Protesters have peacefully gathered outside the Duncan Courthouse for most of the court dates related to Teddy the dog. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Duncan animal abuse case set for pre-trial conference

Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley’s animal cruelty case is back in court Nov. 15 for a one-day pre-trial conference, court records show.

Joe and Tooshley are to answer to charges of animal cruelty after a dog, called Teddy, was seized from their care earlier this year, died from severe neglect.

READ MORE: Court date for animal cruelty trial to be set June 19

BC SPCA special constables seized the emaciated, chained dog in critical distress on Feb. 16. Teddy died two days later.

If convicted, Joe and Tooshley face a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

The case mobilized animal rights groups, with numerous rallies and a call for changes to animal rights laws. Protesters have been stationed peacefully outside the Duncan courthouse on most of the duo’s court dates, regardless of if Joe and Tooshley were in attendance or not.

RELATED STORY: Animal rights group plans protest

The trial date was originally scheduled to be Feb. 15, 2019 but court records now show the start date as Feb. 27 at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 3 and continuing on March 1 at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 2.

Check the B.C. Court Services Online page to confirm the schedule closer to the date.

Joe has been charged with two counts: causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal [CCC 445.1 (1)(a)] and failing to provide necessaries for an animal [CCC 446(1)(b)]. Tooshley has been charged with one count of failing to provide necessaries for an animal.

SEE RELATED: Cowichan Tribes looks to update animal bylaws in wake of abuse case



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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