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Last September, Rita Mueller walked into a Toronto Animal Services North to supposedly rescue a dog. She went into the room where Henry was being kept and later, when she left the room and ran off, staff found Henry strung up by his leash to his kennel, dead.

Now, finally, the cops are after her.

My question is, how does someone like this disappear? I'm guessing she's not part of some organized group of sadistic dog killers who are hiding her so can't the police just go knock on her door or ask some acquaintances about her whereabouts? Let's just hope she doesn't have any other animals under her care because if what she is alleged to have done is true, she is one sick fuck.

Henry, below, is the dog who was killed while Rita was in the room alone with him at TAS North.

From City News Toronto, Bolton woman accused of killing dog at shelter:

Rita Rosemary Mueller, 50, is wanted for killing an animal, causing unnecessary pain to an animal and disobeying a court order.

Police believe she may have other animals.

Mueller is white, five feet four inches tall, 115 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She frequents Peel Region and the City of Barrie.

Mueller runs Scooby’s Dog House and Rescue, an animal shelter located at 132 Queen St. in Bolton.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) confirmed that the same woman had 19 dogs removed from her property in Caledon and was forced to surrender 10 more dogs in 2011.

She was convicted in September 2012 of multiple charges under the OSCPA act and will be sentenced in February. She could be fined, prohibited from owning or living with an animal, or jailed.

From Toronto Police report:

Woman wanted in animal-cruelty investigation, Rita Mueller, 50, Photograph of woman released

Broadcast time: 13:59 Thursday, January 3, 2013

31 Division 416-808-3100

The Toronto Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance locating a woman in connection with an animal-cruelty investigation.

It is alleged that:

- on Friday, August 24, 2012, she walked into the office of the Toronto Animal Services on Sheppard Avenue West

- while in a room with a dog, she killed the dog by choking it

- the woman then left the scene

Rita Mueller, 50, of Bolton, is wanted for:

1) Killing or Injuring an Animal 2) Cause or Permit Unnecessary Pain 3) Disobey Court Order

She is described as white, 5’4”, 115 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes. She frequents Peel Region and the City of Barrie.

She also operates a dog rescue company called Scooby’s Dog House and Rescue.

Police are concerned that she may be in possession of other animals who may be in danger.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Constable Tony Vella, Corporate Communications, for Detective Constable Tamara Lawrynowycz, 31 Division

Update (2013-01-04): Rita Mueller has turned herself in to police.

3 Comments to “Rita Mueller wanted by police in choking death of dog at Toronto Animal Services North”

  1. deva says:

    Wondering whether Toronto Animal Services are reviewing their policy and ensuring that visitors are not left alone with animals from now on? Does Toronto Animal Services undertake background checks of rescuers and adopters prior to releasing pets into their care? Thanks for any info.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rita Mueller surrendered to police this morning.

  3. Anonymous says:

    She's nothing but a low down ugly and nasty scumb (lady/woman is too good of a word to use for her). The north should always have someone working the front desk so they cam see anyone that enters and leaves the building. Poor dog how he suffered. I hope she gets a taste of her own medicine remember this " what goes around, comes around.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.