We have been awaiting news on the fate of Rambo, the pup of indeterminate parentage that attracted the attention of Mississauga Animal Services when he escaped from his home last Christmas. He has spent over nine months on death row, charged with being a banned pit bull.
To the relief of everyone who was rooting for him to be spared the needle, Rambo will be flying off to Nova Scotia to find his forever home.
Rambo will likely be forever in Gabriela Nowakowska’s mind. The 21-year-old Mississaugan captured our hearts when she went up against the City of Mississauga to save her dog.
“It was very difficult losing my dog,” she told The Mississauga News. “But now, Rambo is going to have a life and he’s going to be free…The only thing that’s important to me is that he’s still alive.”
Rambo is headed for a farm in Nova Scotia run by Ador-A-Bull Dog Rescue after a deal was struck in a Mississauga courtroom on October 8. He will be trained with a number of other dogs and then could be adopted to a loving home.
Nowakowska pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal dog and received a suspended sentence. The City agreed to waive the pound fees for Rambo, who has been kept for the longest-time ever at the shelter. Those fees were estimated at $3,000.
Justice of the Peace Karen Jensen commended Nowakowska, who works two minimum-wage part-time jobs as a waitress and at a deli counter, for her efforts on behalf of Rambo. “You’ve suffered the loss of your dog but you have made some gains … for which you are to be commended.”
Those gains include the change in City policy that now permits dogs like Rambo accused of being pit bulls to be sent to another province rather than automatically being put down.
The City’s application to execute Rambo will be withdrawn Oct. 20 if all goes well.
“By then, he should be in a whole new province and everyone’s happy,” the Justice of the Peace said.
Nowakowska’s lawyer, Anik Morrow, told the court that as time passed his client realized that nothing could be gained by going forward. “Her concern is ultimately the dog,” she said.
Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who championed Rambo’s cause, was “delighted” at the outcome.
“We’ve learned from this that this law is very difficult to enforce and it breaks people’s hearts,” the councillor said. “Saying that something looks like something else is a very poor basis for a law.”
Nowakowska was convicted of owning a dog that was “substantially similar” to breeds of dogs generally known as pit bulls.