September 7, 2012

Nilo was a dog that fought his whole life. He fought to live when his neck was sliced in Cuba. He fought to live through cancer. And he was fighting a tick disease called Ehrlichia. All of that fight can change a dog.  Nilo was very ill. Not in a physical sense (although the Ehrlichia was an ongoing issue), but mentally. Happy guy Nilo could be instantly replaced by agitated Nilo.  He was dangerous and unpredictable. The person he bit was someone that he had cuddled on the couch with. Someone that he gave kisses to, and did his happy dance for. We will never know why he did what he did. But we do know for certain that Nilo was loved, right to the end.

We are grateful to APAC for giving his owner options. In the last few days they have worked tirelessly to do so. We appreciate the effort that went into making arrangements. In talking with Nilo’s owner, all options were discussed and considered. But when it comes right down to it Nilo was her dog. Her concern over Nilo himself is what was talked about the most. How would he handle the transfer? How would he be dealt with to get him out of the crate?  He was so terrified, anxious and reactive when having to be crated the decision was made long ago that crating would no longer be an option for Nilo.  His behaviour was becoming increasingly erratic. Was it fair to him to move him around yet again? What if he bit someone else, a person who might file an official complaint – to die at the hands of a city shelter was unthinkable. The What If’s were never ending.  There is always one more veterinarian to see, one more behavioural assessment to endure, one more training class to take, one more test to run, one more place to ship him where maybe one more person might be able to help.  At what point do you say “enough is enough”?  Nilo deserved more than that. And so the decision was made by the person who knew him and loved him the most.  With heart and soul. Euthanasia is never an easy decision. It should be the last resort. Always. In the case of Nilo it was decided that it was his last resort. He can finally have peace.

As our Facebook followers will know, the death of Nilo has caused an enormous upset in the ranks of the APAC-Varadero group. People are upset, and when people are upset things are said in haste. We had originally chosen to allow the comments to continue because we have nothing to hide. However, our personal email addresses and bank accounts have now been broken into and our security is compromised.  For that reason, this conversation will no longer continue on any of our sites.  We will not tolerate threats and bullying and these attacks via Facebook, phone, and email have not been taken lightly. Discussion is one thing, but we encourage everyone to remain civil. We are all grieving for Nilo; our volunteers, our supporters, his owner.

There is no doubt that Nilo’s death is a tragedy – one that we are completely devastated by. We ask that you please take a moment to remember Nilo. He is a dog that changed a lot of people. He taught us about perseverance and ultimately about love and sacrifice. He will always be remembered.

Our thoughts at this time are with Nilo’s family. Who are not only dealing with the grief of euthanising a loved companion, but who are also subject to thoughtless comments. Please know that we stand tall beside you.

Thank you to our friends and supporters. Your words of support and encouragement have a profound impact on our organization and are making this whole ordeal a little more bearable.

Should you wish to discuss legitimate questions or concerns, please email

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