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Archive for January, 2009

THE JOURNEY

For all of you who dare to believe, I must explain that Loki is my Spirit Guide. He came to me in my youth and has remained with me my entire life. Together we have embarked on wondrous journeys, he has shown me much and from him I have gained much.

Loki came once again to me, only a few nights ago. He stood far off in the distance this time. It was the others, Bear, Raven and Cougar who led me to him. I could barely make Loki out from this distance. The ground was snow covered and he stood amongst tree boughs drooped and laden with snow. He appeared to be surrounded by a bright mist and was barely visible.

He waited silently as I approached him, I was aware that I was making this journey alone. Bear, Raven and Cougar did not accompany me, instead I could feel their eyes following me as they remained silently behind.

As I drew closer to Loki, he turned, walking ahead of me. His pace quickening and I found it hard to keep up to him. He led me across a vast expanse of snow and ice and the journey was difficult.

This place was far different from anywhere he had taken me before. It was desolate, barren and terrifying. Winds beat upon my face, blowing snow and ice crystals stinging my eyes, and his image began to quickly fade in the swirling winds.

I cannot call it fear as my disorientation grew, because my trust in Loki, my Guide, never faltered. Perhaps it was the total sense of isolation and the knowledge that I was totally helpless and at the mercy of the land.

Continuing, now, able only to make out what few of Loki’s tracks that remained visible, I trudged on. Soon the frigid swirling winds calmed down and as I strained to spot him, I was overcome by the beautiful sight that lay only feet before me. Hidden by the raging winds and swirling snow, was an immense cave of gleaming ice, like diamonds its brilliance was breathtaking. Loki stood at the mouth of this cave, waiting, my initial journey had ended.

Together we entered the ice cave, my feelings of gratitude were overwhelming. I no longer felt the cold, I felt only the Light that surrounded us.

In total silence, we lay upon a bed of ice, sheltered against the storm that once again raged outside. The powerful winds whipped around us, but this time they did not carry the stinging crystals of snow. Instead they carried the silent unheard voices of the past.

Soon, as I gazed into the beautiful eyes of my companion, these voices grew louder, stronger, filling our cave, surrounding us. Loki’s eyes changed, such a great sadness replaced the strength that is always visible in his gaze. As the voices of agony grew louder, I felt a presence, and in turning I found that we were no longer alone. Bear, Raven and Cougar had joined us. Their eyes too also filled with great sadness.

It was then that I realized that the cries of agony which surrounded us were the many voices of the innocents who had suffered without mercy at the hand of mankind. I was hearing the voices of those who had come before, the voices of those in the present and the voices of all of those who will continue to suffer in the future.

My eyes too, filled with great sadness and my heart filled with great pain, and as Bear, Raven and Cougar drew closer to Loki and me, I was filled with an overpowering sense of helplessness and fear. Fear from the total sense of isolation, fear from the sense of unending pain.

Loki released me from this journey and I awoke, my breath labored, my eyes streaming with tears. Yet I felt a sense of calm, of peace and I knew in my heart, that the suffering of those in that single moment had been lifted.

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~A Dog’s Soul~

Every dog must have a soul
Somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances
Are buried with his pride.

Where he decides the good and bad,
The wrong way from the right,
And where his judgment carefully
Is hidden from our sight.

A dog must have a secret place
Where every thought abides,
A sort of close acquaintance that
He trusts in and confides.

And when accused unjustly for
Himself, He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul
The comfort he must seek.

He’ll love, though’ he is unloved,
And he’ll serve though’ badly used,
And one kind word will wipe away
The times when he’s abused.

Although’ his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!
~ Unknown

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inuvik-82
ThisPaulatuk dog was found still alive and frozen to the bottom of his dog house.  Left behind to starve and freeze to death because his owners were divorcing.  Obviously the division of the material was far more important than a life. Despite valiant efforts this animal was finally humanely put at rest. Note he is just one more martyr in Inuvik and is unrelated to the three surviving sled dogs below:

As of this date January 28, 2009, I have no  news to report on the three surviving sled dogs, whether they are alive or now dead.

As of last evening officials had not responded to the Cruelty Reports filed with the Crown by the Executive Director for the Beaufort Delta SPCA.

This is the letter written by PETA and published in News/North concerning these 3 surviving dogs.

We say Tuktoyaktuk dogs were neglected
Daphna Nacliminovitch Vice President, Cruelty
Investigations Department for the People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA) Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

“Shame on the RCMP for essentially giving citizens carte blanche to deprive their dogs of adequate food. water, shelter and veterinary care (Dead Tuktoyaktuk dogs weren’t neglected: police. Jan. 7, 2009). If the dogs had not been neglected for the long term, they would not have been emaciated, chained with nothing to keep them warm or frozen to the ground. Frankly. that is cruelty investigations 101! No necropsies were even performed to obtain the expert opinion of a veterinary professional? For shame!

If you have ever been cold or hungry, think of the unimaginable suffering experienced by these dogs. All they could do was to wait for the misery to end. it must have seemed like relief would never come, and only did upon their death.

It is not legal or acceptable for a person responsible for any animal to allow that animal a slow, agonizing and frightening death. Even a bullet to the head would have been a kinder end for these tortured dogs, but their owner evidently couldn’t be bothered to do that, either.

It’s too late to help these poor dogs, but people can prevent other animals from suffering a similar fate by being nosy neighbors. Never hesitate to get involved if you believe an animal may be suffering it can be a matter of life or death.

Since NWT authorities apparently won’t intervene in cases of animal cruelty, it’s up to you to find out why an outside dog is not being fed or provided water or a warm, safe shelter. Offer to help or call PETA so we can offer assistance.

Our office receives hundreds of calls every year about animals who have been left to die in houses, backyards and apartments. One dog had been locked in a crate, unable to reach food or water for several days. His life was saved by a nosy neighbour.
For more information, visit HelpingAnimals.com.”

SHOUT people, as LOUD as you possibly can, even LOUDER.  These animals are in crisis, centuries of continued neglect, cruelty and abuse to the northern dogs must not be allowed to continue.

Contact Animal Legal Defense Fund when animal cruelty charges have not  been laid in a case and should be. US and Canadian Animal Protection Laws for all states and provinces can be downloaded for free on this site.

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These are  excerpts from  a Northern News Services article:  Yellowknife (Aug 19/02)

“The Beaufort Delta SPCA is asking for help in finding the person responsible for starving and shooting a dog on the outskirts of Inuvik last week.”

“The dog was discovered weak, but still alive, tied to a tree by a short length of rope.

It had been shot in the head several days earlier.  A few paces away, a dead husky was tied to another tree”

“Clovis Savoie,  a 41-year-old welder, stumbled across the two animals Thursday morning. “I just about threw up,” Savoie said. “It’s sick to see something like that.  That poor thing, just skin and bones.  And it’s not a bad dog.  It was jumping up, asking to go home.”

“The dog was a male German shepherd-mixed breed…..”

“Inuvik bylaw officer Randy Shermack said the north end of Navy Road seems to be a favourite location for people wanting to get rid of unwanted dogs.  It’s happened out there on numerous occasions.  We find dogs with plywood on their heads, shot.”

I got the further account of this story from the Executive Director of the Beaufort Delta SPCA.  This dog, the one still alive, received a through and through gunshot to the head.  Despite hoping the animal could be saved, it needed to be humanely put down.  Right up to that very moment, moment of final release by lethal injection, this animal stood by my friend, wagging his tail and licking her hand.

I have to ask each of you.  What would you have done?  How would you have felt?  How do you presently feel?  Are you as outraged and disgusted as this writer or the people involved in finding and trying to save this animal?  A perfectly health dog, tied to a tree, shot in the head, left for dead, but there alive for days, suffering from starvation, shock and a bullet wound, all the while waiting for his owner to return.

This is a far too frequent occurence and it is going on even now as I enter this new post.  Animals of the North are in crisis, they need my help, they need your help if this blatant and willful cruelty is to end.  Please speak up for these animals, make your voices loud and clear so that they will be heard.  Feel very proud that you are doing so.  SHOUT IT OUT.  Please help to end this now.

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As of today, the three surviving sled dogs, seen in prior post, continue to  remain chained outside without shelter, food or water.  These animals are suffering and are very sick due to severe starvation, hypothermia and dehydration.   Originally discovered in December 2008, a month has now passed with no relief or justice for these animals.  Temperatures in that area, drop to -60 celcius, windchill lowers the temperatures even further. Tuktoyuktuk is located in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, north of the Arctic Circle on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.

Efforts are continuing to help these dogs, in that the Executive Director for the Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA has filed all necessary Cruelty Reports, with the Crown and has spoken again with Const. Ian Diplock, in an attempt to convince him to re-open this case and to formally lay charges against “Lucky’ Pokiak.  So far “Lucky” is far luckier than the 3 surviving dogs that were left under his care  apparently since  June 2008 as the owner/relative is currently incarcerated on other unrelated charges .   Please note that “Lucky”  Pokiak has stated he has no means of transportation in order to get food to these dogs.  Still he will not surrender these animals to SPCA officials.

Under the current NWT Legislation: Prohibitions: Section 3 : “No owner shall allow a dog to remain unfed or unwatered sufficiently long (a) to amount to cruelty or (b) to cause the dog to become a nuisance.”

To reference each of the  provisions above: (a) Allowing these  dogs to continue suffering from starvation, dehydration and hypothermia is cruelty at its worst.  Failing to surrender these dogs to those who can help them is unacceptable.  (b) Pokiak’s  other loose dogs, entered a yard of one resident and the woman watched horrified as one of these dogs ATE her puppy.   Well fed animals do not eat puppies. Is this not proof of neglect let alone becoming a nuisance?

Offence and Punishment : Section 13(1) ” Every person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offense….”

Seizure : 7(1)  “An officer may seize a dog from a person whom the officer (a) finds contravening this Act; or (b) has good cause to suspect of having contravened or being about to contravene this Act.”

Given the evidence which is  clearly visible the Act has been contravened.

Section 11:  Law Enforcement Policies: 2 (2) R.C.M.P  :  “Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ex officio officers under this Act”.

Under Section 445 of the Criminal Code of Canada, Animal Cruelty Legislation, the specifics for indictable offenses are quite clear.  Further the RCMP are accountable under Federal Jurisdiction to unhold and enforce all laws as contained in the Criminal Code of Canada, which includes the Animal Cruelty Legislation.

“Lucky” Pokiak has broken both the Territorial and the Federal Laws.  Why are policing officials scratching their heads and not taking positive action in this matter? Given light of a new development I am unable to share at this moment, and in consideration of this new development, failure to re-open the case and formally lay charges will be in my opinion as well as the opinion of others, a gross miscarriage of justice,  the condonement of  Officials  thereby enabling this form of brutality to continue.

The following addresses are those for the GNWT Legislative Officials to whom you may write to should you choose to voice your concern.

Hon. Robert McLeod, Min. of Municipal and Community Affairs, NWT

Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Justice, NWT

Legislative Assembly Building, 4570  48th Street, Yellowknife, NY X1A 2L9

These are further addresses to officials in Tutayuktuk to whom you may direct your concerns:  Const. Ian Diplock is the Investigating RCMP Officer who has yet to change his mind and press charges.

Matt Hare and Ian Diplock, Constables, Tuktoyuktuk RCMP, P.O. Box 58, Tuktoyuktuk,NT X0E 1C0

Fax: 867-977-2293   Telephone: 867-977-1111

Debbie Raddi, Sen. Admin. Officer, Hamlet of Tuktoyuktuk: debbieraddi@airware.ca

Fax: 867-977-2110    Telephone: 867-977-2286

The Hon. Mervin Gruben, Mayor of Hamlet of Tuktoyuktuk, P.O. Box 120, Tuktoyuktuk, NT X0E 1C0

Fax: 867-977-2110  Telephone: 867-977-2286

Honorable Marys Nassar,Canada Crown Attorney, 107 Mckenzie Rd, Ste. 201, Inuvik NT X0E 0T0

Fax: 867-777-3260    Telephone: 867-777-3075

A complaint may also be registered with The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, Surrey, B.C.

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Yet another case of failure to prosecute.  The recent case of the 3 dogs found starved and frozen to death in Tuktoyaktuk is another example why an animal protection act is absolutely necessary in the Canadian North.  These dogs were found frozen to the ground, discovered by the local dog catcher Chuck Gruben.

The RCMP Officer called in to investigate has decided not to press charges under the Criminal Code of Canada after having spoken with the owner of these dogs who claimed that the dogs were already sick and nothing could be done for them.  When question by CBC reporters as to whether a vet had been called in to confirm that indeed these animals had succumbed to their illness, the RCMP Officer stated no.    The officer also stated that under the Criminal Code that evidence must be prove that these animals were neglected in order to press charges, he did admit that the dead dogs and three surviving dogs looked pretty skinny.

Note that one caller to CBC North stated that a number of the sled dogs held at the Randa Boogie Pokiaks yard had broken loose and had entered her yard.  One of these dogs attacked and literally ate her puppy before her husband could chase them away.  Is this not an indication that these dogs were starving?

I was invited to do a personal interview with CBC North recently, topic of concern is this most recent case of willful neglect and my lobbying of the Northwest Territories Government for an Animal Protection Act.  I was more than happy to respond, I was allowed to hear the interview with the investigating RCMP officer prior to my interview.  The excuses given by the owner which were accepted by this officer, influencing his decision no to press charges, are unacceptable to myself and many others.  Pokiak made a conscious decision, he willfully failed to provide proper shelter in sub-zero temperatures and while he claimed to be feeding these animals, reports to the contrary were made by many witnesses.  Evidence lay in the starved carcasses frozen to the ground and the testimonies of witnesses that came forward to prove that this is an indictable offense.

In my view failing to prosecute this individual is sending a negative statement that there is no accountability for ones actions, that animal cruelty is condoned, and accepted, that one is free to do whatever they choose to with consequence.  The current Animal Cruelty Legislation as contained in the Criminal Code of Canada only applies to particular areas of the country.  The Criminal Code and this Animal Cruelty Legislation applies to everyone anywher in Canada.

If you are as outraged as what I am please sign my petition posted below “An Appeal for the Voiceless” and send a clear, precise and pointed message to the Government of the Northwest Territories that not only are the offenders of these horrendous acts accountable for their actions, but that the government is also accountable for their inaction.

I intend to keep up this fight and with you help enough pressure can be put on the Legislature for them to act..that is my hope.

Please go to the petition: An appeal for the voiceless

While this petition denotes 1,000 signatures I am urging everyone to surpass that number, to pass this case on to contacts, to make everyone aware of what is going on urging all to take positive action to put an end to this madness and suffering.

Read the CBC article on this case
.

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Pass Animal Protection Act in Canadian North -NWT and Nunavut
Please sign the petition.

Look into their eyes…

dog-3

(photos courtesy of Linda Eccles)

three surviving dogs: (photos courtesy of Linda Eccles)

Currently the Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not have an Animal Protection Act.

Every second of each day in the Canadian North, dogs and cats, both mature and very young, suffer needlessly at the hands of negligent owners, who care nothing for their health, welfare or care. Without proper legislation in place this situation will continue to go unabated and without consequence to those criminals who inflict such terrible suffering. Dogs and pups, will continue to freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures tethered to chains or be rounded up and shot. The mature and the very young, cats and dogs, will continue to be dumped in an unforgiving wilderness left to suffer an agonizing death, or be tormented and abused in their own backyards and on the streets.

Related Links:

PETA presses Tuktoyaktuk RCMP to charge owner of dead dogs

Dead Tuktoyaktuk dogs weren’t neglected: police

Euthanizing N.W.T. man’s 34 dogs ‘saddest day of my life’ for vet

Dene artist denies neglecting his sled dogs

N.W.T. to look at increasing fines for negligent dog owners

Dog deaths bring law into question

Inuit have long alleged that the RCMP killed a total of about 20,000 sled dogs throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s in Nunavut, the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, and the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador.
The RCMP, which has denied allegations of an organized dog slaughter, conducted its own investigation into the issue. A 2005 interim report cleared police of any wrongdoing.

Inuit associations want inquiry into dog deaths

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