Robert’s column

Robert Barron column: Yet another case of extreme animal cruelty

Animal cruelty is not a new thing in the Valley.

I couldn’t believe the state that Hope the dog was found in.

Hope is the one-year-old female German shepherd who was found tied up and alone in the woods in the Cowichan Valley in critical condition in early May.

She was found suffering from emaciation, dehydration and a deep, severe neck wound from a plastic and wire cable that was so deeply embedded into her neck, Hope’s jugular vein and trachea were exposed.

The poor creature’s head had swollen to several times its actual size by the time she was discovered and, after seeing pictures of the animal soon after her rescue, I’m amazed that she survived.

Hope’s injuries reminded me of the condition in which Teddy the dog was found in a backyard in the Valley early in 2018.

Teddy’s case was considered one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse the BC SPCA has ever witnessed after he was discovered severely emaciated and with his collar so deeply embedded into his neck, it caused a massive infection so severe that the dog’s head, much like Hope’s, was swollen to two to three times its normal size.

Teddy’s case, which is still making its way through the courts, caused quite a furor and people have been showing up at the Duncan courthouse in droves every court date that the accused in the case, Duncan’s Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley, have had to stand before a judge so far.

Many of those people have been carrying signs demanding justice for Teddy and that Anderson and Tooshley face the severest penalties for their actions (or lack there of) that led to Teddy having to be euthanized shortly after his rescue.

I expect that Kevin Timothy of Chemainus, who has been charged with animal cruelty into Hope’s case, will likely receive the same treatment.

It surprises me that, after the extensive media coverage that Teddy’s case has been receiving, that Timothy (who, it should be said, has only been accused at this stage) or whoever is responsible had the audacity to do the same thing to another animal.

Animal cruelty is not a new thing in the Valley.

In fact, within just a few months of Teddy’s case going to court, Robert Carolan was sentenced to jail time for beating his puppy to death, and Gigi the cat was drugged and shaved in some sort of a sadistic game concocted by a bunch of teenagers.

Partly as a result of the public outrage to such cases, the Municipality of North Cowichan and the City of Duncan have recently updated their animal control bylaws to better deal with such situations.

Among the many changes to North Cowichan’s bylaw, an animal may no longer be kept tethered to a fixed object for longer than two hours within a 24-hour period, and an animal may not be kept outside unless it is provided with appropriate shelter.

Duncan’s updated animal control bylaw has seen its definition of distress expanded to include all animals, not just dogs who show signs of suffering from heat illness in hot cars.

As well, the new bylaw states that animals can’t be tethered to a vehicle or left unattended on public property.

These are great deterrents, but I wonder if they are enough to change some people’s behaviour when it comes to animals.

Unfortunately, it appears that there are people who are just too selfish and cold hearted to really care.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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