I just knew right away because the tears were coming down and he told me Rocky had died.' —Gianna Tramontin

A notice from the OSPCA was posted to her door informing her officials had taken Rocky away and were charging her for failing to provide proper shelter and veterinary care. A neighbour had earlier alerted the organization after noticing that Rocky had collapsed in the sun.

When Tramontin followed up with the OSPCA, she claims the agency only told her that her pet was being treated. In fact, the animal was euthanized the same day.

Dog was suffering: OSPCA

When she couldn't reach the OSPCA for further updates, her son phoned and received the news the pet had been put down. Tramontin's son arrived at her home two days later to take her out to lunch and deliver the news in person.

"When I got in the car, I just knew right away because the tears were coming down and he told me Rocky had died," she said.

Outraged and heartbroken, Tramontin wants to know why she was never given any notice her pet was to be put down.

Connie Mallory, the OSPCA's chief inspector, insists the dog was suffering and had to be euthanized.

Charges dropped

"This dog was dehydrated, had severe dental disease, had neurological symptoms," Mallory said. "[The dog was] in really rough shape that obviously had not been checked by the veterinarian."

But Tramontin disagreed, and has been backed up by Heather Hannah, the veterinarian who saw Rocky for the last 14 years. Both feel that the OSPCA acted hastily.

"I think they made a mistake in this case," Hannah said. "I mean, it had veterinary care every few months."

The OSPCA says it did not lay any charges against Tramontin.


  • An earlier version of this story said that the OSPCA charged Rocky's owner, but withdrew the charge after the owner produced veterinary records. The OSCPCA says that no charges were laid or revoked.
    Jun 13, 2011 9:00 AM ET
With files from the CBC's Johnny Keogh