Sled dog shock goes deeper

Greater Victorians are reeling this week from two cases of horrific cruelty against animals.

Greater Victorians are reeling this week from two cases of horrific cruelty against animals.

On Wednesday, Brent Connors was sentenced to six-months in jail for the vicious killing of a three-month-old pit bull at a Victoria motel.

Earlier in the week, the shocking story of 100 sled dogs being shot execution-style after the Olympic Games in Whistler last year attracted world-wide attention.

Yet as appalling as these cases are, people should find the following information even more shocking.

In 2009, the BCSPCA conducted 5,870 cruelty investigations; removed 1,332 animals from dangerous or neglectful situations, and rescued an additional 3,443 injured animals; executed 133 warrants; and submitted 62 charges of animal cruelty and neglect to Crown.

The amount of government funding the BCSPCA received to undertake this crucial work, which comprised $2 million of the organization’s $25-million budget? Not a cent.

The BCSPCA is the only animal welfare agency in the province authorized to conduct animal cruelty investigations, and is officially responsible for protecting and rescuing animals. It does so almost entirely via charity — public and private donations.

That tells you the importance successive governments have placed upon animal welfare. It doesn’t warrant a sorry penny.

Animal cruelty laws in B.C. were strengthened in 2008, yet penalties remain light, with a maximum fine of $5,000. That’s if Crown takes the case at all. Only about 50 per cent of charges submitted are approved.

If any good can come from the recent cases of cruelty, perhaps the public’s outrage will be enough for government to provide consistent, adequate funding of the organization responsible for animal welfare, further toughening of cruelty laws, and more legislation reform to make prosecution and conviction easier.

Just Posted

RCMP fine man $1,150 for camping, lighting campfire in Mill Hill Regional Park

Campfires prohibited at all regional parks except designated campgrounds

Langford fire douses six fires in two days – five from cigarette butts

‘The world is not a personal ashtray’ says fire chief

BC Coroners Service in early stages of investigation into death of Saanich student

British Columbia recorded 293 deaths of children in 2016, according to 2018 report

Victoria sees many new landmarks between 2018-2019

Bridges, buildings and more have popped up across Victoria in the past year

UPDATE: Firefighters bring Sooke wildfire under control

Firefighters responded to a wildfire that burned an area about 100 by… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

VIDEO: After 73 years, siblings separated by adoption reunite in B.C

Donna Smith of Abbotsford and Clayton Myers of Williams Lake are glad they met each other

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Most Read