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Our Response to Kismutt Dog Rescue's Policy

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Hamilton, Ontario - March 24, 2022

Recently, Kismutt Dog Rescue in St. Marys made a Facebook post indicating that they do not allow families with autistic children to adopt their animals.

We are dismayed and heartbroken to hear about this discriminatory and ableist policy.

No animal should be subjected to harm and injury. We firmly stand by that. We don't want animals to be placed in unsuitable environments. However, saying that “99% of autistic students” are “aggressive and violent” is simply wrong. Statistically, autistic individuals are often the victims of violence. Not the other way around. Autism alone does not predispose someone to do violent acts. Meltdowns do happen. But, it is because the individual is too overwhelmed and stressed by their surroundings, and the demands placed on them. Not because they purposely intend to cause harm.

Many in our community are animal lovers and owners. Giving autistic individuals opportunities to interact with animals has shown to be beneficial and aid in their learning. Granted, not all children - regardless of diagnosis - are capable of having a pet. But, painting all autistic children with the same proverbial brush is wrong.

We hope that Kismutt Dog Rescue reconsiders this policy. We also want to let them know that we are available and open to making this a learning opportunity to help dispel the myths surrounding autism. Autistic and neurodiverse individuals already have to overcome so much stigma, ignorance and prejudice in a world that does not understand and accommodate them. Their families, caregivers and allies have to fight so hard to dispel all the misinformation and misunderstanding. This stereotyping that autistic children are violent is harmful and disheartening.

For more information, please contact our team at

Balance Support & Self Care Studios was created with parents and caregivers of individuals with diverse needs in mind. We recognize the value of the staff and community. We are committed to striving for excellence through inclusiveness, team collaboration, quality of services, and the participation and contributions of volunteers and community members. To learn more, please check out our website

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