Reflecting on Mirror

Reflecting on Mirror

DOG'S HEAD © Jeffrey Marini | Dreamstime.com


Things seem quiet in Mirror these days after the dog poisonings in April. However, what has changed?

Last I knew, there was to be a town hall meeting in Mirror between residents and officials to discuss the poisoning deaths of 13 dogs and what was going to be done about it. But last I heard, the meeting never happened.

When the first reported poisoning of dogs happened a year ago, one RCMP officer involved in the poisonings talked with Daisy Foundation’s Heather Anderson. At that time, Heather pointed out research that shows a link between animal abuse and abuse of people. The officer rather sarcastically asked Heather if she was suggesting that there was a serial dog killer in Mirror. Her reply was, “Yes!”

A year passed and in April, at least 13 dogs died from poisoning in an overnight period. Coincidence? Or serial dog killer? My bet is on the latter.

It’s been a few months now and as expected, the hysteria has mostly subsided. People have returned to their normal lives. But what about the families victimized by the poisonings. At least one family lost dogs they had added to their family after their previous dog had been poisoned a year back. This family has again been victimized, traumatized and hurt. I wonder how they are doing these days?

Well, I think it’s time to shake out the rug and see what has settled underneath. Let’s not wait another year or even another season to see if the killer strikes again. Let’s raise some awareness.

I am asking the people of Mirror who have lost a pet to the poisonings to send me their story (Enable Javascript to see the email address) and a photo of their beloved dog. Let’s see if we can’t renew our search for justice and move forward to some resolution beyond what we have right now.


Have you seen me?

Have you seen me?

Benjamin is missing; presumed stolen


$5000 reward for the return of Benjamin to his family
call: 780-837-1049 | email: (Enable Javascript to see the email address)

Benjamin has been missing since January 20, 2011 when he was “taken” from his driveway.

“Ben was last seen on our end driveway talking to a stranger, being fed with a pizza box. Ben is not a wanderer, and is very attached to us, his people. Ben is 108 pounds, and 28 inches tall at the shoulder.”

Facts about Benjamin

     

  • Benjamin’s last known location is six miles south of Falher (Horseshoe, Guy area), Range Road 770 and 214 (~770km NW of Calgary).
  • He was wearing a Harley Davidson collar with Benjamin written on it.
  • He has yellow eyes and yellow and white fluffy fur.
  • He has tattoos in both ears.
  • He is a house dog and very friendly.
  • He is 3 years old. 

It’s possible that Benjamin was sold to or adopted by someone who may not know that he was stolen from his family. If you have recently adopted a dog that looks like Benjamin, please check inside his ears and see if he is tattooed.

There is, however, reason to believe he is still in the company of the person who stole him.

“Benjamin is our child and our child is missing. We search everyday on all mediums…social media, websites, radio, newspapers, and posters.”

$5000 Reward

Please help us find Benjamin and bring him home. There is a $5000 reward for Benjamin’s return or a tip that brings him safely home.

If you have Benjamin and would like to anonymously return him, we are offering you several options to do that:

  • Call the owners at 780-837-1049
  • Email (Enable Javascript to see the email address) the owners
  • Call Daisy Foundation at 403-475-0120
  • Contact Daisy Foundation via our contact form

If you have any tips on the whereabouts of Benjamin, contact Benjamin’s family at the phone number/email above.

Our goal here is to re-unite this baby with his family; the family that has raised him from puppyhood; the family that misses him more everyday. Benjamin is out there. Neighbors saw the vehicle that took him away. Please, we are asking everyone’s help in bringing this boy home.

MISSING Poster

Below is a LOST poster for Benjamin. Perhaps you can print it out and distribute it in your neighborhood to help us get the word out.

Share Benjamin’s story

Please share Benjamin’s story with your friends and family: email them a link to this webpage; SHARE this page by clicking on the social media buttons at the top or bottom of this page; hang posters. Think of these gestures as “paying it forward.” We would all appreciate all the help we could get if we were in the shoes of Benjamin’s family.


Deer in the headlights?

Deer in the headlights?

My neighbor has a young doe in a pen in her yard that was hit by a car not quite a week ago. She is maybe a bit over a year old according to the vet. A couple neighbors found her laying on the side of the road — alive. They dropped her off at my neighbor’s house.

Leigh, a vet tech, is trying to stabilize the doe before transporting her to a rehab center a couple hours away.

The doe’s head took most of the hit. She seems to be pretty much deaf and blind, and has difficulty standing because of the neurological effects of the accident. She gave birth to twins a few days ago, but both died… probably from complications of their mother being hit by a car.

I was sitting there with her today trying to imagine all of this: you are a wild animal and know nothing about humans. You cannot see them except maybe as very blurry shapes of lightness and darkness; you cannot hear them as they try to comfort you with soothing sounds; their touch is a most unfamiliar thing to you. You cannot stand very well and when you do, you stumble in circles. Maybe you have pain you cannot understand or explain.

She is also very small — skinny neck, skinny legs.

Wow! In a few seconds, my whole world looked like a walk in the park compared to hers!

She began to respond to my touch and even at one point seemed to almost fall into rest with her head in my hand as I stroked her neck and throat.

I was trying to force feed her some alfalfa that is laced with vitamins and other healthy stuff. No idea if her sense of smell is affected. I know cats will literally starve to death if they cannot smell. I wanted to see what she would do if I forced the food into her mouth. So I would put a wad of this stuff in the corner of her mouth. She would chew on it and try to slide it out the side of her mouth. I would push it back in. She would slide some of it out. I would push it back in. I think I managed to get more into her than she spit out. After that, she seemed more interested in eating her deer block, too.

If she can embrace human contact, I think she will make it. She will never be able to be released back into the wild, but with the right person, I think she can live her life. Sadly, not as it might have been a week ago.

I have seen animals closer to death fight to live and pull it off. I hope this little girl will do the same. She has certainly gotten off to a very rough start.

If you will, perhaps you could include her in your prayers tonight.


FYI: The photo at the top of this post is NOT this little baby. I do not have one of her and you may not want to see one at this point anyway.


Meet Puffy: homeless & FIV+

Meet Puffy: homeless & FIV+

UPDATE: Puffy has found a new home! Thanks to the new family!

Puffy has been an Ottawa neighborhood cat for about a year now. Neighbors have been feeding him and keeping an eye out for him. However, he was an unneutered male, so, though handsome to the eye, a “baby-maker” nonetheless. And a bit of a rabble-rouser who got into fights with other cats in the neighborhood.

Recently, a concerned neighbor stepped up and befriended Puffy.

“…he let me pat him and cut some matts out of his fur. He had a huge tick on him, a big healing abcess and lots of smaller scabs and scratches.”

Puffy: FIV+ and homeless


After talking to his neighborhood “watch group,” it was decided that Puffy needed to be caught and neutered. Then he could possibly be released back into his neighborhood.

So this week, Puffy got a full checkup, de-worming, vaccinations, FeLV/FIV tests, and a neuter. All went well except for the FIV test. He has tested positive for the FIV virus.

If you are unfamiliar with FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus (or “slow virus”) which is characterized by a long incubation period. An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body — poor coat, gingivitis, stomatitis, various cancers and blood diseases; much like any other cat might experience. [source]

What does FIV do to a cat? Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment — where they usually do not affect healthy animals — can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV. [source]

In other words, FIV won’t kill him, but rather a secondary infection could. Therefore, to lessen the possibility of acquiring a secondary infection and for keeping his immune system as strong as possible, it is best for Puffy to live indoors now.

So we are looking for a home that can take Puffy in. He currently lives in Ottawa. Taking him to the Ottawa Humane Society would likely be a death sentence (read some of the reasons an animal is destroyed in a shelter) and rescue groups called are full at this time.

Per Judy who took him to the vet:

The vet says he is young and seems to be in good health other than being a bit thin. He seems gentle and friendly. When he was at my house for a little while he was comforted when I rubbed his cheeks and ears.

I have a foster home for him only until Sunday, and then maybe another foster for a few days after that.

If you are interested in fostering or adopting Puffy, please email me (Enable Javascript to see the email address) and I will connect you with Judy.

If you want to learn more about FIV — what it means, how it is transmitted, what you might expect — the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University has created this great page to explain. It needn’t be a death sentence. Puffy can live a long and happy life. Even in a home with other cats.

And please… SHARE Puffy’s story by clicking on one of the icons below so we can find him a new home.


What price for a cat’s life?

What price for a cat’s life?

Sonny


We implicitly trust those caring for our pets when they get sick. They are holding something quite precious in their hands. But what happens when that trust is betrayed?

What happens when the alleged negligence comes at the hands of a veterinary professional? Someone you think has the best intentions for the care of your sick or injured pet?

These are the questions that Renate faces daily since the death of her cat Sonny just a few weeks ago at a clinic in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Here is part of the letter she sent to the clinic a week later.

At approximately 8pm on April 27, 2011, I made an emergency call to your hospital – regarding Sonny.

We told the veterinarian that we noticed that Sonny was hunched up when he came out of his litter box and vomited once. We were told to bring him in to your clinic.

Upon our arrival we gave [the vet] the history on our cat. Sonny showed no other signs of discomfort. He had eaten and was drinking that day and was still quite playful. (Having owned a male neutered cat in the past, I knew full well what signs to look for in a cat that had a urinary blockage.) Sonny was on the highest quality food for urinary tract and hair ball. The doctor obtained a urinalysis and [saw] crystals and at that time he advised us that an x-ray was necessary.

When the x-ray was completed, he showed us the image and said there were small stones but no blockage and that was good. He said Sonny would have to go on special food and possibly antibiotics. He debated on giving Sonny an injection and [bringing] him back the following day but he then decided to keep him overnight and flush his bladder. Feeling quite confident in what he had said, we put our beautiful cat in his hands.

At 11 pm that night, I received a call that he had lost Sonny.

I could not comprehend what had happened. The following day I went to get Sonny and asked to speak to the vet about what happened. The events that took place next will live in my mind forever. One girl brought Sonny in to us, while another followed with a debit machine asking us how we were going to pay for this? Holding my baby in my arms with my heart broken, I could not believe the lack of compassion!

I asked to speak to the vet who flushed Sonny’s bladder. When he came in he told us this: He flushed Sonny’s bladder and all went well with that and the anesthetic. He told me that Sonny was waking up from the anesthesia and when he went to check on him – Sonny had “PUKED” and he was blue by the time he realized it. He then went on to say that he worked on him for ½ hour but lost him anyway.

Sonny was left unattended as he was coming out from the anesthesia. Perhaps because of the food in his stomach, which the vet was aware of, Sonny vomited. Because he was laying down flat and likely barely conscious, he had no way to clear his mouth. With no one there to notice and no one to help him, Sonny asphyxiated on his own vomit. He suffocated to death.

To this was the added insult of the way the staff at the clinic seemed more concerned about payment. While Renate is sitting there holding her lifeless baby and trying to get her head around this whole event, she is being insensitively asked how she wants to pay for the “care” Sonny received.

In her search for answers about the work done for Sonny, Renate received this response from a vet professional:

If Sonny did not have a urethral obstruction, that is, if he was not blocked and could still urinate on his own, then there was no reason to rush the aesthetic procedure. This is especially true since your vet knew that Sonny had not been fasted, thereby increasing the risks of vomiting and aspiration of the vomitus into the lungs…

If Sonny’s life was not in immediate danger, then there is no reason at all why he should have been anesthetized that night. Your vet should have fasted him for 12 hours and performed the procedure the following day. In addition, if Sonny did not have a urethral obstruction and did not have bladder stones, anesthesia and flushing of the bladder is not even necessarily required.

It is far below the standard of care to allow an animal to wake up from anesthesia without someone there to monitor him. I feel this is another area in which your vet failed Sonny.

Just this week, Renate was finally contacted by the clinic’s owner.

She said that she was deeply sorry about what had happened to Sonny and offered us a full reimbursement.

Yes, I guess that is a start. But the hard part is Sonny’s loss, especially when it shouldn’t have happened.

The big questions that still loom are those already mentioned:

  • Knowing that Sonny had eaten just a few hours prior, why was a procedure that required anesthesia performed at that time? Sonny was not in danger.
  • Why was the bladder flush even recommended if Sonny’s condition did not necessarily warrant it?
  • Why was NO ONE supervising Sonny as he came out of anesthesia?
  • Was it really appropriate for staff to approach a client in the exam room, hand her Sonny and ask for payment? That seems so insensitive at that time.

Debbie, the clinic owner, has offered full reimbursement of Renate’s expenses and I think that short of performing some kind of miracle that would bring Sonny back, this is the least they can do when an unnecessary procedure is performed on an animal. Especially when that procedure results in this baby losing his life.

The vet that performed the procedure is on vacation. I certainly hope Debbie will take appropriate action with this vet to assure the public that this kind of veterinary care is never repeated; that unnecessary procedures are neither recommended nor performed because the pet’s owner ultimately pays the price.

Sonny should still be running around the house playing with his best pals — a rabbit named “Thumpy” and a budgie named “Fenster.”

Sonny and his pals Thumpy and Fenster


So where do we go from here? We’ll talk about that in another post.This post is about Sonny.

For now, Renate has created a wonderful video honoring Sonny. I encourage everyone to watch it (grab your tissues) and leave her a message on the Daisy Foundation Facebook page. I’m sure she would appreciate the hugs.


Dogs in trouble

Dogs in trouble

We probably hear more stories about cruelty against dogs than any other animal. Why? I don’t know, but the stories are sickening and disheartening.

In one case last year, a man severely beat a dog with a flashlight causing serious injuries to the dog. When authorities arrived to investigate, they found the dog sleeping beside the man who had abused him.

There is something in dogs that remains loyal beyond all reason. It’s as though they see something more in us than we do. Or perhaps it is a naivety in their genes that makes them look up to us.

But any abuse against ANY animal must end. Without stronger laws against animal abuse and cruelty, we find that the current pattern of abuse just continues and even seems to be escalating. There have been links made to show that animal abusers can become abusive to people. It’s a behavior that must be amended as soon as possible.

We must not tolerate abuse on any scale.

If you see abuse, report it! There is no excuse for abuse.


Elephants deserve better, too.

Elephants deserve better, too.

There is growing resistance against the capture, confinement, and use of wild elephants. Animal rights advocates allege elephants in zoos and circuses “suffer a life of chronic physical ailments, social deprivation, emotional starvation, and premature death”. Zoos argue that standards for treatment of elephants are extremely high and minimum requirements for such things as minimum space requirements, enclosure design, nutrition, reproduction, enrichment and veterinary care are set to ensure the well-being of elephants in captivity. Circuses continue to have a mixed record.

reprinted from Wikipedia

To these concerns, add the deaths in recent years of two baby elephants in the Calgary Zoo from mother Maharani:

  • On November 17, 2004 an Asian elephant was born at the Zoo. She was rejected by her mother and died within 3 weeks of her birth of an overwhelming infection, despite the efforts of zoo keepers and veterinarians. She was given the name, Keemaya, after her death.
  • In August 2007, another Asian elephant, Malti, was born. Malti contracted elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, a serious and invariably fatal virus October 31, and died on November 1, 2008 despite treatment.

In recent years, Lucy, the elephant in the Edmonton Valley Zoo, has received attention due to her continuing health problems and her solitary status. Just this week, Bob Barker, the former television game show host offered Edmonton city council $100,000 to spend however they please if they agree to allow independent elephant experts, selected by Zoocheck Canada and Performing Animal Welfare Society, to come to Edmonton and examine Lucy the elephant.

For so many years, the human race has kept animals for their own entertainment. But at what point do we recognize the inhumanity of such an arrangement? At what point do we consider what the lives of these animals are like and do right by them?


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.

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Feces led owner to fatally kick cat

Feces led owner to fatally kick cat

CALGARY SUN | MAY 21, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN

Anger over his cat’s inability to control its bowels led a Calgary man to fatally kick the feline, a court heard Monday.

Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit said Darren Ronald Lesy kicked his and his girlfriend’s pet, Sage, two, after bathing the animal the morning of Aug. 27, 2007, and discovering fecal matter on her.

“I’m not sure whether the cat defecated at that point, or had feces on it,” Freiheit told provincial court Judge Gerry Meagher.

Freiheit said Lesy was bathing the cat after it had urinated inside their Rosehill Dr. N.W. residence.

“Mr. Lesy saw the fecal matter, became mad and kicked at the cat,” she said.

“The kick made contact with the cat’s head.”

Freiheit said although Lesy kicked at the animal, he didn’t intend to kill Sage.

“It’s not the Crown’s position that Mr. Lesy intended to cause the death of the cat,” she said.

Freiheit said Lesy reported the animal at first seemed okay, but her condition began to deteriorate and he rushed the feline to a veterinary hospital.

“The cat at that point was already dead,” she said, adding a vet made an unsuccessful attempt to revive the pet.

“The cause of death was trauma to the upper cervical spinal cord,” Freiheit said.

Lesy, 25, pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge of causing damage or pain to an animal through willful neglect.

The offence at the time carried a maximum sentence of six months.

While more recent legislation has increased the maximum to two years, Lesy is entitled to be sentenced under the Criminal Code as it was in 2007.

At defence lawyer David Mohr’s request, Meagher ordered a presentence report be prepared by probation.

Lesy, who remains at liberty, returns to court on Aug. 4, when sentencing submissions will be made.

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No criminal record for Calgary man who beat puppy to death

No criminal record for Calgary man who beat puppy to death

CALGARY HERALD | MAY 7, 2010
By Daryl Slade

CALGARY – A 21-year-old city man will not have a criminal record for beating a four-month-old husky puppy to death with a piece of wood, if he successfully completes a year of probation.

Provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk, in imposing the conditional discharge on Jacob Michael Rabeau on Friday, said although hitting the dog was unnecessary, “the offence was impulsive.”

Semenuk noted that Rabeau was in fear of the dog, Shea, when it came at him early on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007, as he stopped to urinate in an alley in the southeast community of Queensland. But he also admitted he overreacted.

“Even if he had a bona fide fear of the dog while urinating, he could have simply got into his vehicle and driven away,” Semenuk said in his decision.

Rabeau previously pleaded guilty to causing the dog’s death. He must pay $800 restitution to the owner, Justin Kotulak, and $250 to the Calgary Humane Society. He also must take counselling for anger management.

Willie deWit, Rabeau’s lawyer, said outside court his client was relieved. “This has been hanging over his head for a number of years. It certainly has been a drain on him,” deWit said.

“Of course, he feels badly. He still has to deal with probation and counselling, but he’s glad to get it behind him and move on.

“Certainly, this happened on the spur of the moment. As he said, he’d rather take a bite now than react like that.”

Court heard the dog, which weighed no more than 4.5 kilograms, had escaped from its yard after owner Justin Kotulak let it out into the yard late at night.

When the dog came towards Rabeau, he retreated to his car, grabbed a 2-by-4 or baseball bat and struck the dog on the head.

Heather Anderson, founder of animal rights group DAISY (Delegates Against Inhumane Suffering Y), said she was extremely disappointed with the sentence.

“It’s the worst slap on the wrist I’ve seen,” she said outside court. “He deliberately killed this dog . . . and robbed this family of a lot of years of love from this dog.

“What is $800 when you lose a family member. Kids have to suffer and they blame themselves for letting the dog loose in the first place.”

Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit, who had sought 21 to 30 days jail, said she was surprised by the sentence, but would have to review the judge’s written decision before deciding whether to appeal.

“It’s been very tricky, because there is this explanation that he acted out of fear. It’s hard for someone to prove what’s in someone’s mind,” Freiheit said.

“You normally have to look at their actions. In this case we’ve got a man who says, ‘I love dogs, I’ve had pets.’ I can’t dispute that he was afraid. To me, it’s a bit strange to be afraid of a four-month-old husky puppy, if you’ve had that experience with dogs. But we can only prove what people saw and the evidence that was there.”

Court heard Kotulak had let Shea out into the backyard shortly before the incident and he managed to escape. When Kotulak discovered his dog was missing and went to the alley to look, he approached a vehicle with several occupants and heard one voice say “we just killed it.”

The owner then discovered the puppy, which had severe head trauma, was bleeding from the ears and started convulsing. The car then drove away.

Kotulak then picked up Shea and carried him to the backyard, where the puppy died in his arms.

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