Outrage that Alleged Negligent Pet Owner Could Avoid Prosecution

Outrage that Alleged Negligent Pet Owner Could Avoid Prosecution

The manager of the Oromocto SPCA wants to see a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Debbie Andrews for her alleged negligence that left two dogs and a rabbit dead and a cat barely alive. You can read the article below from The Daily Gleaner for more.

SPCA Urges Action



Mirror, AB dogs are again being poisoned

Mirror, AB dogs are again being poisoned

DOG PULLING ON STICK © Gjs | Dreamstime.com


It’s been a year since the poisoning of dogs last was news in Mirror. At that time, approximately 20 dogs were poisoned with a chemical typically used to kill gophers.

Over night last night, 14 dogs died from poisoning.

Calls starting coming in to the RCMP in Bashaw about 9:30 this morning and continued throughout the day. As of early Saturday evening, 13 deaths have been confirmed and a 14th is believed also to have been poisoned. All of the dead dogs were found in fenced-in yards or on their owner’s property.

It is thought that something the dogs ate contained an unknown substance. Toxicology reports from veterinarians to verify the substance are pending.

Please keep an eye on your dog(s) and do not leave them unattended in your yard.

Anyone with information or anyone who believes their dog has been poisoned is urged to call Constable Duek with the RCMP in Bashaw at (780) 372-3793.

Mirror is about 215 kilometres northeast of Calgary and about 66 kilometres East of Red Deer.

Symptoms of dog poisoning

The following are a few of the symptoms of dog poisoning that you can look out for. A lot of these symptoms are quite similar to those in human poisoning, and some of them can be indicative of other conditions and ailments.

  • Irritation or swelling of the mouth and throat
  • Drinking excessive amounts of water
  • Drooling or discharge from the nose
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Change of color in urine
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors, Convulsions or Seizures
  • Respiratory problems
  • Paralysis
  • Erratic heart rate

Some symptoms are extremely specific. For example, rat poison can prevent blood clotting which can mean that small injuries become quite serious, and if ingested it can cause internal bleeding which if not treated quickly enough can lead to death. Sometimes internal bleeding can be diagnosed by blood in the dog’s urine.

What to do if you Suspect Poisoning

If your dog displays any of the symptoms of dog poisoning, you need to seek proper veterinarian treatment as soon as possible. The very first thing to do is call your vet and ask for advice. If your dog has been poisoned, there are things you can do to help, but it depends on exactly what he has eaten. For example, inducing vomiting can help the dog to clear out whatever is causing the problem and a mixture often used for this is made up of a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of milk.

You should never try to induce vomiting in cases of chemical poisoning such as cleaning products or gasoline or if the dog is in a stupor. In these cases trying to make the dog throw up can actually make it worse. Always at least ask your vet before trying something like this. It will be much easier if you know the exact cause, but even if you don’t, the vet will be able to tell you what to do.


Read other articles about the Mirror dog poisonings


The Story of Ben

The Story of Ben

TRIAL: May 6, 2010 | 9:30 AM | Alberta Provincial Court in Cochrane | We’ll be there!

Here’s the email we received last week about Ben — Lorna and Ed’s Malamute tragically killed in an out-of-season snare.

We have been going up on the Powderface Trail to Canyon Creek for over four years to run our dogs. Until last year we had two big Alaskan Malamutes, Ben and Keesha and one SPCA special Sarah. Sarah is part cocker spaniel and part border collie, so she has long soft fur.

On November 29th, 2010 my husband and I decided to take Ben and Sarah up for the last run of the year as the Powderface Trail is closed on December 1st for the winter. We left home before noon, putting their coats on; as it is hunting season and we didn’t want Ben to be mistaken for a wolf. Ben has always been very obedient, and they come when called or to a small whistle that I have. He just loves to be able to run free, in and out of the trees. Ed has asthma and so waited in the truck while I walked with the dogs down the valley to the east of the trail.The snow was quite deep that day, and little Sarah was having problems in the snow. Ben had run about 15 yards ahead of me, but I wasn’t worried. I bent down to break the snowballs out of Sarah’s feet, and when I looked up Ben was gone. He just vanished without a sound. I called and called, and walked down the valley a bit more, but still no sign of him. As it was getting dark, we decided to go home and come back the next morning. Ben is an outside dog.

When we got home, I talked to my daughter, and she made up some “Lost” posters and I printed out a bunch to take back up to the area and post on any signboards we came to. We were up at 5:00 A.M. and started to put up our posters everywhere we could. We also talked to a lot of people including some hunters with the idea that the more people that were looking for Ben, the better it would be.

It was about noon by the time we got back to Canyon Creek, and I looked for Ben’s tracks to see which direction he had taken. It wasn’t far from where I last saw him that I found his lifeless body in the trees with a wire snare around his neck. I couldn’t get it off, so had to call Ed to help. Ed couldn’t get it off either, and ended up cutting the cable to get him free. In the same area was another trap, a big wooden box with a large Conabear trap in it and a huge chunk of raw meat. The trap was set about one foot off of the ground, and if a dog or a child had reached in, they would have been caught. The jaws of the Conabear are about 12 inches square, and have two strong springs. Trappers use a rope or clip to set them, as they can be caught in them themselves.

With great difficulty, Ed and I loaded Ben’s 120 pound body into the back of our truck. We headed back to the Ranger Station on the Elbow side and met up with a Conservation Officer, Bill O’Conner. He tried to get the snare wire off of Ben’s neck, but it took him ¾ of an hour trying various tools before he was able to free Ben.

Bill asked us to take him back to where Ben had been caught. He walked in and said it was 300 meters off of the trail. He also asked us if we had taken a quad in there, as there were fresh tracks in the area. We said no, and he left to go back to the Elbow side; and we went north towards the Transcanada Highway.

We continued about a mile or so, and came upon a truck with a quad in the back with fresh snow in the cleats. As we sat there, a man came out of the trees carrying some tools. We asked him if he had been the one who went down the Canyon Creek Valley. He was definitely on the defensive and said yes he was. So Ed told him that he had killed our dog. He went and looked in the back of the truck and said,”oh, sorry”, but I had the feeling he didn’t mean it. We asked his name and I took his license number. His name is John McWilliams. He was very arrogant to us, and so we just left.

When we got back to Calgary, we went over to our vets. and we left Ben’s body there to be cremated. The total bill was $275.00.

Bill O’Conner told us to call the R.C.M.P. in Cochrane, but to wait a few days as they were busy. Ed and I were absolutely devastated by this time. We felt that this was a wrong thing to be happening in a populated recreational area. I can’t remember why, but for some reason we were up on Barlow Trail N.E. and happened to see the Global signs. We went in and talked to a lady there, and she said she would talk to her boss.

They gave us a call, and we went out to the Elbow Falls area on Sunday December 5th and did an interview with the crew from Global news. We just wanted to get the word out, so that no one else would have to go through the heartache that we were experiencing.

Ben wasn’t just a dog. He was a member of our family. He slept outside most nights, but always came in to socialize and have his breakfast. He spent as long as he could stand in the house, as he had such a heavy coat. Ed kept looking out the kitchen window for Ben, as he was so cheeky, and would bark at us through the window.

The Calgary Sun phoned us, and wanted to do an article. A photographer came up to the house and took pictures. They were on the front page of the Sun on December 6th. Also a follow-up article on Dec. 7th.

Our son, Ted, picked up Ben from the City Pound. His boss’ daughter worked there, and Ben had been in the pound 3 weeks, and he hadn’t been adopted. Ted was so happy, and spent a lot of time with Ben, training him and taking him out in the mountains. We had another Malamute at the time, Keesha, and the three dogs ran alongside the truck or the quad. Ben gradually developed a special personality. He became very affectionate and was no trouble if you don’t count the holes in my front lawn!

After the story appeared in the Calgary Sun and on Global T.V. we had lots of people come up to us expressing their sympathy. We were in contact with the Cochrane fish & Wildlife officer named Rob Dipalo. He told us that Mr. McWilliams was charged with hunting out of season. We do not approve of that, as if convicted he would lose his hunting license. We felt he should be charged with what he did wrong, trapping out of season, and he should lose his trapping license. According to Mr. Dipalo Mr. McWilliams has a trapping license, and was allowed to trap after October 1st, but he could not put out snares until after December 1st. If he had obeyed the rules, we would not have lost our pet. Also we do not think it is right that they are allowing trapping in an area where people take their children and pets.

John McWilliams goes on trial for the killing of Ben on May 6 in Cochrane.

TRIAL: May 6, 2010 | 9:30 AM | Alberta Provincial Court in Cochrane | We’ll be there!


Blog post | Calgary Sun story | Global Edmonton


Calgary vigil held for sled dogs slain in Whistler

Calgary vigil held for sled dogs slain in Whistler

View Calgary vigil photos

Calgary animal rights supporters petitioning for tougher cruelty laws

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald

A hundred animal rights supporters held a vigil for the 100 sled dogs that were killed in Whistler one year ago.

Standing at Tompkin’s Place on 17 Avenue and 8 Street S.W. on Saturday night, they held signs and circulated petitions for tougher animal cruelty laws in Canada on the anniversary of a slaughter that garnered international attention.

The killings between April 21 and 23 were brought into the public’s attention when a sled dog company’s general manager applied for compensation for post-traumatic stress after the gruesome deaths of the dogs.

Holding a sign with a photograph of a husky that read “Why did we have to die?” Lauren Rigoni said she was moved to act.

“Animals can’t be treated like disposable objects; they have lives,” said the 12-year-old who painted whiskers on her face.

Event organizer Heather Anderson, founder of the DAISY Foundation, said the vigil was meant to help remember the animals that lost their lives.

“We’re out here just to stand up for these huskies that were murdered and to make sure that a mass murder like this will never happen in Canadian history again,” said Anderson.

She criticized the major political parties for largely ignoring the issue during the federal election. Anderson said she did, however, approve of the British Columbia task force into the sled dog deaths.

The BC provincial government has promised to adopt stricter animal cruelty laws by the fall and to adopt the ten recommendations of the Sled Dog Task Force.

Kevin Sparham, a Calgary resident and recreational sledder, brought two Siberian huskies to the vigil.

He said last year’s killing “brought a tear to the eye.”

He hopes the controversy around the killing brings attention to the issue.

“It needed to be brought up. Some kennels are good, some kennels aren’t,” said Sparham.

(Enable Javascript to see the email address)

Read more


reprinted from Calgary Herald | Other stories


Introducing Canada’s toughest animal-protection laws

Introducing Canada’s toughest animal-protection laws

B.C. toughens animal cruelty laws after sled dog cull

GLOBAL NEWS  | APRIL 5, 2011

BC toughens animal cruelty legislation after sled dog massacre


VANCOUVER — British Columbia announced Tuesday that it is acting on all of the recommendations of its Sled Dog Task Force, including providing new funding for animal-cruelty investigations and introducing the toughest animal-protection laws anywhere in Canada.

The province will change its Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, including increasing penalties to as much as $75,000 and as long as 24 months imprisonment for the most serious offences, in the wake of a mass slaughter of sled dogs near Whistler last April, Premier Christy Clark said.

The task force was appointed in February after news broke that an employee of a sled dog company in Whistler, B.C., had killed as many as 100 dogs over a period of two days last year.

The dogs, owned by Outdoor Adventures Whistler, were killed by Robert Fawcett in April 2010.

The killings came to light after Fawcett filed a WorkSafeBC report claiming post-traumatic stress from the shootings.

The WorkSafeBC report, obtained by the media, details how Fawcett shot, stabbed and bludgeoned the animals to death after he was apparently told by his employer to cull some of the company’s 300 dogs.

The revelation led to an international condemnation of Fawcett’s actions as well as death threats against Fawcett and other Outdoor Adventures Whistler employees.

The province said Tuesday it will extend the current six-month limitation period for prosecuting offences and requiring mandatory reporting of animal abuse by veterinarians.

The BC SPCA has also received a $100,000 grant to enhance its their capacity for animal cruelty investigations, Clark said in a news release.

A joint RCMP and SPCA probe into the dogs’ deaths will resume once the winter snow melts.

Sled dog  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck



reprinted from Global News
Similar stories:
B.C. to toughen animal laws after sled dog slaughter from The Canadian Press


No Cost Spay and Neuter Program is a free program

No Cost Spay and Neuter Program is a free program

No Cost Spay and Neuter Program


The Responsible Pet Ownership Committee would like to make you aware of spay and neuter services offered:
No Cost Spay and Neuter Program is a free program offered by The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services.

You are eligible if on AISH, Income Support or household income is not greater than 85% of the Statistics Canada Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOS). Cat/kittens and dogs/puppies are eligible. Sorry, no rabbits or ferrets at this time. For more info, go to www.calgary.ca/animalservices or call 311.

SNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program) is a LOW cost subsidized program offered for cats and kittens. Spay/neuter rates start at $75 and $50. Go to www.meowfoundation.com for the application.

TNR (Trap Neuter[Spay] Return): If you are feeding stray fearful/feral cats and would like to become a neighbourhood caregiver contact MEOW Foundation: 403 230-6033, Line 4 or go to www.meowfoundation.com. This is a NO cost program.

Thank you:

City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services
Calgary Humane Society
MEOW Foundation
FRES (Ferret Rescue & Education Society)


Canada’s authoritarian stance against animal rights

Canada’s authoritarian stance against animal rights

How Ottawa stifles animal activists

By SILVER DONALD CAMERON
Sun, Mar 6 – 4:53 AM

“Canada,” said the U.S. journalist, “is heading toward becoming an authoritarian state to an extent that surprises observers even in China.” 

Another comment on Bev Oda and the garrotting of Kairos? Nope.

A reflection on the Harperites’ infatuation with harsh sentences and larger prisons? No.

Kyoto, Afghan detainees, the G20 repression, the flouting of the Supreme Court in the Omar Khadr case? Our humiliating defeat in the UN Security Council election? Could have been, but in fact it’s none of the above.

No, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, published in Clinton, Wash., is writing about the federal government’s denial of free speech to animal welfare charities in Canada. And he’s in touch with animal rights activists in China. He knows what they think.

“On February 5, 2011,” writes Clifton, the Canada Revenue Agency published “draft regulations governing animal charities which would ensure that any animal charity speaking out against anything that is not already illegal would lose nonprofit status.”

One specific example: the regulations make it clear that a Canadian animal charity would lose its charitable status if it opposed vivisection, which is the practice of operating on living animals in order to gain knowledge of pathological or physiological processes. A charity could suffer the same fate if it opposed the fur industry or the seal hunt.

In fact, says Clifton, the draft regulations provide “that an animal charity may only advocate policies and practices which benefit humans more than animals.”

Really? I hustled off to the CRA website. Sure enough, that’s exactly what the draft regulations say. The logic, if one can call it that, derives from British common law. The courts, says CRA, have determined that “an activity or purpose is only charitable when it provides a benefit to humans. For some purposes and activities, including those relieving the suffering of animals, the courts have decided that the benefit is the promotion of the moral or ethical development of the community.”

But don’t try to argue that supporting animal welfare is a good thing in and of itself. “Promoting the welfare of animals,” the CRA declares, “is only charitable when it results in a benefit to humans.”

“Promoting the welfare of animals,” the CRA declares, “is only charitable when it results in a benefit to humans.”

With respect to vivisection, says the CRA, the courts have decided that “seeking to abolish vivisection is not charitable. This is in part because, as the courts have put it, despite the suffering inflicted on animals, the ‘immense and incalculable benefits which have resulted from vivisection’ and the ‘positive and calamitous detriment of appalling magnitude’ that would result from its abolition, outweigh any possible promotion of the moral and ethical development of the community.”

The gaping flaw in the CRA’s argument, of course, is that it freezes — indeed, prevents — the evolution of the law. The law reflects the moral consensus of the community at a particular moment in time. When the consensus changes, the law must change as well. The law once decreed that women were chattels, slavery was fine, and petty theft warranted hanging. When society reversed its thinking on these matters, the law eventually reversed its position, too.

The CRA argues, in effect, that charitable purposes can only reflect the past — the decisions that the courts have already made. But the very phrase “the moral and ethical development of the community” concedes that moral and ethical attitudes evolve. That’s what the word “development” means. And if moral attitudes have evolved, then someone who demands corresponding changes in the law is very precisely “promoting the moral and ethical development of the community.”

A growing body of opinion now holds that we will not achieve our human potential — or even survive — unless we develop a respectful, ethical relationship with the rest of nature. The coyote, the cod and the chestnut have a right to live and flourish, and advocating on their behalf — with or without a benefit to humans — is a deeply moral activity and a legitimate charitable purpose.

Do the Harperites disagree? We’ll never know. They ignore ideas, and attack people instead. Lie about them. Impugn their motives. Cut their funding. Dissolve their organizations. Imprison them. Deny them charitable status.

“Canada is heading toward becoming an authoritarian state to an extent that surprises observers even in China.”

A chilling remark. I wish I could claim it was wrong.


reprinted from the Chronicle Herald

Download the article | Read the CRA draft


Mark Holland to BC Tory MPs – Senseless dog slaughter case cries out for tougher laws

Mark Holland to BC Tory MPs – Senseless dog slaughter case cries out for tougher laws

Mark Holland, MP for Ajax-Pickering, Public Safety Critic for the Official Opposition


From the Office of Mark Holland, M.P.
Official Opposition Critic for Public Safety

For immediate release: February 3, 2011

OTTAWA – Liberal MP and Public Safety Critic Mark Holland reached out to British Columbia Conservative MPs today, asking for their help to reform weak animal cruelty laws in light of news about a criminal investigation underway into the slaughter of one hundred dogs near Whistler, BC – a case that has shocked and outraged people across the country. Canada’s animal cruelty laws, as currently written, have loopholes that permit known abusers to evade justice after committing egregious acts of cruelty.

“These loopholes in our laws need to be closed at last,” wrote Holland in a letter to all twenty-one BC Conservative MPs.

Holland has had a private member’s bill to amend and strengthen the Criminal Code section dealing with animal cruelty crimes since 2004. Once a Liberal government justice bill, it is presently numbered C?229.

BC Conservative MPs were contacted because the dog slaughter, the nation’s latest high-profile animal cruelty case, had occurred in their home province.

“As government MPs representing British Columbia constituencies, I am hopeful that this tragic case that occurred in your home province will inspire you to work within your own party for real reforms now.”

Holland, as the Liberal Party’s Public Safety Critic, also raised public safety concerns in a bid to appeal to the Conservatives who claim a law and order agenda.

“A clear relationship exists between animal cruelty and other serious types of crimes, including spousal and child abuse, among other horrific violent crimes. By toughening our animal cruelty laws, we have a better chance of apprehending, convicting and rehabilitating abusers, making our communities safer and healthier.”

Holland has tried on several occasions to get the Harper government to take his bill and expedite it through all legislative stages. In 2009, following a horrific animal cruelty case in New Brunswick, he reached out to NB Tory MP Keith Ashfield, after hearing reports that the MP, who currently serves Minister of National Revenue, expressed an interest in Holland’s bill. Ashfield never responded to several calls made by Holland.

Assuaging concerns of partisanship, Holland stated in his letter that this “issue doesn’t fall into an ideological category. The cause for reforming our animal cruelty laws unites voters of both our parties, indeed all Canadians. It’s a real motherhood and apple pie issue.”

Holland closed off his letter appeal by inviting the BC Tory MPs to call him to discuss this issue further.

Full text of letter follows.

For more information:
Karl Maretic, Office of Mark Holland, MP
613-995-8614
(Enable Javascript to see the email address)


Letter from Mark Holland to BC Conservative MPs:

Dear [BC Colleagues],

Recent reports concerning the gruesome and senseless slaughter of one hundred husky dogs near Whistler, BC, remind us all that glaring loopholes persist in Canada’s Criminal Code that hinder the work of law enforcement and the courts to successfully prosecute and convict known perpetrators of serious acts of animal cruelty. In fact, only a tiny fraction – less than 1% – of serious animal abuse cases ever see a conviction; a problem that bill S?203 (2008) did nothing to remedy.

These loopholes in our laws need to be closed at last.

I am writing to you today to respectfully ask you to join me in advancing reasonable and responsible reforms to Canada’s outdated animal cruelty laws. The fastest way to do this would be for the government to draft and expedite its own bill, based on the amendments proposed in my private member’s bill C-229. Let’s not wait for more horrific cruelty cases to surface before we do the right thing and get such a bill through Parliament.

Canadians want action to reform animal cruelty laws.

No other issue generates as much letters, phone calls and emails as animal cruelty does. I note that I have received thousands of communications from your constituents alone living in British Columbia, and I suspect you have too. This issue doesn’t fall into an ideological category. The cause for reforming our animal cruelty laws unites voters of both our parties, indeed all Canadians. It’s a real motherhood and apple pie issue.

It’s also a public safety issue. The facts bear this out.

A clear relationship exists between animal cruelty and other serious types of crimes, including spousal and child abuse, among other horrific violent crimes. By toughening our animal cruelty laws, we have a better chance of apprehending, convicting and rehabilitating abusers, making our communities safer and healthier.

Please consider the calls of countless Canadians, including your own constituents, who are sickened by senseless acts of cruelty, like the dog slaughter in B.C., and who are outraged by the state of our weak laws in Canada. As government MPs representing British Columbia constituencies, I am hopeful that this tragic case that occurred in your home province will inspire you to work within your own party for real reforms now.

I invite you to call me to discuss this further.

Sincerely,

Mark Holland, MP for Ajax-Pickering,
Public Safety Critic for the Official Opposition

Read Mark’s press release

Read Mark’s press release


Man charged in connection to family dog’s death

Man charged in connection to family dog’s death

Ben in 2010


CALGARY – Charges have been laid in connection with the death of a dog in Kananaskis Country.

On November 29th, Ed and Lorna Thomas took their dog Ben for a walk near Elbow Falls.

Ben went missing and the couple searched for hours, eventually admitting defeat. The next day, Lorna found him caught in hunters snare trap. He died as a result.

A man has been charged with hunting wildlife during a closed season in relation to the event.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and/or a 2 year jail sentence.

The man’s name is not being released.


reprinted from Global Edmonton


Province investigating after snare kills family dog

Province investigating after snare kills family dog

DAVE DORMER (Enable Javascript to see the email address) | CALGARY SUN

Ed and Lorna


The area near Powderface Trail where a dog was killed by a snare Nov. 30 was closed to trapping at the time, Sustainable Resource Development officials said Monday.

Snare traps are not allowed in Management Unit 406 – which includes Powderface Trail near Elbow Falls – from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, said SRD spokesman Darcy Whiteside, with the maximum punishment for trapping out of season a $100,000 fine and two years in jail.

 

Ed Thomas, 75, and his wife Lorna, 71, were walking their dogs – Ben, an Alaskan malamute, and Sarah, a small mixed-breed – in the area Nov. 30 when Ben suddenly disappeared.

The couple found their dog dead the next morning with a snare cinched around its neck.

After cutting the dog free, the couple led conservation officers to the spot and said they later ran into a man in a white pickup truck – who Ed said admitted to setting the snare – and passed his licence plate on to authorities.

Whiteside confirmed Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating, but could not comment on the specifics of the case or whether any suspects have been identified.

Trapping is more common than people might think, said Whiteside, noting there are 1,500 registered trappers in the province, most of them in the northern half.

There are currently no rules requiring signs be put up to warn people of trap lines in an area, something Ed said needs to change.

“If they had signs up, people wouldn’t take their dogs in there,” he said.

“Even if they’re in there legally or not, they shouldn’t be setting traps while people it as a recreational area.”

SRD Minister Mel Knight weighed in on the issue, saying a balance has to be found between those who use outdoor areas for pleasure and those who use it for their livelihood.

“One of the issues this points out is there is a tremendous amount of activity on the landscape,” he said.

“Trapping is a livelihood that is recognized and is legal and at this time of the year trapping is open.

“I do realize that pet owners, and specifically dog owners would find some of these areas advantageous because they feel they can release (their dogs) so they can go out and get a good run.

“I do feel sympathy for these people and their pet and we will investigate.”


reprinted from Calgary Sun


Blog post | Read Lorna’s account | Global Edmonton