No jail time for Duncan man convicted in dog abuse case


A Duncan man received a 90-day suspended sentence and a lifetime ban on owning animals in a case of animal abuse that attracted demonstraters to court appearances.

Anderson Joe, 62, pleaded guilty in May to causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to the dog, which was found in a tangled mess of cable and rope tether in a yard on Feb. 16, 2018.

With a three-month suspended sentence, Joe will not go to jail but will be on probation. It is considered a conviction and he will have a criminal record.

Joe is also prohibited from owning an animal or residing in a household with an animal for life.

“The community is better off for this matter having been concluded,” said defense lawyer Michael Ritzker.

When the dog (who was dubbed Teddy by his rescuers) was discovered in February, his head was swollen nearly three times its normal size from a rope collar that had cut all the way down to his windpipe, severing both jugular veins. He died two days later on Feb. 18, 2018.

On Monday, the Crown had asked the court to give Joe a three-month suspended sentence and a lifetime ban on owning another animal. Tensions were high as protesters waited for the sentencing inside and outside the courtroom.

The judge in the case said Joe showed he is severely-limited cognitively and suffered abuse as child through the residential school system.

The defense tried to argue that he should be given a conditional discharge, so that the 62-year-old does not get a criminal record — and be barred from travelling to the United States.

He frequently visits the main Shaker Church in Washington.

But the judge says the man should instead apply for a pardon a few years after his parole is complete. His lawyer said he does not have the capacity to do so, and will again have to hope the community steps in to support him.

Inside the courtroom, tensions were running high. Conversations and some outbursts resulted in the judge threatening to clear the courtroom.

The case has been at the centre of a huge outcry, the group “justice for teddy” was created to put focus on the animal abuse.

“It’s a bit of a sigh of releif for people, that we finally have a sentence,” said Animal rights advocate Jordan Reichert.

“That dog suffered horribly, very horribly, that was a torturous death for that dog, I feel there should have been more consequences to that,” said activist Rena van Steele.

Steele has been following the case very closely, and says she is left feeling stuck after the cognitive issues came to light.

“It has defiantly made me step back a little bit, in my advocacy, in my aggression towards this, screaming for jail time…. [the public] were’t their to see his capacity.”

Joe’s co-accused, Melissa Tooshley, pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting the dog. Judge Mayland McKimm ordered a pre-sentence report and a full Gladue report to assist the court at the sentencing of Tooshley, a member of the Cowichan Tribes.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 Gladue ruling says sentencing judges must take into consideration the influence of things such as residential schools, the Sixties Scoop or child welfare system on Indigenous offenders.

Tooshley is expected to be sentenced Thursday.

The case sparked nationwide attention, with protesters in the community showing up to the different court appearances, calling for “Justice for Teddy.”

With files from CBC and Louise Dickson, The Times Colonist


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!