sheep on Canada Day parade float prompts complaints from social media users

WINDSOR, Ont. — A southern Ontario man says he plans to keep using live sheep in his floats, despite receiving numerous complaints following two parades on Canada Day.

Dave Szusz is the publisher of the Windsor, Ont., edition of The Shepherd’s Guide, a directory of Christian businesses, and for the past 11 years he has entered floats in local parades that feature a three-metre-tall blow-up statue of Jesus holding a baby sheep and four to six real sheep.

At Christmas time, his float also includes a manger with a real baby, Szusz said.

But on Canada Day this year, DJ and animal rights activist Dan MacDonald posted on Facebook that the treatment of the sheep was depressing and he encouraged people to contact Szusz, which prompted a flood of complaints.

The man’s response is anything but sheepish.

“It was a target against me, which is fine, they can go ahead and take me on,” said Szusz, adding he’d go to court or do whatever he needs to to prove he hasn’t hurt the sheep.

MacDonald said he didn’t see the float in person, but saw complaints about it — with photos and video — on social media.

“I thought it was kind of sad to see sheep out with very loud blasting music, out in the heat in the city,” he said. “Animals being used as entertainment is something that always rubs me the wrong way.”

But Szusz said there’s a shelter on the float that keeps the sheep out of the sun and the music — which he says came from the float behind him — doesn’t bother them.

He said he doesn’t understand MacDonald’s concern that sheep don’t belong in a city.

“Well, I mean, come on, why would that make a difference?” he said.

Some of the complaints reached the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society. Executive director Melanie Coulter said her organization is investigating, but hasn’t found any indication so far that the sheep were in distress.

In the meantime, the two men have talked and found some common ground, agreeing that some of the complaints directed at Szusz were out of line, as they focused on his Christianity, rather than the sheep.

“Religion, for me, had absolutely nothing to do with this,” said MacDonald, adding he apologized to Szusz for the remarks others made about his faith.

“I think what they were doing was just trying to find an excuse to complain,” Szusz said. “This day and age, unfortunately, a lot of that goes on.”

While MacDonald said he still hopes Szusz will stop using live sheep one day, Szusz said he plans to enter his float as usual in another parade next weekend.

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP make numerous arrests in covert stolen vehicle operation

Eight people facing 34 charges after four-day police operation last week

‘A clear message’ UCP Leader Jason Kenney wins Calgary Lougheed byelection

CALGARY — Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney threw down the… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

LONDON — Kensington Palace says the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

California issues 1st licenses for legal pot market

LOS ANGELES — California’s legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape.… Continue reading

Electric cars will be cheaper than gas models but Canada lags in EV policy

OTTAWA — A Canadian energy think tank says the world is less… Continue reading

Red Deer woman raises alarm about BBQ brushes

Beverly Smith’s ended up in an operating room after wire bristle pierced her bowel

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division focuses on mental wellness

Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division schools have implemented positive mental health… Continue reading

Expect cooler temperatures and ‘dusting of snow’ this Christmas

Red Deer recorded a high temperature on Tuesday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month