Ted was Lorna and Ed’s son. Ben was Ted’s dog.
Ted adopted him from the pound after hearing about this big gentle guy from his boss. Ben had been at the pound for three weeks.
They were buddies. Ted trained Ben. They played together. And together, they climbed the nearby mountains in their spare time. They were best friends.
Until Ted passed away the year before Ben, succumbing to cancer.
So Ben became kind of a connection to Ted for Ted’s folks. They did not hesitate to give Ben all the love that Ben gave to Ted. After all, they were family.
Losing Ben — especially so needlessly, so senselessly and by such negligence as an illegal snare trap — makes the hole they already had in their hearts even larger.
I guess the best you can say of the situation right now is that somewhere out there, Ted and Ben are back together and hopefully doing all the things they so loved to do together.
But here on earth, this carelessness needs to be more accurately addressed. John McWilliams purposely and negligently set an illegal snare trap in a publicly accessible park that should not have been where it was. And by these actions, he killed Ben. Thirty feet from Lorna, Ben was strangled in such a way that he could not even cry out for help.
At trial today in Cochrane, a slap on the wrist was handed down by the judge in this case. The stakes were a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or two years in jail plus the loss of his hunting license. But the judge fined John McWilliams $300.
That illegal snare could have killed a child. An adult. WHAT would the penalty have been then? That snare should never have been where it was. It was set weeks before hunting season went into effect by McWilliams’ own admission. Snares are not even legal in that particular recreational area per regulations. This snare could have killed Lorna as she walked Ben.
And for such gross negligence, John McWilliams pays $300 and returns to trapping as he does?
If this does not anger you into working for stricter penalties, I do not know what will. Ben should be alive making big holes in Lorna and Ed’s front yard. He should be there for Sarah, his dog mate. He should have never been strangled in an illegal snare in a public recreational park.
My deepest sympathies to Lorna and Ed that justice was not adequately served today.
I am tearfully speechless at this seeming injustice. I am so disappointed that such dangerously reckless negligence results in only a $300 fine. We MUST push for stronger punishments for our animals.