Hundreds turn out in Duncan demanding justice for neglected dog


WATCH: Hundreds of concerned Cowichan residents packed a Duncan hall Sunday to bring about “Justice for Teddy.” Teddy was a neglected, starving dog that died after it was found chained to a home there last month. The event called “Cowichan Cares” is aimed at toughening animal cruelty laws and local bylaws so that a case like Teddy’s never happens again. Skye Ryan reports.

Hundreds filled a Duncan hall Sunday seeking justice for a neglected dog they never met but whose last agonizing days chained to a Duncan home touched them deeply.

“I immediately cried and thought we need to stop this,” said co-organizer Brittany Pickard-Brown.

“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Alistair MacGregor. “And has really brought the community to come together, to say enough is enough we gotta really do something about this.”

The brown dog named Teddy was found starving and chained to a Duncan area home in February, a rope cutting so deeply into his neck that it caused a massive infection he later died from.

Online the petition created by organizers of the Duncan rally has been signed more than 109,000 times.

This garnered a huge applause from the crowd, as together their newly formed effort called Cowichan Cares calls for those charged with Teddy’s animal cruelty to face a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals ? as well as tougher animal cruelty laws altogether.

“We need to change the laws and to change enforcement,” said Victoria Humane Society’s Penny Stone. “So there is tough enforcement and people go to jail and bad things happen to bad people instead of like it’s just a slap on the wrist.”

This event was originally planned to be held at Duncan’s Courthouse on the first appearance of the dog’s owners to face their charges, but the anger sparked in this community made organizers change the venue.

“You just can’t control the public,” said co-organizer Christi Wright. “So you just don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s actions in that sort of setting…there was a lot of anger.”

Cowichan Cares hopes to channel all that emotion into making real change for the animals that will follow in Teddy’s footsteps. Turning this tragedy into legislation they hope will one day be called Teddy’s Law.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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