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


House arrest for beating dog

House arrest for beating dog

By KEVIN MARTIN, CALGARY SUN — JUNE 16, 2010
Bashing his dog in the head with a flashlight, which led to the animal losing an eye, has landed a Calgary man nine months of house arrest.

Provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser on Tuesday said Donald James Ainsworth poses no danger to the public, so a conditional sentence was warranted.

Fraser said barring Ainsworth from being around pets for five years would alleviate any concern he poses a risk.

He said the term behind bars sought by Crown prosecutor Gord Haight wasn’t necessary, noting Ainsworth had no prior criminal history.

“The court … must be satisfied that he would not be a danger to the community,” the judge said in citing one of the pre-conditions for considering a conditional sentence order.

“The offender has no criminal record, is 46 years of age, and if prohibited from having the custody or control of an animal … he could not be said to be a risk to the community.”

Ainsworth earlier pleaded guilty to wilfully permitting his dog to be caused unnecessary pain or suffering in connection with a March 14, 2009, incident.

Ainsworth became angry at his miniature Doberman pinscher, Gucci, when she urinated in his truck.

He grabbed Gucci by the neck and shook her before striking her on the head with a flashlight.

The animal ran under some shelving and Ainsworth was unable to get the animal out.

He went to bed, awakening the next morning to find his injured pet beside him.

Ainsworth eventually had a friend take the dog to the humane society, where a vet determined its injured eye would have to be removed.

Fraser agreed with defence lawyer Andrea Serink a jail term in the three- to five-month range sought by Haight wasn’t needed.

Outside court, animal activist Heather Anderson said Ainsworth’s five-year ban from having pets was a positive step.

“I wish it was a lifetime ban, but five years is better than two years,” she said.

(Enable Javascript to see the email address)

Read the article


Another name added in wild horse shooting

Another name added in wild horse shooting


WILD HORSES OF ALBERTA SOCIETY | MARCH 1, 2010

Posted by Doreen on Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 8:21 pm.

Gary Cope, 35 has been added to the list of those charged with the shooting of a pregnant mare West of Sundre. Earl Anderson, Jason Nixon and a 13 year old boy, who cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act, were charged earlier this year. Jason Nixon has also been charged with uttering threats to a Fish and Wild Life Officer, interfering in an investigation and assaulting a witness. None of the accused showed up today, instead they reserved their plea until March 29th. The boy will be tried separately in a youth court.

It was good to see support coming from the Daisy Foundation’s, Heather Anderson and her team. The foundation was created after the horrific case of animal abuse of a female dog named Daisy Duke who’s legs were bound together and then was dragged behind a vehicle. Daisy Duke was later humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. The Foundation is wanting stiffer penalties for animal abusers and are looking for support of bill C373 see link below for details. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Bills/391/Private/C-373/C-373_1/C-373_1.PDF

Check out their website at http://www.daisyfoundation.ca/

I was pleased to see the Daisy Foundation there, and felt quite comforted by their presence. Collectively, animal advocates everywhere could create a much more powerful voice for all animals, if groups such as ours, all banded together in that which is ultimately a common goal. That goal is to protect every species of animal from abuse, neglect and an untimely death at the hands of man. Thanks again Daisy Foundation. Keep up the good work. See you on the 29th.

Thank you as well to Carol Srvcek and her partner Alan Hardy of Calgary, who are long term WHOAS members and good friends of ours. They met me first thing this morning in the parking lot of the provincial court house in Didsbury, and Carol proudly held up the WHOAS banner with me later on. As well, thank you Judy Becker of Calgary, who was there showing support with her grandson Wilder. Judy has a mini sanctuary which houses three wild horses that were rescued in January 09. The mare and her two fillies are making remarkable progress in Judy’s care. They were with 10 other wild horses rescued, which other wise were headed to the slaughter plant.

On a lighter note, tomorrow is a big day, I will ride Wyley for the first time under the tutelege of Mary. We will bring the much mellower wildie gelding home in mid March once I get a few riding lessons under my belt. Judy will be filming this hopefully noneventful, event and perhaps will it be posted on this site if all goes well. Wish me Luck, although I am sure I won’t need it. (nervous lol).

See link below to view CTV News footage of today’s court hearing.