Neither owners of Rambo or Brittany have been allowed visits until now. Thank goodness someone finally came to their senses and at least allowed the dogs owners some peace of mind that the dogs basic needs are being met. Previous requests for vet examinations and visitations were turned down until this week.
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Brittany gets a visit
By Pam Douglas
The City of Brampton has relented and allowed two Brampton families to visit their impounded pups.
Ines Branco and her mother spent a heart-lifting hour with two-year-old Brittany late Friday afternoon at the Brampton Animal Shelter.
After two months of separation, it was a reunion full of love and licks.
“She jumped all over me and started licking me all over,” Ines Branco said.
“I got a dog bath,” she chuckled. “She was so excited.”
She said Brittany looks fine, and seeing her has alleviated her worries about her condition.
“I am relieved,” she said. “I do miss her a lot. She was my life, that dog. She’s a great dog.”
She said she now knows Brittany is getting out of her cage regularly. The dog has become very attached to one of the shelter workers, who Ines Branco said interacts with Brittany in the same ways she does.
“She sings to her, like I do,” she said. “And I’m generous with treats.”
Maria Gaspar has also been given permission to visit her dog, Rambo, but she is 75 years old and taking the separation hard, Ines Branco said. A visit might be too hard on her.
The families can now pre-arrange more visits, they were told. The shelter workers were accommodating and allowed them to stay as long as they wanted. The visit lasted about one hour.
The dogs have been front and centre in a dispute between the city and the families. The city has labelled them “illegal pitbulls”, the families insist they are boxer/American bulldog mixes.
The Brancos were told they could take Brittany for a walk, but they didn’t want Brittany to think she was going home, so they chose to spend time with her inside.
Brittany was very familiar with the room they were taken to for their reunion, where the shelter worker has a desk, according to Ines Branco. She was told Brittany sits by the woman’s side while she does computer work during the day.
“I was so worried all day. I couldn’t eat lunch, I couldn’t think. I was worried about how she was going to react,” Ines Branco said.
But the worry was all for nothing.
They brought toys and treats that her brother, Rui Branco, bought the night before. Rui Branco had Brittany’s mother, Jersey, a purebred boxer, lie on a mat he bought so her scent would be on it.
“She (Brittany) went right to it and laid down,” Ines Branco said.
Ines Branco also brought along her Brampton Battalion T-shirt that Brittany would always suck on whenever she would wear it.
“She sucks like a baby,” Ines Branco said. “That’s why I call her ‘Babies’.”
She left it there for Brittany, hoping her own scent would give her pet even more comfort.
When the Brancos left, the shelter worker distracted Brittany with a leash and promise of a walk, and the two women slipped out, anxious to return next week.
“It was very hard to leave,” Ines Branco said. “I want her back now. I miss her again already. I really hope I can see her once a week.”
She didn’t leave empty-handed, though. The shelter worker took pictures of them with Brittany, and printed them on the spot and gave them to her.
The city never gave a reason for their refusal to allow the families to see their dogs, but despite numerous requests, the families were told they could not.
In fact, earlier in the day Thursday, the families were told they could bring toys and blankets to the shelter for the dogs, but they would still be barred from seeing their pets.
Similarly, no reason was offered to explain why city officials suddenly changed their minds and are now allowing visits.
Ines and Brittany