Archive for April, 2009

The pictures seen here are graphic.  These pictures were sent to me when I was first contacted by the Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA last Fall.  A case which was particularily heartbreaking for Ms. Eccles and her husband. No charges were laid in this case either.  It is imperative that the BDRSPCA get the support needed to put an end to this cruelty.

Your comments are welcome.

Indifference Killed this Dog in Tukvictim-of-tuktayuktuk-2

Indifference Killed this Dog in Tuk

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Mothr & Daghter starving in Tuk April 24 2009

Mother & Daughter starving in Tuk April 24 2009


This week, Linda Eccles, Executive Director for the Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA, made yet another grisly discovery.  That of two more dogs chained, starving and without shelter in the now infamous Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, NT which is located along the shores of the Beaufort Sea.  She again felt the need to contact PETA as well as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.  In turn I have contacted as many organizations and government officials as possible requesting support and intervention.

The two husky-cross females, mother and young daughter are in crisis.  Starving, suffering from the extreme cold, without sufficent body mass to maintain and generate body heat.  Chained too far apart to even huddle together for warmth Tuktoyaktuk is in the Arctic Circle remember.  Sub-Zero temperatures will kill an unprotected human within minutes.

Linda approached the youngster and found her to be at first skittish, but welcoming of her attention and very gentle.  Ms. Eccles spoke with the owner and advised her of the deplorable condition of her animals and the need for proper shelter and nutrition.  Ms. Eccles then had to walk away broken hearted that even as a qualified Animal Cruelty Inspector she is powerless.   She does not have the legal authority necessary to seize the two dogs which are in crisis in order that their lives may be saved with needed medical attention and proper nutrition. She cannot even bring them food as she could be charged for trespassing.

What about the By-Law officer one might ask?  He does not have the legal authority to seize animals in crisis either.  Tuktoyaktuk has a zero tolerance policy on strays, the legal authority which the By-Law officer has is shoot to kill, not intervention.

Ms. Eccles has reported her findings and provided pictures of these dogs to the RCMP Detachment responsible for policing Tuktoyaktuk.   Unable to speak directly with any Constable at the time she called yesterday, and met with alledged mild hostility for having contacted PETA once again, she is still awaiting the courtesy of a return phone call.

The situation in Tuktoyaktuk is one of crisis.  The Pokiak case already described in previous blog articles, was a perfect example of the failure to intervene by Hamlet Officials and policing authorities.  The three surviving Pokiak dogs which were alledgely to have been taken in and cared for by another of Pokiak’s relatives, are nowhere to be found and are presumed dead.

The shelter facility which Linda established seven years ago is now inaccessible to her as she was wrongly dismissed as By-Law Offier of the town alittle over a year ago.  It has been taken over by the Town and is allegedly mishandled, what animals that are confined there are existing in deplorable unsanitary conditions.  The contract Linda had arranged with the existing Airline which services that area has also been taken over by the town.  Linda was, when she ran the facility, able to fly animals to other Southern shelters for both medical treatment and adoption.  As Ms. Eccles reported to me, no animal has been sent from that facility since October 2008.

While the GNWT Legislature is now in the process of preparing An Animal Protection Act for the Territory, it is expected that this will not come into law until Fall 2009.  The government process is slow everywhere.  In the meantime, animals such as those of Bechoko’s reknown Dene Artist Archie Beaulieu’s (44 dogs required destruction) (Crown failed to prosecute the charge of animal cruelty which was laid) and those of Pokiak (starved to death in Tuk) will continue to endure extreme suffering at the hands of indifferent and irresponsible owners, chained, without proper shelter and nutrition, left to starve and freeze to death.

This week I called for the immediate intervention in the issues of animal cruelty in Tuktoyaktuk. This action included the pictures of these two particular dogs and was made to the Members of the Legislature and the Ministers of this government.  A response has yet to be received.

Ms. Eccles needs the complete and unquestioned support of both the Hamlet Officials and the RCMP Detachment in order to save these and other animals in her area.  Any failure of support by both the Hamlet and legal authorities is a condonement of the continuing suffering of these animals and is unforgiveable.

Please support our ongoing efforts to protect, to save and make positive change by contacting those listed below.  These are senitient creatures, they require the same necessities for life that we all do. Please make the calls, send faxes, emails, whatever it takes.  Tuktoyaktuk is a shameful disgrace to not only the Northwest Territories but the whole of Canada. Government intervention to have Tuktoyaktuk clean up its Act is needed; Goverment intervention stressing to the legal authorities policing this area that this continued and unchecked animal cruelty will not be tolerated is a must.

Thank you for your support.  Contact information is below links.   To view more of what is going on the North:

Animal cruelty sparks resident action

Taloyoak man jailed for “vicious” attack on family pet

Animal violence may start to hurt owners

Dead puppies found in garbage bag

Left for dead

SPCA needs more teeth

Dogs in Tuk likely died of illness

On the loose

Dog days of winter

SPCA calls for new euthanasia laws

Death by gunshot


RCMP Detachment Tuk:    867-977-1111  Fax: 867-977-2293

Debbie Raddi, Senior Administrative Officer (Hamlet of Tuktoyuktuk  997-2286  fax 977-2110, same mailing address as below:
her email:  debbieraddi@airwave.ca

Mayor:  Mervin Gruben: 867-977-2286   P.O. Box 120, Tuktoyyktuk,NT X0E 1C0

Marys Nassar, Canada Crown Attorney, 107 Mackenzie Rd., Suite 201, Inuvik, NT  X0E 0T0 867-777-3075  fax 867-777-3260

Hon. Robert McLeod, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs  867-669-2399

Member’s office:
P.O. Box 1320; Yellowknife, NT; X1A 2L9
Phone: 867-669-2366; Fax: 867-873-0431
Constituency office:
P.O. Box 3130; Inuvik, NT; X0E 0T0
Phone: 867-678-2429; Fax: 867-678-2431

Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Justice  867-669-2388
Minister’s office:
P.O. Box 1320; Yellowknife, NT; X1A 2L9
P: 867-669-2399; F: 867-873-0169

Hon Floyd Roland, Premier NWT  867-669-2311
Legislative Assembly Building
4570   48th Street
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9

Hon. Paul Delorey, MLA, Hay River North
Speaker’s office:
P.O. Box 1320; Yellowknife, NT; X1A 2L9
Phone: 867-669-2234; Fax: 867-873-0273

Constituency office:
Suite 202, 76 Capital Drive; Hay River, NT; X0E 1G2
Phone: 867-874-6301; Fax: 867-874-6079

Hon. Robert Bromley, MLA, Weledeh
Member’s office:
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Phone: 867-669-2272
Fax: 867-873-0276

Dave Ramsay, MLA, Kam Lake
Member’s office:
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Phone: 867-669-2296
Fax: 867-873-0276

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Quoted from Hub Newspaper Article published April 8, 2009


Sled dogs destoyed: Beaulieu case

Sled dogs destoyed: Beaulieu case

A Hay River woman who is petitioning the Government of the Northwest Territories for the creation of an animal protection act is “encouraged” by recent announcements from the GNWT.

Bonnie Dawson, who launched a petition last year following the case of Hope, a neglected animal who was rescued near Bigway Foods, said she recently received a letter from Premier Floyd Roland regarding the matter.

In a March 18 letter to J.E. Tidman, president of the Animal Defense League of Canada, Roland said “it is clear that the NWT is in need of animal welfare legislation that is more comprehensive in scope than our current legislation and reflects the values and realities of NWT communities. We need to protect animals from people who would intentionally harm them, while insuring animals can be used for food and other acceptable uses.”

The letter, a copy of which was also sent to Dawson, concludes with Roland stating that “our work in the area has already begun. The Department of Justice is partnering with other departments on a work plan that aims to introduce animal protection legislation during the life of the 16th Legislative Assembly.”

The first step will be to create an options paper which will determine which legislation model will adopt, the Premier’s acting communications coordinator, Drew Williams, said Friday.  The options paper is expected to be completed sometime by the end of May.

‘At that point then we can decide what department is going to be responsible for sponsoring it (and) administering it,” Williams said. “Not so much if we’re going to move it forward but how we’re going to move it forward.’

While calling Roland’s letter good news. Dawson said there is still more work to be done in the meantime.

“I’m not letting up until the time I see the legislation in place and offenders being charged.” she said March 26.

The NWT’s current legislation, the Dog Act, was created in 1988 but based on legislation from the 1950s. It is currently the responsibility of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. Williams said MACA will make a decision following the delivery of the options paper to decide whether to repeal the act. modernize it. or combine it with the efforts of the Department of Justice to create an animal protection act.

Williams said the Dog Act was concerned mainly with the treatment of working dogs at the time it was created.

“It didn’t really speak a lot to standards of care because people just didn’t neglect their dogs,” he said. “They were essential transportation and livelihood and people just didn’t leave them tied up and not feed them. In that sense it’s horribly outdated and can’t really be used to apply to the issues that we’re trying to deal with.”

Under the current legislation. a person found guilty of an offense faces a $25 fine or up to 30 days in jail. That doesn’t go far enough, Dawson noted, saying she would like to see it replaced with the strictest legislation possible.

“I don’t want an ad hoc piece of legislation,” she said of the GNWT’s plan to review the act, noting that Ontario, British Columbia. Alberta and Manitoba have stiff animal protection laws in place. Dawson is hoping the NWT follows suit shortly.

“I would like to see those acts being used as a template,” she said.

Williams said that was one option being examined.

“I think we’re on the same page when it comes to that,” William said. “We have to look at what we need and she’s been helpful in identifying that and has been a fairly strong lobby in identifying areas the GNWT needs to consider. Now it’s a matter of determining what kind of legislation could be adopted and how it could be adapted to suit the GNWT structure and the many different areas that we would probably need to apply it on.”

Dawson would like to see legislation that requires “qualified” animal cruelty investigators to look after cases in the NWT. Dawson is presently enrolled in the course through a university in B.C. and will learn about animal health, welfare and care as well as the legal issues surrounding animal abuse.

Any legislation adopted by the GNWT should include licensed animal cruelty investigators and give them power that supersedes the bylaw officer’s.  Dawson explained.

‘Then it’s not left up to the opinion of an RCMP officer or a bylaw officer,” she said, explaining that the investigator would then have the power to seize an animal and press charges against an individual.

In a March 9 letter addressed to Weledeh MLA Bob Bromley. Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Robert MeLeod, Minister of Justice Jackson Lafferty, Premier Floyd Roland and Hay River North MLA Paul Delorey, Dawson called the staying of animal neglect charges against artist Archie Bealieu on March 2 “a disgrace.”

“Those dogs were starving,” she said. “That is unacceptable. Neglect falls under the Criminal Code. Abuse is causing any form of distress to an animal.”

Thirty-four of Beaulieu’s sled dogs had to be euthanized in Behchoko last September after they were discovered suffering from malnourishment. In order to get a guilty verdict, prosecutors had to prove Beaulieu neglected his dogs “willfully.”

“If you have 34 dogs that need to be shot – that’s willful to me,” Dawson said.

While some of her work has cast the Northwest Territories in a negative light across the country, Dawson said the attention was needed.

“I’ve just got it out there,” she said. “It’s too bad that happened but something had to be done.”

Since she took up the cause in April 2008, Dawson said it has dominated her free time – including evenings and weekends.

“As soon as I get home basically I’m on it,” she said.
“And I’m on it for hours.”

Education is the key to combating animal cruelty, Dawson said, alleging there is a direct link between animal cruelty and family violence.

“If they’re going to do that to an animal, what are they going to do to a person down the road’?” she asked.

“It’s got to be education: You’ve got to know. This has got to be put in place and people have to be held accountable for their actions.”

The GNWT must “make the NWT a shining example of what true animal protection legislation is all about,” Dawson said, explaining that she and Beaufort Delta Regional SPCA executive director Linda Eccles hope to meet with government leaders to assist in the development of new legislation.

‘‘If it’s not upheld, if it’s not enforced, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.” Dawson said.

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peek-aboo1As this writer now wishes to provide enlightenment, wishes to provide for educational and informative materials, rather than the continued horror stories which are far too easily found, I am providing specific information for those persons who are considering adopting an animal for the first time into their family.  Those who are already responsible individuals sharing their lives with companion animals are fully aware of the time, the dedication and the
commitment that goes into the well-being of their companion.

For those first time parents, and yes, you are becoming parents, you must fully commit to the process, be fully aware of the implications, the responsibilities and the demands on your time, energy and financial resources.  You should do your homework, research, not only on the particular breed or type of animal you wish to bring into your home, but also consider your own lifestyle.

Visit your local SPCA or shelter, speak with the Shelter representatives, volunteers, local veterinarian. Be aware that those animals within the shelter are looking for forever homes, some have been rescued, others have been surrendered;  all will have received the best possible care during their stay, the animal will be healthy, immunized and grateful to find a loving new home.  For some this might be their last chance at a happy life. Overpopulation due to not spaying/neutering means that shelters are often brimming with those needing loving homes, adopting from an SPCA/shelter means that one animal finds a forever home and there is one space available for another animal in need.

Also please consider the  more mature dog or cat.  Pups and kittens are adorable, but they do require much training.  An older animal usually does not and deserves just as much love and caring as a youngste, they deserve to live out their lives in caring forever homes too.  You will be surprised at just how they will show their gratitude in being given another chance.

While that puppy in the window of your local pet store is so very cute, consider that  most of these pups and kittens are mass produced in deplorable environmental conditions, their mothers subjected to indiscrimate breedings over and over again until they become too sick to reproduce and are then inhumanely disgarded with the trash as
are those offspring who are too sick to be sold.   This type of animal would be far better suited going to a home where the human parent is experienced in animal care, given the many health challenges that could be possible.

What about that neighor down the street whose cat or dog has just had a new litter?  Those lil ones look good to take home.  If you are very very lucky perhaps they might be.  However, do you know anything about the parents of that litter, is the human parent doling out kittens or pups prior to 8 weeks of age?  Have the parents received their regular innoculations, their booster kept up todate. Is the mother healthy, well fed, of good coat, temperment, well
cared for; are the premises clean and tidy, are you able to make visits to socialize with your prosepctive adoptee?  or was mom chained out back where a roaming male had access to her?  If you know the human owners well then that is different.  Many a wonderful companion has been found just around the corner.

You may also consider a REPUTABLE Breeder, someone who is Registered with the CKC.  I know of one breeder who insists on visiting the prospective new home herself, who intensely interviews prospective parents, who insists that the prospects visit and socialize many times with the adoptee; before  she will even consider allowing one of her pups to be placed.  Just as she scrutinizes prospective human parents, one would be wise to scrutinize the breeder.  Do your homework, enquire with the CKC.  Have any complaints been filed.  Will the breeder provide Registration Certificate stating Bloodline (Family Tree), verification of immunization?

Whatever your choice, be it giving a deserving shelter animal a second chance at a better life, a breeder or your friend down the street, remember you are making a Commitment for Life.

Now for alittle education:

The term Passive Immunity is likely something which is unknown to many who are considering first time adoption.  Passive Immunity is that which the nursing mother passes onto her offspring. She is passing protective antibodies via her milk to her newborns which help to fight off and protect the youngster from disease and infection.  To remove a young animal from it’s mother prior to 8 weeks of age, means that this Passive Immunity will weaken much faster than had the offspring remained with their mother for a longer period of time.  Passive Immunity diminishes over a period of time, hence it is extremely important for the youngster to be taken to a vet in order to receive the necessary innoculations which will prevent highly communicable diseases such as Canine Parvovirus Enteritis andCanine Coronavirus Enteritis a milder version of the Parvovirus.

Passive Immunity decreases in effectiveness over a period of weeks, so it is therefore necessary to immunize in stages.  A young animal with a higher level of maternal immunity will not reap the rewards of the first shot.  It is therefore best to begin to give the shots in stages starting at 6 weeks of age and then every 3-4 weeks thereafter to 14-16 weeks of age.

Parvovirus is particularly viable, and a severe and deadly infection. It can survive outside the host victim for up to a year.  This virus becomes airborne, can be carried on human clothing,footwear, remain in household furnishings, carpeting, lawns etc.  There are 1M infectious virus per 1 gram of stool. Handling one infected animal and then handling another animal will transmit this disease. Walking across a lawn that has been contaminated due to infected excrement and then entering your own home can infect your dog if he/she has not received proper immunization.

Prevention is key.  Obtaining the required innoculations spread over the prescribed time frame is crucial in protecting your new companion.  Further it is critical that yards and areas where excrement is dropped, be kept clean. The dried feces produces the airborne infectious particles.  The virus can remain infective for up to 5 to 7 months or longer depending upon the environmental factors.

Dogs under the age of six months are most at risk. Parvovirus can affect dogs of all ages, most common in dogs less than a year old and young pups less than five months old are particularly at risk. Incubation of this disease is 2 to 14 days, and even if the animal recovers the dog will continue to shed the virus in its excrement for a period of time.

If Parvo is suspected seek veterinary care immediately.  Common Signs of this virus are:

a) severe vomiting and diarrhea( blood may or may not be present in the diarrhea, however there is a metallic or coppery odor)
b) a lack of appetite
c) fever (body temp in range of 103-106 degrees Farenheit (39.5 – 41 degrees Celcius)
d) depression

Further clinical signs:
a) anorexia
b) dehydration
c) septicemia (a secondary bacterial nfection spread throughout the body)
d) shock and
e) death if not treated in time

The Virus does not cause death in itself nor does it in itself have a treatment. However the resultant effects of this virus i.e. the intestinal tract lining is lost, resulting in severe dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea, infection of the bloodstream and electrolyte imbalancesoccur; all of which are deadly.  It is imperative that if this virus is suspected that immediate veterinary care be given,  the dog must receive supportive care by way of  intravenous fluids to correct the dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.  Both anti-inflammatories and antibiotics are administered as well to prevent and control blood poisoning (septicemia).  Additional drugs to control diarrhea and vomiting are also given, as these two symptoms of the virus will perpetuate the dehydration of the animal.  I  know survivors of this virus, unfortunately I also know those who did not.

Parvovirus is just one of the many infections your new companion could contract if actions are not taken to properly immunize him/her at an early age.  More information will be provided in future posts.

Please note that I am not a licensed veterinarian, nor do I practice veterinary medicine.  I do however do my research, which you can do as well. The information contained in this article was derived from invaluable course materials which I am now studying.  Distance learning courses in Animal Welfare are available which will provide excellent reference and learning materials, such as the course I myself am taking.

Should you wish to enquire about such a course, please do so in the comments section and I will be more than happy to provide you with contact information.
Additional articles will be posted along this line for reference and educational purposes.  Educating oneself along with your commitment, time,love and  care is essential for the well-being of your companion animal, be it a dog, cat, guinea pig, bunny, bird, ferret, or lizard just to name a few.

Always remember, this is a commitment you are making for life.  The life of your companion animal who only deserves the best.  The unconditional love, acceptance and loyalty you will receive in return is priceless.

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For all of you who have not yet read the Pet’s Ten Commandments:

Take note and really think about what they mean.

For all that are considering adoption, think long and hard, this is a commitment for life.

The life of the animal. No life is to be taken lightly.

If one cannot afford the medical and nutrional needs of an animal, if one does not have the time to dedicate to the care, the exercise and well being of an animal, the human interaction, then bringing a NEW LIFE into one’s home would surely be a disaster for the animal involved.

This picture is my personal recent adoptee. He has brought so much joy into my life, I can not envision what it was like before without him. He is now brother to one rescued bunny, one rescued cat and another rescued dog. All are very much loved.


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old – remember, you too, will grow old.

10.   On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this    alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Take time today to spend with your own furball, to love and cuddle, to play, to sit, to talk….watch their body language and facial expressions…all animals speak.  Be grateful that they have come into your life and never forget the GIFT of  unconditional Love and Loyalty, their Total Acceptance of you.

Please feel free to comment:  your stories, your loved ones

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When the lights went out at 8:30 p.m. last Saturday night for Earth Hour, the lingering stench of death and horror was still ripe on the ice in Newfoundland.

If you were part of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour, I’m sure you had the best of intentions.

As for many of us, we prefer to make more far reaching commitments to the environment in terms of lifestyle changes while supporting NGOs that understand we have an obligation to be stewards of this planet and all its sentient beings, not barbarians who cut down whatever is in our path without mercy or compassion in wide-scale annual massacres.

WWF supports the Canadian seal hunt. You can learn about their position by reading the statement below:


page2page3Now that the lights are back on, please shine a bright light on WWF’s position by watching this video and cross-posting this information.

Related Posts from Tipping Point Blog:

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