Mystery hero dog captures Toronto hearts
Friendly canine prevented killing spree, officers say
Possibly some divine intervention going on in Toronto?
June 25, 2004
TORONTO - It could be Elvis or it
could be Dante but the search is on to find a dog that police say prevented a
killing spree in the city this week.
The country’s national newspapers ran front-page stories
Friday speculating on the identity of the mystery dog in coverage that ranged
from cute to deadly serious.
Police say a Canadian man, whose car was packed with 6,000
rounds of ammunition, rifles and a machete, planned to kill as many people as
possible in a tony east end Toronto neighborhood Wednesday. They say the man’s
intention was to make sure he was sent to prison and never let out.
But he changed his mind at the last minute, and later gave
himself up to police after a friendly dog came up to play with him in a park and
melted his heart.
Dog 'was like an angel'
I think it’s wonderful, (the dog) was like an angel,” said
Barbara Wilson, manager of Three Dog Bakery which is located near the
“We’re still trying to find the dog because our bakery would
like to present the dog with a basket of goodies to say thank you and I think
the dog deserves a lot more than that.”
The betting is on Elvis Presley, a black border collie who
was on the front page of the National Post Friday and featured prominently in
Elvis and his owner were in the east-end park at the right
time and reports that he was carrying a Frisbee in his mouth fits his
“There’s no other dog that runs around with a Frisbee in its
mouth,” a neighborhood dog walker told the Toronto Star. "That dog plays with
the Frisbee 24 hours a day.”
His owner is not so sure -- Elvis usually runs up to women
and not men, she told another newspaper -- but is happy to collect accolades for
“I would like to think it’s Elvis because it would make me
feel prouder but I don’t know,” Dragana Brighton said.
The power to change a mind
Other names being cast about include Mattie, who never met a
person she didn’t like according to park regulars, and the more discriminating
but equally soft-hearted Dante.
Dante, a part husky, part Australian shepherd, was also seen in the park late
Wednesday, playing with a man.
“I’m not claiming it’s him,” his owner, Kristina Kyser, told
the Globe and Mail, but she noted Dante did have the power to change a person’s
“He’s so sweet-natured,” Kyser said. “That kind of sweetness
does have lasting effects.”
James Paul Stanson, 43, has been charged with a variety of
weapons-related offenses. He is undergoing a mental health assessment to
determine if he is fit to stand trial.