A peaceful protest is planned against animal abuse at the Duncan Courthouse on April 3 after the recent death of Teddy, pictured, in a horrific case of animal abuse. (File photo)

Protest against animal abuse planned for Duncan Courthouse

Petition also making the rounds

There will be a peaceful protest held at the Duncan Courthouse at 9 a.m. on April 3 as Duncan’s Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley appear in court to answer to charges of animal cruelty after a dog, called Teddy, that was seized from their care died from severe neglect.

Brittany Pickard-Brown, who has formed a group called “United For Paws” to fight against animal abuse in the Cowichan Valley and beyond, said the group is also petitioning Crown council and Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, to ask that the maximum penalty be imposed on Joe and Tooshley for their “horrific act” of animal abuse.

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.

“This case is just the tip of the iceberg of the many cases of animal abuse and neglect that have surfaced in the Valley over the last six months,” Pickard-Brown said.

“They include Molly, the pot-bellied pig that was eaten by its owner, and Gigi the cat who was drugged and shaved. These cases make everyone in the Valley look bad so we decided to come together as a group to make a stand against these cases of animal abuse.”

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

The dog was found on a tether that was only a few inches long, standing in a large pile of mud and feces, and not only was Teddy severely emaciated, but his collar was deeply embedded into his neck, causing massive infection so severe that the dog’s head was swollen to two to three times its normal size.

Despite extensive emergency treatment and around-the-clock care, the dog succumbed to his critical condition two days later.

RELATED STORY: CRUELTY CASE ONE OF WORST EVER SEEN

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowochan-Malahat-Langford, said many residents have reached out to him to share their concerns about what happened to Teddy and demand that the federal government act to implement tougher animal cruelty legislation.

He said that he “emphatically agrees”.

“New Democrats have proudly led the charge over the years on strengthening regulations and penalties for animal abuse, including MP Fin Donnelly’s Bill C-380, which would have banned the importation of shark fins, former MP Peggy Nash’s Bill C-232, which would have strengthened the language of federal animal cruelty laws and former MP Isabelle Morin’s Bill C-592 which would have established penalties for those who were guilty of cruel acts against animals,” MacGregor said.

“In 2016, the House of Commons had the opportunity to make real progress on this issue when we debated a Liberal Private Member’s Bill, C-246. I was proud to support that legislation at the time, but unfortunately the Liberal and Conservative parties overwhelmingly voted to defeat the bill.”

MacGregor said that after that vote, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould promised to follow up with new, government-initiated animal cruelty measures.

“Unfortunately, nearly a year and a half later, there are no new measures, and it appears those promises were just more empty rhetoric,” he said.

“Today, I am calling on Minister Wilson-Raybould to finally act to address these urgent concerns. We owe it to Teddy and other animals that are victims of abuse to make sure that nothing like this happens again.”

Pickard-Brown said that, judging from the response she is receiving on social media, she expects hundreds of people to show up for the peaceful protest at the court house on April 3.

She said the online petition has already seen more than 33,000 people sign from Canada and the U.S.

“We want justice for all animals, and we’re united as a community against animal abuse,” Pickard-Brown said.

For more information, click here.

To sign the online petition. click here.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Forest co-op will be soon be giving money away

Cowichan Lake residents and groups will be able to apply in a couple of months

City of Duncan conducts third Citizen Survey

Survey will be held from March 20 to April 3

Drivesmart column: Intersection Watch sees many drives who don’t know the rules

321 drivers executed either a rolling stop or no stop at all.

Shawnigan Lake residents rally to rebuild memorial bus shelter

Nick’s Stop is a reminder for all to slow down

Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys’ team’s historic run ends in semis

The successful season that saw the Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys win… Continue reading

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Coming up in Cowichan: World Water Day

Shawnigan Lake marks World Water Day Got clean local water? “The ability… Continue reading

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read