Animal rights group calls for changes in the law

Animal rights group calls for changes in the law

CTV CALGARY | FEBRUARY 9, 2010

Three separate cases involving animal cruelty were before the courts in Calgary on Tuesday.

One of the cases involved Bradley Bergman. The 56-year-old plead guilty to tying a noose around the neck of his girlfriend’s dog and threatening to hand and gut the animal.

While the cases were going on inside, The Daisy Foundation held a demonstration outside. “As far as the law goes, because this was his property, he’s probably going to get away with it, because of the property law in Canada – that animals are considered property – which is ridiculous,” says Heather Anderson, a member of the animal rights group.

Also in court on Tuesday was Donald Ainsworth. He pled guilty to animal cruelty for beating his dog with a flashlight – an assault that left the animal blind in one eye.

The third case involved a man accused of beating to death a four-month-old puppy. This case has been set over.

“It just goes to show how many cases are really happening in this county. And when you consider these are the cases going to court, what about the ones that didn’t have enough evidence,” says Anderson.

The Daisy Foundation says changes are needed to Canadian law so animal abusers are given stiffer sentences. The group is lobbying the federal government to pass Bill C-229.

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Abused puppy case given $9,400 boost

Abused puppy case given $9,400 boost

CALGARY SUN | NOVEMBER 30, 2009

The search for the person who savagely beat a three-month-old puppy was thrown a $9,400 treat by a donor furious over the assault.

The donation to the animal advocate Daisy Foundation brings the total bounty for information leading to the conviction of the animal abuser to at least $10,500, said the group’s founder, Heather Anderson.

“We were hoping it would go to $1,000, then this,” said Anderson, adding the anonymous donor owns two dogs.

“He’s obviously an animal lover and he was obviously mad about it.”

On Nov. 3, the bloodied, emaciated and unconscious Doberman pup was found in the parking lot of the Calgary North Veterinary Hospital at 4202 4 St. N.W.

Among the wounds suffered by the dog nicknamed Mike was a broken left foreleg and head injuries. But after surgery, the animal is recovering well, say Calgary Humane Society officials.

Henderson said news of the donation — given Thursday — has already made a difference in the investigation.

“We had more leads this morning than we had when the fund was at $600,” she said.

Even if the reward is claimed, Henderson said the foundation is determined to create a permanent cash pool for such cases.

And unless Canadians press politicians to increase the penalties for animal abuse, such donations will continue to be needed, she said.

“Even we get a conviction for this guy, he’ll just get a slap on the wrist,” she said.

Anyone with information that can lead to the name of the dog’s owner is urged to call the Calgary Humane Society at 403-723-6038.

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Reward offered to solve puppy beating

Reward offered to solve puppy beating

CALGARY HERALD – NOVEMBER 14, 2009

A local foundation is offering a $10,500 reward for information that identifies the person who injured a three-month-old Doberman puppy that was abandoned at the Calgary North Vet Clinic.

The pup was discovered covered in blood in the clinic parking lot on Nov. 3. It wasn’t expected to survive its injuries, but after surgery, it’s recovering.

Calgary Humane Society investigators are looking into who is responsible for the suspected case of animal abuse. The DAISY Foundation is hoping its reward for information leading to an arrest will help.

“I really think we’re going to get an arrest because of this (reward),” said Heather Anderson, who formed the group two years ago after a dog named Daisy Duke was killed by his teenage owner and a friend in Didsbury.

The foundation received several small donations before an anonymous Calgarian contacted them to contribute $9,600 towards the reward.

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Beaten puppy found abandoned in Calgary; abuse suspected

Beaten puppy found abandoned in Calgary; abuse suspected

CALGARY HERALD | NOVEMBER 4, 2009

By Stephane Massinon, Photograph by: Ted Jacob; Calgary Herald

CALGARY – The Calgary Humane Society suspects animal abuse after an injured pup was left outside a veterinary hospital in a kennel that was covered in blood.

The young Doberman was abandoned late Tuesday in the parking lot at the Calgary North Veterinary Hospital.

Humane Society spokeswoman Lindsay Jones said the dog’s injuries may be life-threatening.

“Unfortunately, we do see these cases come through our doors, but this is unusual in that it’s such a young pup and his injuries are quite severe and there’s no explanation for them,” said Jones.

The agency hopes to find out who or what was responsible for the injuries.

Vets have been working to stabilize the Doberman and get its fluids up, Jones said.

It has suffered a broken front leg and trauma to his head.

“It’s heartbreaking for each and every staff member,” said Jones, who added she fought back tears when saw the injured pup.

“We are doing our best, and he is improving, but his condition is still guarded.”

The pooch is thought to be three months old, and because it is so skinny, there are concerns it was being neglected. If it survives, the pup will need extensive care and rehabilitation, the humane society said.

Dr. Drew Van Niekerk, co-owner of the Calgary North Veterinary Hospital, said the animal had to have been dumped because it could not have walked on its own.

The Doberman will undergo surgery, at no charge for the operation, which would normally cost $3,000. Van Niekerk believes it will likely survive.

“We’re all dog lovers and cat lovers here, and it’s hard on staff when they have to face the realities of people who are less than responsible,” said Van Niekerk. “Unfortunately, in a 24-hour busy emergency practice, we get to see this stuff too often.”

He worries that when stories like these arise, some people may feel it’s OK to dump an unwanted or injured animal at their doorsteps.

“It’s important to realize that regardless of any circumstances, a pet owner’s responsibility . . . is to do the right thing. I know that life is complicated, but animals don’t deserve this kind of thing,” said Van Niekerk.

The humane society’s peace officers are investigating the case and believe the injuries were likely inflicted by someone. Peace officers are able to lay charges of animal cruelty and neglect under the Animal Protections Act of Alberta, Jones said.

Heather Anderson, founder of the Daisy Foundation, said the case “makes me sick to my stomach.”

Anderson said she hopes people with information about the case will come forward to authorities.

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Pay up

Pay up

CALGARY HERALD | OCTOBER 25, 2009
By Judy Taylor

Re: “Owner says sentence in sheep attack too lenient,” Oct. 22.

I don’t cry easily, but this kind of cruelty toward animals brings tears to my eyes. Fifty months of community service (likely only a few hours a year) and a fine of $607 payable to the owner is laughable. Why is the brutal beating of an animal treated so lightly?

I know money isn’t everything, but perhaps people who commit such brutality should feel it for the rest of their lives. Would a required contribution to the Daisy Foundation (Delegates Against Inhumane Suffering) of $100 per month for the rest of their lives be out of line? It might make them think twice, and it might just save just a few animals from such a horrible fate. That money could go a long way toward education and animal rescue.


Calgary-area sheep owner says teen attacker’s sentence too lenient

Calgary-area sheep owner says teen attacker’s sentence too lenient

Youth must pay fine, serve community

CALGARY HERALD | OCTOBER 22, 2009
By Gwendolyn Richards; Calgary Herald, Photograph by The Gazette/Marie-France Coallier

CALGARY – A sentence of probation and community service for a Strathmore teen who attacked a sheep– injuring it to the point it had to be put down–doesn’t fit the crime, says the animal’s owner.

The youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was ordered to perform 50 months of community service and pay restitution of $607 to owner Mel Smart.

Smart, who has been to all of the teen’s court appearances since the June 2008 incident, said she expected nothing more from the sentence considering the limitations of youth court guidelines, but is still disappointed.

“I certainly don’t think beating– resulting in the death of an animal–versus probation is any way, shape or form equal,” she said Wednesday. “I always hope that some sort of justice is going to prevail. But, unfortunately, the way the youth court system works in Canada, that’s not going to happen.”

Smart had loaned her herd of about 300 sheep to the Strathmore Agricultural Society to help maintain its grounds last summer.

The animals were behind a two-metre high, chain link fence when four teens entered the area and harassed the animals. The youth used a hockey stick to beat the sheep.

Smart said one ewe had to be put down due to extensive injuries, and more than a dozen others were injured.

Four teens were charged with trespassing and one faced the second charge of injuring cattle.

He pleaded guilty to the second charge in Strathmore provincial court. The trespassing charge was withdrawn.

According to Smart, the judge blasted the teen, who was under probation at the time of the incident, and adjourned court to allow the youth and his family to make arrangements to get the money for restitution so it could be paid that day.

Animal activist Heather Anderson said she was surprised the teen pleaded guilty and saddened the sentence did not reflect the brutality of the crime.

“Every bone was shattered,” she said. “She had to lay there until she was found.”

Anderson, who created the DAISY Foundation, said cases like these indicate there is a need for tougher penalties for animal cruelty.

“There’s no difference between animal abuse and people abuse and it has to stop,” she said.

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