Posts Tagged ‘cruelty to dogs’

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.


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: https://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:


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:


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.








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Please urge the Territorial Government to delete in its entirety this deadly clause;  “make exceptions for accepted local or traditional practices”



: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/Oppose-deadly-loophole-in-NWT-Dog-Act/

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NWT lives up to its reputation.  May 27, 2009 hayriverhub.com NWT voted one of “Best Places to be an Animal Abuser” as reported by Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Starving on a Chain, Inuvik 2009, courtesy BDRSPCA

Contained is my letter to the Editor of Hub Publications regarding this most recent Northern disgrace, which they were kind enough to publish.

Note that in early January 2010 I brought before  this Town’s Mayor my proposal and challenge:  for this town to be the first in the North to pass a Zero Tolerance Policy on Animal Cruelty.  I am aware that this proposal was discussed at least twice in Council and a statement was made publically by our Mayor that a review of existing by-laws and penalities were to be reviewed.  As of this date there has been no further information provided on this, we have not had a By-Law Officer since last summer and it was confirmed lthis Monday that a new By-Law Officer has not yet been hired.

Please read below and view links provided.  Your own comments are most welcome.



The recent seizure of 109 dogs held at the Hobson property located on the outskirts of Hay River, is not only a disgrace in that this situation was allowed to continue through two former Municipal administrations, it is a clear message to the Government of the Northwest Territories that a Comprehensive Animal Protection Act like that of other Canadian Provinces is required immediately.

A recent letter I received from Hon. Robert McLeod has stated that the reading of the amendments to the current Dog Act before Committee has been postponed for the third time.  Initial date was November 2009, then January 2010 and now it may or may not be brought before Committee until Fall 2010.

Mr. McLeod, in a prior letter stated that Municipalities across the North are responsible for developing and enforcing their own By-Laws.  While this may be true, one incident which was reported to the Minister last Fall, and now this Hay River incident clears proves that Municipal By-Laws do not work when they are not stringently enforced.  The unresolved incident of last Fall reported to the Minister, resulted in the needless deaths of at least ten dogs.
Kudos must be given to Hay Rivers newest Mayor, Kelly Schofield for taking the immediate action which was requested of him,  Kudos must also be given to the RCMP Hay River Detachment for acting swiftly and I have been assured by one young officer that RCMP take violations under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada very seriously.  RCMP Officers are also Officers under the current NT Dog Act, Section 11.
A special thank you to those that had the courage to step up, step forward and speak for these neglected animals. The individuals are to be admired and respected for their courage and morale ethics, for standing up and speaking out loud and clear that animals deserve better and that animal cruelty is totally unacceptable. Further thank you to all of those individuals from the RCMP and Fire Department that attended the property and assisted these suffering dogs,  to the veterinarians brought in and to the HRSPCA who received the rescued puppies, bathed, comforted and continue to ensure they receive proper nutrition, clean fresh water and nurturing care.
How many times are we all outraged when we hear about child abuse and child pornography, crimes against the innocent.
Think about this.  When a child is showing visible bruising, fear of going home or fear of a neighbor the alarm bells go off immediately and proper authorities are called in.  It is taken seriously and an investigation begins.
An animal does not have that luxury.  An animal must rely solely on the high moral ethics and courage of good decent people to speak out for them;  they have no voice and must suffer in silence.
A child can go to a teacher or a parent, or the parent of a friend.  An animal cannot.
I ask everyone to have the courage to speak up for animals that you have witnessed to be in crisis.  When you go for walks carry your cell phone (most can take pictures) or digital camera.  Look in your neighbors backyards.  Dogs without proper shelter, water and food, chained on very short leads, living in their own filth and strewn garbage, injured and sick animals;  you will find them out there.  Pitiful, starving, neglected and without hope. You will see it in their eyes.
Have the courage, take the pictures, put what you have witnessed in writing;  keep copies of all of it for yourself and take it to your local authorities. Insist that this be investigated.  If the report is in writing, it is difficult for action not to be taken, there is no excuse for failing to investigate.  Follow up a few days later to find out if anything has been done to help the animal you reported. and keep the pressure on until something is done.
The Link between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence is well studied and is recognized by legal authorities around the world as an indicator for future violent offenders.  Browse the Internet and you will find many studies.
Complacency has killed far to many animals in the past.
How many are you willing to save today?
Mailing addresses where you can write to the Government of the Northwest Territories, should you wish to do so, are contained in  recent posts.  Please urge that Legislation be passed now to end the continued suffering of these beautiful creatures.  No more postponements.

Thank you.

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Recently received communiques from the NWT Legislative Officials are encouraging.

The continued negative spotlight which has been placed upon the Northwest Territories since July 2008 has resulted in a much needed proactive response by certain Members of the Legislature from various Northern communities.  The support that these particular MLA’s have given has resulted in a response from both the Minister of Justice: Hon. Jackson Lafferty, the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs: Hon. Robert C. McLeod, and the NWT Premier: Hon. Floyd K. Roland.

Excerpt from letters I have received from their offices:

Hon. F.K. Roland and Hon. Jackson Lafferty: ” I am pleased to report that our work 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.”                           This means by Fall it is hoped.

Per the communique of Hon. Robert C. McLeod which I received as well, I am of the understanding that “the Department of Justice will be the lead department for examining the broader issues of animal welfare”.

The following list are  copies of the  Animal Protection Acts I sent by registered mail to the Legislature in the hope that they will be used as a Template for the NWT Act.  Those acts were:  British Columbia, Ontario’s newest Act, Alberta, Manitoba and the Yukon.  A copy of the Animal Cruelty Act as contained within the Federal Criminal Code of Canada was also passed to them.

A further recommendation made by this writer to the Legislature is to see qualified Animal Cruelty Investigators established with the legal authority to seize any and all animals in crisis, and who will also have the legal authority to press criminal charges against all offenders.  The legal authority of these Animal Cruelty Investigators needs to supercede that of current By-Law Officers and work in conjunction with the RCMP under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada.  It must not be left to the opinion of untrained personnel to determine whether or not an animal is in crisis, as was the case with the starving dogs in Tuktoyutuk that were not seized, and whereby RCMP failed to press charges.  The current status of the three starving survivors remains unknown for sure.

It will also be recommended that current By-Law Officers and RCMP obtain the certification/training in Animal Cruelty Investigations.

As the founder of action to obtain an Animal Protection Act in the NWT, I myself am taking the applicable courses necessary to become just such an Animal Cruelty Investigator.  If I can do this on my own time, at my own expense, there is no plausible reason why those already employed in the various municipalities as By-Law Officers and with the RCMP, that they cannot do so themselves.

While the news is seemingly good, a watchful eye must be kept on the progress of the Legislature on this very important issue.  A watchful eye will be kept.

THANK YOU to all of you ACROSS CANADA AND INTERNATIONALLY WHO have supported the call needed for these animals.  THANK YOU to those groups such as the Animal Defense League of Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, PETA, Cause 4Paws and so many others who have supported my efforts.  Voices are now being heard, voices will continue to be heard as long as they are loud and clear.

A very Special Thank You goes out to the three MLA’s who chose to support this appeal for Animal Protection in the NWT:  Hon. Paul Delorey, Hay River;  Hon. Bob Bromley and the Hon. David Ramsay.  Without their interest and continued support this issue would not have gained the attention of the Ministers and the subsequent action now being taken.

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