Posts Tagged ‘Northwest Territories’

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Ingenious Zephr being Zephr


Never leave your milk unattended

Flight from Hay River to Yellowknife aboard Buffalo Airways of “Ice Pilots” fame.  You will be able to see just how vast and remote this one area is.  We are smack in the middle of the Boreal forest.  “Buffalo Joe” is quite the character and he also transports Hay River shelter animals to Yellowknife gratis…many needing medical attention and many on their way to new loving forever homes outside the Territory.  THANK YOU Joe.

Videos and pictures were taken while flying from Hay River to Yellowknife on September 20, 2011.


Large ponds found on land outcrops scattered throughout the lake.  Videos will show the size of this lake as well as the cast wilderness.  When winter comes and the lake freezes over this becomes the ICE Road……History Channel Series “Ice Road Truckers”.   Miles and miles of solid ice in the middle of nowhere…




Sunrise in Hay River, waiting to board plane

Ponds scattered everywhere

Shoreline along Great Slave Lake

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I found this and many other poems on the Internet and I believe that this message says it all, far too many wonderful, beautiful animals continue to be neglected.   The priceless unconditional love that they have to give is cast aside; their need for companionship denied them, how can they possibly understand …they cannot.  Please raise your voice for those who continue to suffer so greatly.


I wish someone could tell me
What it is that I’ve done wrong,
Why I have to stay chained up
And left alone so long.

They seemed so glad to have me
When I came here as a pup.
There were so many things we’d do
While I was growing up.

They couldn’t wait to train me
As companion and as friend.
They told me they would never fear
Being left alone again.

The children said they’d feed me,
Said they’d brush me every day,
They’d play with me and walk me,
If only I could stay.

But now the family hasn’t time.
They often say I shed.
They wont allow me in the house,
Not even to be fed.

The children never walk me.
They always say, “Not Now!”
I wish that I could please them.
Won’t someone tell me how?

All I have is love, you see,
I wish they would explain,
Why they said they wanted me
Then left me on a chain.

From The Detroit News 2/25/1999
Author Unknown

Look into the eyes of the two  ‘working dogs’ in desperate need below, located in Tuktoyaktuk, NT the others were shot, 3 were found dead and frozen to the ground. (Temperatures along the Beaufort Sea drop to -50 celcius) To view their full story go to the  January/February Archives. Despite desperate efforts nothing was done to rescue these two survivors and no charges were ever laid.

Legacy of the North Victims Pokiak's dogs

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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

Don’t expect animal act to change soon – Ashfield
The Daily Gleaner

Neglect case leads to a dozen charges
The Barrie Examiner

Agency will revisit dead cattle investigation
Regina Leader Post

Report animal cruelty, neglect
Longview News Journal

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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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