Dogs were locked inside a storage unit in Fort Erie

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Published February 23, 2023 at 6:07 pm

A 9-1-1 caller in Fort Erie spotted two dogs being locked inside a storage unit, which prompted a Niagara police investigation that has led to criminal charges against a man in his early 30s.

The accused, say Niagara Regional Police (NRPS), was bicycling when he was observed by officers on Wednesday, and refused directions to stop for approximately three kilometers before being taken into custody. The dogs are now with local animal welfare services.

A 9-1-1 call was received at 2:44 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 14) from witness who observed the two canines being led into and locked inside a storage unit located within a commercial storage premise on Garrison Rd. near Kraft Rd..

“The suspect reportedly left the area on foot, causing the witness concern for the welfare of the animals,” NRPS stated on Thursday (Feb. 23). “Officers assigned to uniform patrol responded to the commercial storage premise and upon approach the canines could be heard barking from inside the storage unit. After determining the canines were in distress, the lock was cut, and entry was gained. Officers seized the canines under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act after observing they were unable to move about due to overcrowding in the unit, insufficient food, and an unclean water supply.”

The Lincoln County Humane Society was called and initially took custody of the canines before turning over their care to animal welfare services. Detectives with the Fort Erie division identified the suspect, whom officers then observed bicycling on Garrison Rd. near Thompson Rd. on Wednesday.

Quinby Leland Zachariah-Diaz, 31, had a bail hearing on Thursday pertaining to the following Criminal Code offences, which have not been proven in court.

  • Willfully causing unnecessary pain/suffering or injury to an animal (two counts)
  • Causing damage or injury to animals (two counts)

The investigation remains open, NRPS added.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the lead detective (905-688-4111; option 3, ext. 1009555). Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

(Cover image: Pexels, stock image.)

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