Cowichan Tribes, with input from the BC SPCA, are working to update their animal bylaws after the case of “Teddy”, the severely neglected dog, made headlines last month.
Both groups, along with the RCMP, met on March 15 to discuss the issue and the fact that the issue of Teddy, who died shortly after he was rescued, was unknown to the Cowichan Tribes Bylaw Officer or to the BC SPCA until he was reported and discovered on Feb. 16.
Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour said it’s unfortunate what Teddy went through.
“We hope that with greater education on proper treatment, and how to identify and report an animal in need of care, we can prevent cases like this in the future,” he said.
A press release from the BC SPCA stated that the meeting was productive and resulted in multiple action plans for all parties involved.
“We are working to update [Cowichan Tribes] bylaws for not only the protection of people from animals, but also to include an animal welfare bylaw,” the release said.
“Currently, the City of Duncan is the only one in the Cowichan Valley Regional District that has an animal welfare bylaw, which was adopted in 2015.”
Cowichan Tribes and the BC SPCA are also working on an agreement to help streamline the communication and improve the relationship between both organizations moving forward.
Seymour said he is pleased with this direction and that the agreement “shows the commitment to work together and be equal partners”.
Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, said the organization is also “very pleased” to be invited to work more closely with the Cowichan Tribes.
“While we cannot rewrite the past, we hope that through this stronger partnership we can help prevent cases like Teddy from ever happening again,” she said.
Duncan’s Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley are to appear in court on April 3 at the Duncan Courthouse to answer to charges of animal cruelty in connection to Teddy’s case.
The Victoria-based RainCoast Dog Rescue Society intends to hold a peaceful protest in front of the court house that day, beginning at 7:30 a.m., against animal abuse and neglect.
The recently formed United for Paws group is also holding a rally against animal abuse and neglect on March 25 at the Duncan Community Lodge, 2244 Moose Rd., beginning at 1 p.m.