VIDEO: Teddy the dog trial begins in Duncan

VIDEO: Teddy the dog trial begins in Duncan

Owners face animal abuse and neglect charges

Melissa Tooshley has pleaded guilty of a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal at the Duncan courthouse on Feb. 27 in a case that has incensed animal owners.

The trial of Anderson Joe, who is up on charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case, will continue on March 1.

Tooshley will be sentenced at a later date.

Tooshley and Joe were the owners of Teddy the dog, who died two days after the emaciated and chained animal was seized from their property in February of last year.

More than 100 people gathered at the Duncan courthouse on Wednesday with many bearing signs demanding that Teddy be remembered and those responsible for his death receive the maximum penalties allowed.

RELATED STORY: ANIMAL CRUELTY TRIAL IN CASE OF TEDDY THE DOG SET FOR Feb. 27

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

In one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse the BC SPCA has ever witnessed, special constables seized Teddy in critical distress on Feb. 16, 2018.

The crowd at the courthouse was so large that many couldn’t fit in the court room when the proceedings began.

Matt Affleck, the BCSPCA special constable who removed Teddy from the property, described his observations at the trial.

“I could see the dog was very underweight. His spine, ribs and hips were clearly visible,” Affleck told the court.

“He was hunched over, and his head looked very large.”

Affleck said he knocked on the front door of the residence and when no one answered, he returned to the dog along with his co-worker from the SPCA.

“I went down to where the dog was and from 15 or 20 feet I could smell rot and infection. His condition was very poor, he was unable to move.”

There was an open wound on his neck and Affleck testified a tight collar was touching the gash.

Affleck said the area around where the dog was tied was wet, mushy and covered with urine and feces.

“He didn’t seem to be able to lift his head and he was critical. I thought he could die at any time,” he said.

“We determined we need to remove him right away.”

Affleck and his partner used bolt cutters to release Teddy and loaded him into a crate and headed to Duncan Animal Hospital.

At times during Affleck’s testimony, members of the gallery, many wearing Justice for Teddy T-Shirts, began to weep.

RELATED STORY: PROTESTERS GATHER AS DATE SET FOR DOG ABUSE TRIAL

The case sparked a wave of protests by animal rights groups, and numerous rallies calling for changes to animal rights laws have been held in the Valley since the death of Teddy.

Cobble Hill’s Kathy Rezansoff, who was at the courthouse, said she’s not a vindictive person, but feels that something must be done to prevent such animal abuse in the future.

“I don’t think these two people should get away with this without bearing responsibility for their actions,” she said.

“This should not be allowed to happen to any animal ever again.”

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN TRIBES LOOKS TO UPDATE ANIMAL BYLAWS IN WAKE OF ABUSE CASE

United for a Paws was formed in the wake of Teddy’s death and founders Brittany Pickard and Christi Wright and a number of the group’s members were at the courthouse on Wednesday.

Pickard was adamant that Joe and Tooshley should face the maximum penalties allowed.

“It’s not okay to treat animals this way and we need stricter laws to deal with it,” she said.

“Precedents need to be set. People who abuse animals this way should be punished severely.”

Wright said people came from all over the Island and beyond to attend the trial and have their voices heard.

“We also have had 215,000 people sign our petition on this issue from all over the world, so there’s a lot of support out there for this cause,” she said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Teddy the dog trial begins in Duncan

Just Posted

Possible COVID-19 exposures were reported at Maple Bay Elementary between April 12 and 15. (Google Maps screenshot)
Possible COVID-19 exposure reported at Maple Bay Elementary

Exposures may have occurred between April 12 and 15

”It was an angry welcome for Cowichan-Ladysmith MLA Jan Pullinger when she arrived in Lake Cowichan Monday to open her constituency office. She was greeted with some of her long time supporters calling her a ‘liar’. Left to right, Jan Pullinger, Director of Area I, Lois Gage, school trustee Rolli Gunderson, school trustee Pat Weaver, Save our School Committee Chairperson, Tara Daly.” (Lake News/April 17,1996)
Flashback: Garbage, geography and tragedy

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Parking permits for people with disabilities

These permits are issued to the person, not the vehicle owner or driver.

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Most Read