Ellie and the Duct Tape Dog’s Happy Ending

2001

The SPCA says "We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves". Read on and decide if they speak for or silence animals...

Much has changed at the SPCA since this article was written, some for the better and some for the worse. Read more: The BC SPCA Now.

Little Ellie was bought from a backyard breeder (one of the ones that feeds the SPCA's pound contracts) who didn't care what happened to her, just as long as they got their money. Like all dogs, her whole future was in the hands of these new strangers who bought her and took her away from the warmth, and love, and fun, and protection of her mother and siblings. And this is what they did to her. They quickly tired of a puppy's needs, and they put her outside, on a chain so she wouldn't ruin the garden. They ignored her lonely, fearful, puppy cries, as she begged in the only way she knew, by barking, to be taken back inside, to be made part of a family (the only really important thing in every dog's life), to have some fun, to be warm, and played with, to be taken for walks so she could get to know her neighbourhood. But mostly, she cried to just be loved. Ellie's upset neighbours couldn't ignore her heart-wrenching pleas for help, so they phoned the SPCA, foolishly thinking the SPCA would save Ellie from a life of lonely misery. In this municipality, as in eighteen others in the lower mainland, the SPCA is the pound. They are the enforcers of animal control by-laws. They are the dog police. And so instead of helping Ellie, they sent her owners a notice telling them that a second "barking dog" complaint could result in a fine. No visit to tell the family how to meet a dog's simple needs, no use of their millions of dollars to provide education, no attempt to use their formidable "moral" influence to convince Ellie's owners to give Ellie to someone who would love her, if they couldn't- not even a hand-out on a dog's need for love and companionship. Just a threat.

So Ellie's owners did what so many people do when they receive a threat from the SPCA - they muzzled Ellie. Not only that, but they put her under their porch in the dirt, tied her there on a 3' rope, and boarded her up.

Now Ellie couldn't even see anything, or smell anything but her own revolting stench from being forced to lie and walk and sleep in her own feces and urine. Her cries for love couldn't be heard anymore, and her pitiful condition couldn't be seen.

AAS phoned other Vancouver SPCA branches and asked them what they would do in this situation. They all answered the standard SPCA answer."No law being broken". "A muzzle isn't illegal." "As long as the dog can drink." "The dog has food, water and shelter so there's nothing we can do", just as though all they are, is the dog police. And in fact, that's all they choose to be. They choose to go after lucrative pound contracts, and a pound contract is a contractual obligation to dispose of excess dogs, for money. And they choose to pretend there's no law against this, when the provincial "Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act" allows s wide-ranging interpretation of neglect. And, like nine other lower mainland municipalities, AAS had its "Humane Treatment of Dogs" bylaws passed where Ellie lived, (or rather, didn't live, but just existed.)

So once again, the SPCA did not "speak for those who cannot speak for themselves", but instead they silenced the cries of a helpless creature begging for help.

(Puppy Ellie was removed by a neighbour who found her the home she always deserved; she has a puppy pal and a cat, and a child playmate and two parents who cherish her.)


Another case - muzzled almost 24 hours a day, on a chain, sometimes hung up over the fence, no shelter except a overhang. "Nothing we can do, no law being broken". The dog eventually "disappeared", like thousands of other dogs the SPCA wouldn't help.

See for yourself if you think there is a law that could have helped Ellie and this nameless dog.


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