Residents of a lakefront Niagara-on-the-Lake neighbourhood were shaken up Wednesday afternoon as officials from Provincial Animal Welfare raided a suspected puppy mill at 115 Delater St.
Onlookers said four white vans arrived around noon and spent nearly five hours removing puppies from the residence.
“We saw 30 or 40 in one van,” said a Delater Street resident who didn’t want to be named.
“It could be over 100.”
Niagara Regional Police and officials on the scene refused to comment or offer any details about the raid.
There were four vans outside the house, each one carrying dogs away from the scene. In a nearby parking lot a Lincoln County Humane Society adoption trailer was being towed by a pickup truck. It was reportedly filled with dogs removed from the house.
The house was leased out nearly a month ago and neighbours said they were suspicious from the get-go.
“It was the barking, and the smell,” one resident said.
“When I passed the house, I would smell something,” said NOTL resident Jeannie Phillips.
“I would smell something and I would hear the dogs bark – crying. I’m angry. So angry. Something has got to be done about it.”
Ron Simkus lives around the corner on River Beach Drive. He was walking his dog Pearl when the commotion started.
“Sometimes these people think if they come to a sleepy little town where nobody knows what’s going on they’ll get away with it. They picked the wrong neighbourhood.”
Some neighbours commented on having seen boxes brought into the house at odd hours of the night.
“I had never even seen a dog until yesterday,” another man said.
“The woman (who lives at 115) said she had inherited the dogs from her grandfather. I’m thinking, ‘You’re older than me. How old was your grandfather?’”
He said his only inkling of suspicion came from his dog waking him up in the middle of the night because the residents of 115 Delater St. were bringing things into the house.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as information is made available.
Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report