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YELLOWKNIFER: Wednesday November 9, 2011

Feature News

“Puppy dies after being left in garbage bin”

Excerpt:  Northern News Services: by Laura Busch

“ A dying puppy found in a garbage bin outside of a downtown bar last week was euthanized Monday evening at Great Slave Animal Hospital.”

Named Olive, this 8 to 10 week old female husky cross was found near death, after being found “curled up in the corner (of the garbage).”  The pups whimpers were heard outside the Raven Pub located in Yellowknife and a passerby came to her rescue.

Veterinary Assistant Jenna McCrendle stated that it was possible that Olive had also suffered internal damage from some form of physical trauma, possibly a kick or other trauma.  Olive was unable to ingest food or water and was incapable of moving on her own.

Olive who was seriously anemic met a humane death Monday, due only to the fact that Chris Blais took her to the GSAH. It had been a freind of Chris’s who had found the pup and Chris upon seeing her took her himself to the hospital.   Had this young man not taken this action, Olive’s suffering would have continued. Special thanks must also go to Chris’s friend who found the pup and took her home with him.

A second pup was also turned in to the GSAH on Friday and was suffering from a “large abscess on his lower jaw”.  “Teddy Ruxpin” as he was named, has been treated, is doing well and is now  ready for adoption.

Puppies, dogs, cats and kittens across the NWT continue to be neglected, discarded, thrown out in the trash despite the new NWT Dog Act which came into effect Spring 2011.  The new Dog Act is supposed to protect Dogs Only….obviously legislation is not worth the paper it is written on when incidents such as this continue to happen.  There is no protection whatsoever for felines or any other neglected pet in the NWT.  A Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, one which I have been fighting for over three years now, MUST be implemented.  Named ‘Best Place to Abuse Animals’ by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for three consecutive years, this recent incident of “Olive” and “Teddy Ruxpin” reinforces this dubious distinction.

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/a-dubious-distinction-given-to-the-northwest-territories-and-nunavut-in-may-2009-and-once-again-in-2010/

Today, it is, with windchill -20 celcius which translates into -52 farenheit.  Knowing that there are likely many more discarded pups, dogs, cats and kittens ‘out there’ left to freeze and starve to death not only breaks my own heart, but it breaks the heart and enrages anyone who actually has a conscience.

Out of the three major cases of Animal Cruelty in the NT during 2010 – 2011 there has only been two successful prosecutions made in the NWT , both of which were in Yellowknife this past Spring.   Well known  Yellowknife musician Lloyd Thrasher received a jail term for the stabbing death of “Garlic” the tiny Chinese Pug which he stole out of Vanessa Baron’s vehicle: http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/garlic-the-chinese-pug-brutally-stabbed-in-yellowknife-nt-january-2011-gets-some-form-of-justice/   and the second case involved “Yuki”, the sole surviving puppy rescued when RCMP were called to investigate a mother dog who had just given birth to puppies was reported dead with her pups in a yard.  Mother and pups were found frozen to death.  The mother had been pushed out into sub-zero temperatures by her owner when she went into labor.  “Yuki” did survive but suffered frostbite and lost part of her tiny nose.  Additional dogs were found  on very short chains and in a neglected state:

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/sole-surviving-wha-ti-puppy-an-public-hearings-on-nt-dog-act/

The third case brought before the courts and which took over a year to finally go to trial was the Hobson case involving 109 dogs, in Hay River,  three of which were immediately humanely euthanized by attending veterinarians from Alberta who participated in the property raid on May 29, 2010.  Five charges were laid in this case.

Twenty-three pups were seized and taken to the Municipally owned Hay River Animal Shelter where volunteers cared for them for two and a half months.  The other 83 dogs were left on the property of the accused in the care of the accused and it was publically stated that Municipal officials would be monitoring the dogs care.  Mid August 2010 22 of the seized pups were ordered destroyed by the Municipal Authorities despite offers to assist in the relocation of these pups aged between 2 and 12 months had been made numerous times.  The one surviving pup  LOKI who escaped the shelter  twice  in June, remains a stray and has been cared for by myself personally since last October.  LOKI also receives food from many of my own neighbors, and has thus far eluded all attempts being made by the By Law Officer to capture him.  It must be noted that the method by which the 22 puppies were destroyed remains a big secret to which no one, not even the Animal Alliance of Canada, can get answers.

Despite the evidence provided and the testimonies, in this case the courts dropped numerous charges and in the end the verdict was Not Guilty.

In 2008 the Behchoko case whereby 44 sled dogs owned by a reknown  Dene artist Archie Beaulieu had to be humanely put down due to severe neglect resulted in charges under the Federal Criminal Code, however the courts stayed these charges and these 44 neglected dogs did not get the Justice they deserved.

Again in Behchoko six puppies were found in a town dumpster with their tiny throats slashed, again in sub-zero temperatures.  Taken to the GSAH only one of these pups survived.  No charges were ever laid in this case.

The Pokiak case in Tuktoyatuk is also another perfect example whereby sled dogs met with neglect, death and the failure of authorities to prosecute or to seize the two surviving sled dogs, despite all attempts made by the BDRSPCA as well as PETA.

The new NWT Dog Act is merely the First Step, it is not the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act which I have been fighting for, but it is a Victory and it also is a historical event in the NWT.  The motion did carry in the Legislative Assembly to continue working towards the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, a good thing one would say, however until such time as cases of Animal Neglect/Cruelty are successfully prosecuted, until such time as very real educational programs are put in place to change the apparent mindset of so many towards ‘disposable’ animals; until such time as spay/neuter blitzes  are set in place; until such time as qualified highly trained Animal Cruelty Investigators are established within the NWT;  until such time as needed animal shelter facilities are built and supported not only by volunteers and resident donations but also the Territorial Government;  until such time as there is an expansion of much needed veterinary services within the NWT……..puppies, dogs, cats and kittens will continue to be subjected to prolonged suffering, starvation, freezing to death, slashing of throats and gunshot:

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/update-on-inuvik-pup-rescued-from-abandoned-pick-up-truck/

With the Territorial Elections now over and GNWT Officials now back to work, it is time to once again put pressure on this government to fulfill the motion carried in the 16th Session to continue working towards a Comprehensive Animal Protection Act, one without the current potentially deadly loophole that was opposed by MLA’s and so many NWT residents.

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/nwt-cabinet-voted-to-retain-exception-clause-in-new-dog-act-despite-opposition-to-clause/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/a-year-in-brief-review-%e2%80%93-animal-abuse-in-the-northwest-territories-canada/

 http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/secrets/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/legacy-of-the-north/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/hail-to-the-nwt-justice-system-northern-dogs-lose-again/

http://giftofloki.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/we-say-tuktoyaktuk-dogs-were-neglected-2/

 

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Six a.m. comes very early on a weekend, when one should be able to catch up on sleep..sleeping in is not an option for me. 6 a.m. on a weekend for me, means getting up, preparing LOKI’s hearty warm breakfast, and going outside with long coat over fleecy pj’s, trudging through backyard snow and refilling his water dish (now frozen) with fresh drinking water, all the while patiently calling to him..standing out in the cold, hoping that he can hear me and anxiously waiting for his arrival.  During the work week this whole process is repeated, only I must rise at least a 1/2 hour earlier so that I will still have time to get ready for work.  Often times he will not come right away, so I must keep my bedroom window open while getting ready for the office so that I can hear him and be prepared to jump up and head out to him.

Yesterday morning saw him arrive around 6:30 and this morning he showed up about 7:45 a.m.  It was cold, and he was covered in ice crystals.  With temps on the decline and winter now ahead of all of us, I do not look forward to this long winter.  Last year I sat outside in my driveway or on my deck in sub zero temps, winds blowing, freezing my hands and excuse the reference..my butt, at all hours of the mornings and nights ensuring that LOKI received warm nourishing meals to get him through the long frigid winter days and nights.

Nothing has changed and I will continue to do just that.  I will continue to do what I have been doing for over a year, protecting him, caring for him and loving him.

Twice in the last two weeks I have witnessed the Town By-Law Officer attempting to capture LOKI, once with Net Gun in hand.  True LOKI is technically a Stray and under the Hay River By-Laws of which I am well versed, By-Law is just doing his job.  Having contacted the Town of Hay River authorities numerous times concerning LOKI I finally did get a written response for the Towns new SAO…. in my reply to this response I have requested:  copied and pasted from my email:

“I do understand that By-Law is doing his job in trying to capture LOKI.  That being said…..I am requesting, in writing, a written guarantee that if LOKI is captured that I be immediately notified.  A written guarantee that he will be taken to the shelter,he will not be destroyed secretly as were the 22 pups, and that I will be called in, and that I be given the time necessary to obtain and set up a portable dog run for him on my property.  That I will be allowed to license him, just as my own two dogs are already licensed.  That during his stay at the shelter while I am preparing for his needs here at home, that I be the person who cares for and works with him while he is at the shelter.”

This being Sunday I have not yet received a response.

I also submitted to Town Officials a deposition attesting to the gentle non-aggressive nature of LOKI which has been signed by many who have come to know and love LOKI.  Included with this deposition are the comments I received by email and through FaceBook from persons who support LOKI and my continued work with him.  This deposition came about due to an allegation made against LOKI which I believe to be a case of mistaken identity.  That being said I also provided the Municipal Authorities a video which I took in my own backyard of another dog that could be LOKI’s twin proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that there are other dogs in this town that could be mistaken for him.

http://youtu.be/ps6hIcuiNVI

LOKI is very special, being the sole survivor of the 23 pups rescued in the Hay River Animal Cruelty Case, raid took place May 29, 2010…(109 dogs involved) 3 of which were immediately put down for humane reasons.  This case took over a year to finally go to trial and despite the evidence, all five charges were dropped.

The 23 pups aged between 2 months and one year, were held and cared for by shelter volunteers at the Muncipally owned shelter for 2 1/2 months, before being secretly removed and destroyed in mid August 2010.  Despite the numerous offers I made to assist in relocating these pups to properly run facilities outside the NT where they would have received proper rehab from highly qualified professional specialist, my offers were summarily ignored.

LOKI escaped the Municipal shelter the first time in mid June 2010, he was recaptured and thankfully again escaped prior to the other 22 pups being destroyed, the method of destruction has yet to be discovered and consequently rumors abound as there is no resident vet in this town.   This last escape is the  act that saved LOKI’s  life.  As the sole survivor LOKI is extremely special, he is precious…he is also a reminder of what took place  here.  That being said, the importance of keeping him healthy and safe cannot be overstated.  His will to survive against all odds is an inspiration in itself, this gentle spirit more than deserves a chance at a loving forever home, free from stress, free from harassment, free from fear, free from frigid temperatures.

My work with LOKI, my commitment and devotion to LOKI, if anything continues to grow stronger, my determination is un-waivering, should he be captured I will have to deal with that if and when it happens.  The trust shared between he and I continues to grow, our time together, our journey will continue.

It has been mentioned to me time and again that LOKI’s story needs to be published in a well established publication, and an offer has been made to me from a dear friend and accomplished journalist to assist me in doing just that.  Certainly I have enough Blog posts, pictures and videos upon which I can resource to pull this all together.  I am happy to say that I am going to do this.  LOKI’s full story needs to be told, he is a remarkable animal.

In addition, I am seriously contemplating a larger project, that of writing a book on the the trials and conflicts I have experienced as an Animal Rights Advocate/Activist from Ontario now living in the Northwest Territories.

As my readers know, my three year battle with the Territorial Government resulted in an historic event this Spring, the passing and Enactment of the new NWT Dog Act.  This first major victory remains far from the Comprehensive Animal Protection Act that I continue to fight for.  The good news is that the Legisaltive Assembly did pass the motion towards continuing work for Comprehensive Animal Protection.

Again, I most certainly have enough Blog Posts, evidenciary pictures and accounts of the decades of animal neglect and cruelty, newspaper clipping as well as records of published accounts of such cruelty that failed to be prosecuted.

Each and everyone of us, who continue the never ending battle to end horrific animal cruelty, can identify with the extreme frustration and heartbreak involved.  We can all identify with the phone calls and emails received on a daily basis.  We can identify with the personal sacrifices each of us make, taking time away from our families, our homes and yes even our own pets, spending money we really don’t have to spend so that one more will be cared for properly.  I would say that we are definitely a Breed Apart, we are unique in our commitment and our devotion and we are as described by one such individual “‘a silent army'”that keeps growing and for that I shall be forever grateful.

  To all of you who have supported my fight for Animal Protection the Northwest Territories I sincerely Thank You.

  To all of you who follow the journey which LOKI and I have embarked upon, all of you who support LOKI and my ongoing work with him, I thank you and I am ever so grateful.

  I know that this beautiful boy is grateful as well.

  From the bottom of both our hearts…..This video contains a special message as well as my own fears

   http://youtu.be/uxbf2iUJbvA

Additional videos of this beautiful boy:

http://youtu.be/nCW2XMey9Rk

http://youtu.be/KTKDWI8_Afo

http://youtu.be/TqI0VjnyU0g

http://youtu.be/3B7NnhAAKSY

http://youtu.be/MrqoARVHZNE

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Puppy victimFor all of you who are in support of M.P. Mark Holland’s Bill C-229 amending the current Federal Animal Cruelty Legislation there is a resounding shout of Thank You.

Regrettably I must pose the question to you as I did to him:  Just what good will that do to protect the animals in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut? The current Federal Animal Cruelty Bill is not effectively administered in the North.  Unlike the rest of Canada, neither the NWT nor Nunavut have an Animal Protection Act in place.

While the GNWT has communicated to me that “work has begun” we all know how slowly the wheels of government turn.  It is hoped that by the end of the 16th Legislative sitting (Fall 2009) an Animal Protection Act will be in place here.

I was recently interviewed requesting my comments on the study published by the Animal Legal Defense Fund which cited the best places to live if you are an Animal Abuser.  The NWT was listed as one of the top three. http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=945

Of course I agreed wholeheartedly with their report.  How could I not?  If you have been following the incidents of horrific neglect, starvation, needless and preventable death I have revealed to you;  how could you not agree as well?

The above picture is of a puppy thankfully rescued last year from five  youth in this town who thought it great fun as they attempted to crush the lil one under their bicycle tires.  What did this innocent victim ever do to deserve that?  Were their any consequences to the actions of these youths?  None at all.

In a recent post “Tuktoyaktuk-Cruelty Capital of Canada” I have listed the GNWT MLA and Ministerial contacts.  Please write, email, fax your comments and concerns about the crisis situation faced by all Northern Animals.    Don’t forget about the dogs in Tuktoyaktuk(town contact information is included as well)   or the incident in Bechoko where 44 dogs were destroyed due to severe starvation and abuse.

Please speak for the voiceless: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/an-appeal-for-the-voiceless

Northern Animals must not be forgotten, they must not be allowed to continue the suffering which they now endure and have endured for decades past.

Raise your voice to :  Allow pups such as this little fellow to be given the chance to grow in an environment free from harassment, free from abuse and neglect, free to give to a caring human companion the unquestioned love and loyalty that only an animal can give.

Please also continue to support the call for tougher Federal Legislation, it is time!

http://www.wspa.ca/latestnews/2009/animal_cruelty_still_goes_unpunished_in_canada.aspx

http://stopanimalcrueltyincanada.wordpress.com/

http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_international/join_campaigns/national_regional_efforts/ifaw_in_action_canada/stop_animal_cruelty_in_canada_support_anti-cruelty_laws/index.php

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Having recently read the article “New teeth for Dog Act” published in News North, I fear I am not at all impressed with the speculation that Sled teams and Mushers may wind up exempt from Animal Cruelty provisions contained in the new NWT Animal Protection Act.   Every living animal has the right to warm shelters, meaning insulated dog houses which are required in sub-zero temps, high quality daily food to maintain body condition and weight, to fight sub-zero temperatures, a daily fresh supply of water, human interaction and proper medical care.  In the Beaulieu case and the Pokiak case, all of this was withheld from the “sled” dogs.  In the Beaulieu case the CROWN chose not to prosecute and Pokiak was not even charged.  Both incidents are a total disgrace. Please refer Archived materials.

0930sleddogs500 This  left picture is of:  44 dog sled team of Archie Beaulieu whihc had to be   destroyed.

There is no argument that mushers and sled teams are a tradition in the North,  however, the care that these animals get is often severely lacking.  In the recent Iditarod, 5 dogs died.  Two literally froze to death during the race, the musher admitting he noticed ICE under their fur;  two were run to death, their hearts for lack of better terms exploding, and one suffocated on it’s own vomit.  PETA called for a Criminal Investigation however as of this date I am unaware of any concrete response from legal or town officials in Alaska.

During summer months many sled teams are left on short chains, receive no exercise, human interaction or regular medical check ups; once winter comes these animals are often expected to perform without having received proper nutritional care and physical conditioning., resulting in avoidable injuries and often death.

Legacy of the North Victims Pokiak's dogsPicture to left is Pokiak’s dogs now presumed dead as they cannot be located. Despite desperate attempts by Animal Cruelty Officer and the filing of the Cruelty Reports,  legal intervention to save these animals was not forthcoming.

Again, there are caring team owners who do ensure the health and welfare of their animals, unfortunately that is not in all cases, and we must protect those animals who do too often face these horrific life threatening conditions.

Under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada it is illegal to drag an animal behind a vehicle, even if it is a stray wandering the streets. It is illegal to abuse, torture or cause harm to any animal, through neglect, failure to provide proper food, fresh water, shelter or care. It may not be covered under the current NWT Dog Act, but it is covered under the Federal Act (which is not properly enforced here to begin with).

WHY IS THAT??  A question I have posed to the Attorney General of Canada and the Prime Minister.  The current loop-hole is the word “Willful” which needed to be totally eliminated from any and all Animal Ptorections Bills, it must NOT be included in the NWT Animal Protection Legislation. That one word, leaves a wide door for people such as Beaulieu and Pokiak to escape through.  Choosing NOT to feed those dogs was a willful choice made by those two persons and they got away with it, giving  a clear message that anyone can pull the same trick and not pay just consequences.  Those animals suffered greatly, costing them their lives.

I support Mr. McLeods, (Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, NWT) comment of importing an Act from another province, Ontario’s and B.C.’s in particular, tailoring the act adopted as Mr. McLeod says for the North.  However strict added  effective protection for the sled dogs is a MUST.  As to adding protection for the mushers, accidents do happen yes, however if a musher fails to provide for the physical and emotional welfare of his team, or runs an animal to death, or runs an unconditioned animal,  that is a totally different scenario that must be addressed and that individual must be held accountable for this neglect, which under the Federal Law and other provincial Acts constitutes abuse, which is illegal.  Irresponsible mushers must be held accountable, afterall, they are not only abusing their animals, they are tarnishing the reputations of reputable caring mushers.  As pointed out by the Animal Defense League in a letter which they sent to the NWT Minister of Justice, Mr. Jackson Lafferty, reputable kennels, breeders and mushers should welcome the strict monitoring and licensing of their counterparts in order to protect their own reputations.  In my opinion opposition to this form of strict monitoring, inspection and licensing  would indicate something to hide, would it not?

The NWT does need  to tailor an Act to meet the needs of Northern Animals given the extreme harsh conditions here.  The NWT  has an excellent opportunity to be a shining example instead of a tarnished one.

Further,  it is of extreme importance that Municipal By-Laws be reviewed and rewritten to coincide and be in harmony to the new Animal Cruelty Legislation coming for the NWT and to the standards as represented by towns and cities across the rest of Canada.  As it now stands current Municipal leash laws and required dog licensing is not being enforced.  As a result dogs are being rounded up and shot in many Northern communities, dumped and abandoned, chained and neglected, denied medical care, left without proper daily food, water and shelter, the owners are not being held responsible, the dog population continues to explode due to irresponsible and indiscriminate breeding.  Animals are not being spayed nor neutered, and quite likely not immunized against highly communicable deseases (not communicable to humans).  All of this must be addressed in the Municipal By-Laws and be upheld, to prevent further problems in the communities.

Did you know that Canine Parvovirus (deadly) becomes airborne from infected fecal matter, remains active in lawns, furnishings and clothing, for up to 7 months to 1 year.  There are 5 million viruses contained in only 1 gram of excrement.  Pups should start receiving their shots for Parvo as early as 6 weeks of age and continue receiving shots every 3-4 weeks to the age of 14-16 weeks.  The Passive Immunity passed from the mother to pup diminishes during this timeframe, leaving the pup open to this terrible disease. Which can then be passed onto to healthy animals (if they have not received there shots) by humans who have handled sick animals, or walked in areas where contaminated feces accumulated.

Educating the public on what constitutes animal cruelty and the resultant legal consequences will go a long way to deter the decades of ongoing  cruelty.

Educating the public on what constitutes proper animal welfare, care, nutrition and medical care would be doing a great public service.

For more information on what is happening in Canada please view:

How quickly we forget- In our view: Promises to update animal cruelty laws seem forgotten
The Daily Gleaner
http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/666538

Don’t expect animal act to change soon – Ashfield
The Daily Gleaner
http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/search/article/666723

Neglect case leads to a dozen charges
The Barrie Examiner
http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1567108

Agency will revisit dead cattle investigation
Regina Leader Post
http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Agency+will+revisit+dead+cattle+investigation/1593430/story.html

Report animal cruelty, neglect
Longview News Journal
http://www.news-journal.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/2009/05/14/05142009_letters.html

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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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