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Mothr & Daghter starving in Tuk April 24 2009

Mother & Daughter starving in Tuk April 24 2009

TUKTOYUKTUK – CRUELTY CAPITAL OF CANADA???

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

CONTACT INFORMATION

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
robert_c_mcleod@gov.nt.ca
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
jackson_lafferty@gov.nt.ca

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
paul_delorey@gov.nt.ca

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
bob_bromley@gov.nt.ca

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

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Quoted from Hub Newspaper Article published April 8, 2009

BY PATRICK F. TESKEY
HUB EDITOR

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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Excerpt from ASPCA

Recognizing Animal Cruelty
What constitutes animal cruelty?

Animal cruelty occurs when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care. Here are some signs that may indicate abuse or neglect:
•    Tick or flea infestations
•    Wounds on the body
•    Patches of missing hair
•    Extremely thin, starving animal
•    Limping
•    An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
•    Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, and often chained in a yard
•    Dogs who have been hit by cars—or are showing any of the signs listed here—and have not been taken to a veterinarian
•    Dogs who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions
•    Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners

Signs That an Animal Might Be Abused
Recognizing cruelty is simple, right? Not quite, say ASPCA experts. Obvious behaviors such as aggression, timidity and fear don’t always tell the whole story. Animals may appear to be timid or frightened for many reasons other than abuse.

“It’s almost impossible to make conclusions based on a pet’s behavior alone,” says the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT. “The best way to tell whether a pet is being or has been abused is to examine him and his surrounding environment.”

Check out our list of signs that may alert you an animal needs help:

Physical Signs
•    Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
•    Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
•    Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
•    Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
•    Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
•    Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
•    Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
•    Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
•    Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
•    An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
•    Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness

Environmental Signs
•    Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
•    Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
•    Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
•    Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals
“Reporting suspected animal cruelty ensures that animals in jeopardy receive prompt and often lifesaving care,” says ASPCA Supervisory Special Investigator Annemarie Lucas. “By making a complaint to the police or humane society in your area—you can even do so anonymously—you help ensure that animals in need are rescued and that perpetrators of animal cruelty are brought to justice.”

While this information is provided by the ASPCA, the same criteria of recognizing animal abuse applies everwhere basically.  Common sense and moral decency apply EVERYWHERE across the Globe.

It is vitally  important that when one sees instances as noted above that immediate action be taken in order to help the animal in crisis.  To not do so, is to condone the abuse and allow the neglect and suffering to continue.

For information on your local and provincial Animal Cruelty Legislations the internet is a very useful tool.  Provincial Animal Protection Acts are available at:  Animal Legal Defense Fund,: legislation@aldg.org ,you can download these acts for reference.  Towns and cities across the country will also have their By-Laws online for reference.  Contact your local Humane Society for information as well.

Please, keep your eyes open and report all animals in need so that they may be given the help they so desperately need.

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Before you read any further please go to links below to get the full account of this case.

Euthanizing N.W.T. man’s 34 dogs ‘saddest day of my life’ for vet Dogs belonged to well-known Dene artist Archie Beaulieu

Dene artist denies neglecting his sled dogs

NOW:

Let us all give a big round of applause to the NWT Justice System concerning the wonderful enlightened decision made concerning the case of the Behchoko Artist Archie Beaulieu.

When viewing this link, please be sure to read the comments posted.

Animal neglect charge stayed against northern artist

Now to play a little game: called Definition:

Please define the word WILLFUL, first in your own terms, then go to : http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/willful

Next define the word STARVATION, first in your own terms, then go to: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/starvation

Define the word MORAL, first in your own terms, then go to: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moral

Now let’s try defining : CONSCIENCE http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/conscience

How about DISREGARD http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/disregard

Don’t forget about INDIFFERENCE http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/indifference

And definitely let’s not forget the word INJUSTICE http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/injustice

Now the best part of this little game is up to you. Having been given the details of the case , it is now your turn to be the JUDGE and JURY .   Being of solid moral conscience (remember the definitions) I feel confident that your determinations on this case of Mr. Archie Beaulieu, reknowned Northern Artist will be far different from that of the Crown. I feel confident that all of you would have allowed this case to go to trial, leaving it up to jurors to decide what Mr. Beaulieu’s fate would be. Of course the Crown did not think it worthy of the time and energies involved 0930sleddogs500.. “because of the unlikelihood of getting a conviction”. So with that decision now made by the Crown, can we safely say that it is open season on Northern Dogs? RCMP actually did lay the charge of animal cruelty, wow, and then the NWT Crown Prosecutor, chose to not follow through. Oh, what a wonderful message she sent…yes, open season on Northern Dogs and hey you RCMP don’t bother the courts with such trivia…. So please, play the game, define in your comments those words I listed above, and last but not least be the Judge and Jury.

What would your sentencing be for Mr. Reknowned Behchoko artist Archie Beaulieu?

Please be a strong voice against this form of disregard and injustice.  Thank you.

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