Stand up against animal abuse

Sadly in the news, cases of animal abuse are all too common these days. For example, the news this January of the mass slaughter of a 100 hundred healthy sled dogs in Whistler, B.C., last year, which gained worldwide attention as the infamous Whistler 100.

Sadly in the news, cases of animal abuse are all too common these days. For example, the news this January of the mass slaughter of a 100 hundred healthy sled dogs in Whistler, B.C., last year, which gained worldwide attention as the infamous Whistler 100.

And in March, the Guzoo, Canada’s largest privately owned zoo in Three Hills, came under scrutiny again through Facebook groups because of pictures depicting alleged cruelty to animals due to unsanitary conditions and neglect.

Many of us probably remember the well-known cases of animal abuse in Alberta from 2008: the dog in Delburne that was beaten, then dragged to death behind a vehicle; and the cat who was microwaved in Camrose.

The immense outpouring of public outrage led to Alberta finally making changes to its legislation regarding animal abuse. However, these 2008 changes only increased the monetary value of the fines and increased length of sentencing.

These changes do not address the loopholes in legislation, which was created over 100 years ago, making convictions nearly impossible and leaving law enforcement officers’ hands tied. Moreover, abuse does not stop at the family pets. Research shows that animal abuse and family violence are closely linked.

This is why, on Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m., concerned citizens are meeting at Bower Ponds to hold a memorial walk to remember all cases of animal abuse, where an animal has been abused, beaten, neglected, or tortured, and to raise awareness about animal abuse across Canada.

Recently, British Columbia has toughened its animal cruelty laws because its citizens spoke up with their desire for changes in legislation.

On site, there will be a petition in support of Liberal Mark Holland’s Bill C-229 for those who wish to sign. There is also a copy of the petition to sign at Doggy Doos and Kitties Too grooming shop for those who aren’t able to make the walk but wish to show their support.

Please visit http://markholland.liberal.ca/cruelty-to-animals/ for more information.

Candice Irwin

Red Deer