Victoria woman speaks out after her dog died in the care of the CRD animal shelter

Victoria woman speaks out after her dog died in the care of the CRD animal shelter

WATCH: A Victoria woman is calling for change after her dog died while being cared for at the Capital Regional District’s animal shelter. She believes the current practice of leaving animals on their own for long stretches at night needs to be changed. Luisa Alvarez has the story.

Avery McDermott is dealing with an unexpected tragedy. Her dog Rosie died while in the care of the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) animal shelter.

“You always know it’s going to happen. You know one day you are going to be without these dogs, but I had them for ten years, I could not picture life without them. She just meant a lot to me,” said McDermott.

Both her dogs, Coco and Rosie, had escaped from an unsecured door at McDermott’s home. They were found by their neighbours, but they ended up at the CRD shelter.

The facility closes at 4:30 p.m. before Avery got back from work, so her two dogs wound up there overnight.

“They do have an after-hours number, my mom was calling, I guess she didn’t get through,” said McDermott.

She says she went the next morning right at opening to pick up both her dogs and when she got there, she was told that Rosie had died.

McDermott took Rosie’s body to her vet to be checked for trauma but nothing on Rosie’s body helped determine the cause of death. And according to the vet, an autopsy would not be able to confirm McDermott’s suspicions that Rosie died of a heart attack.

The dog suffered from anxiety and McDermott believes that if somebody had been there just to hold her, Rosebud would still be alive.

“I know for a fact that they treated my dog with love and care, and I’m not attacking anybody’s character or anything like that, I’m just saying that I feel 17 hours is an absurd amount of time for dogs to be alone at night,” said McDermott.

According to the CRD, it’s standard across all kennels in Canada not to have anyone with the animals once they’re locked up and secured for the night.

In a statement, the CRD said “this was a tragic and unexpected loss, and we send our heartfelt condolences. We are also open to speaking further with the owner to fully understand her perspective and answer questions she may have about our protocols.”

“I think that maybe we could all work together and find a simple solution, which may be just a couple short shifts throughout the night for local people to just be there,” said Mcdermott.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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