LETTERS TO THE BC SPCA FROM BC'S DOG-LOVERS
Note: Every dog in the below photos was reported to the SPCA. Little or nothing changed for them. Write the BC SPCA. Tell them that you want the PCA Act used to help all suffering, isolated dogs, whether they be on chains or other tethers, in pens, in garages, in sheds, under porches, in closets, or in basements.
Tell the BC SPCA you want it to use the word "suffering" in the PCA Act to prosecute for the suffering that more people in BC have to witness every day than all the media-attracting puppymills and starving horses put together.
From: Tammy Kovaluk-Boos
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 8:49 AM
In 2006 spent a short while working at the SPCA. During that time, I attended cruelty investigations and felt sick to my stomach when seeing that no action would be pursued against owners of dogs living in isolation. The only things of concern were: food, water, shelter. As long as those needs were somewhat met, no further action was to be taken.
Anyone who has even an ounce of behavioural knowledge regarding dogs knows that these dogs suffer. And anyone who has rescued a dog who has lived in these conditions knows how they have suffered. Throwing them some food and giving them a piece of cardboard or a doghouse for shelter (as I was told was acceptable shelter), does not mean they live without suffering. Dogs who live on chain, tethers, in pens, garages or sheds or basements do not have freedom from distress. They do not have freedom from discomfort, and they do not have freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being, as in the the *Five Freedoms which the SPCA widely quotes in promotional material and on its website . In fact, sometimes they do not even have freedom from hunger and thirst, or pain, injury, and disease. With the lack of human contact, sometimes they are forgotten to be fed or an injury becomes present that goes un-noticed.
I strongly urge you to use the PCA act to end suffering of these isolated dogs. No dog should have to endure a life isolated. For an organization that boasts about "speaking for animals," it is time to step up to the plate.
From: Robert Brodgesell
To: Bob Busch
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:49 PM
Dear Sir / Madam,
This is to ask the BC SPCA to include the word "Suffering", as per the PCA Act, under "Cruelty", as defined under the BC SPCA Charter.
Under the Five Freedoms, as in the pledge of the Society, any one of the Five Freedoms not met by any animal caregiver means the animal is treated cruelly and therefore SUFFERS.
An animal ( dog ) tied up, chained, locked in a basement or garage, left in a yard for many hours, left alone all day, locked in cages, etc. SUFFERS under "Distress", he or she SUFFERS from "Discomfort" and he or she SUFFERS from not being able to express normal and natural "Behaviors".
It is for these reasons, that you must include "Suffering" under the word "Cruelty".
I believe it is high time, that animals unnaturally confined be rescued as soon as reported, not after the animal has suffered for so long, that serious discomfort is evident, as so often is the case.
You, the SPCA, have the power to act when an animal suffers and prosecute the caregiver responsible.
Please act according to your pledge without exception.
From: Darlene Sanders
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2009 12:40 AM
It is time for the SPCA to step up to the plate and to include psychological and/or social suffering of animals in its campaign to end "suffering" in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. This is particularly evident in the case of chained and isolated dogs.
My mother (90) and my father (96) live in East Vancouver. Their neighbours, two doors away, for several years had a dog tethered and isolated in a stairwell. It was heartbreaking to witness, and also nerve-wracking to listen to the incessant barking. I reported this to the SPCA and to the City of Vancouver, but nothing was done - only excuses given as to why the dog owners were acting within the law.
It was only after a call to Animal Advocates that action was taken. After much negotiating, the owners were willing to sell the dog, so at last it was freed from bondage and misery.Now, some years later, the family has put in place another "guard dog", but this time has built a fence around the back yard so that no one can see what is going on. But the tell-tale constant barking is a constant reminder of the cruelty occurring within the confines of that fence.
Please act now to end this needless suffering.
Sirs, I would like the SPCA to use the word "suffering" in the PCA act to prosecute the suffering of isolated dogs, a real form of cruelty. I have seen this first hand and reported to the SPCA. Sadly, at that time, your reaction was less than helpful. Perhaps with the public more aware of the distress dogs undergo being isolated from the world you will use your power to put an end to the suffering.
On behalf of all suffering dogs (and other animals) everywhere, I thank you.
Sylvia Brown, Surrey, BC
From: Shirley Henderson
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 10:50 PM
To Whom it may concern
I am extremely disgusted to see how many dogs spend their lives SUFFERING at the end of a chain or barricaded in a small area. Dogs are not "inanimate" and are very social. They suffer if they are isolated and if they are not allowed to be off of a chain and treated in a humane manner.
It is very hard for me to understand that these animals are left to spend their lives this way because the SPCA does not feel that they are "suffering". Please end this terrible cruelty. You have the power under the PCA Act. Use this power to stop the endless cruelty!!
Shirley Henderson, Surrey, BC
From: Norma Morgan
PLEASE HELP THESE POOR DOGS.
From: Cindy McNeil
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:19 PM
From: Karen Fitzpatrick
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 8:57 PM
I am a supporter of the SPCA. My husband and I donate monthly and have for many years.
My e-mail to you today is concerning the chaining, tethering, penning of dogs, whether it be in garages, sheds, under porches, in closets or in basements, in the Lower Mainland. This is cruelty! These dogs are suffering and I am appalled and disheartened that the agency that is relied upon to watch out for these animals is either uninterested or unwilling to take up the fight!
The PCA act is food, water, shelter but I think it is high time suffering also is included. You must know? You are called repeatedly to houses where these dogs are kept. You have seen the social or psychological suffering. Why are you unable or unwilling to act?
The time has come for the SPCA to truly stand up for the rights of these animals. Implement the word suffering in the PCA act, social or psychological, prosecute the people that keep these dogs in these deplorable conditions and save these poor souls from a deplorable and inhuman life.
I would appreciate a response please.
Karen Fitzpatrick, Burnaby, BC
From: Jocelyn and Bill
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2009 3:28 PM
Dear BC SPCA:
We urge you to push the definition of suffering in the Act to include prolonged isolation of dogs who live in yards, on chains, in garages or pens without regular attention or socialization from their owners. I know that you have a lot on your plate but the emotional needs of dogs cannot be met in these circumstances and anyone who knows dogs knows how much they suffer when left alone for long periods, especially when they are young. Also, over and over again rescuers find that unattended dogs have been allowed to develop dehydration, malnutrition and untreated diseases, adding physical suffering to emotional anguish. Non-professional observers may not recognize these conditions. Dogs are social animals above all. Isolation and neglect is real cruelty for them.
If we can help, please let us know.
Bill Foster and Jocelyn Gifford, Sidney, BC
SPCA.....I never send money to you anymore because you are suing another Animal Society...The only thing this accomplishes is using my money for Lawyer's and it takes away from the Animals......Shame on You.....Now, how about stopping the suffering of isolated dogs, on chains, etc........It is time for you to step out of the comfort zone and become aggressive towards helping these loving creatures......Diane Davies......P.S......Even though I quit sending money...I go to the SPCA at least once every two months with tons of food......just to ensure the animals get it.......
Diane Davies, Surrey, BC
From: Hearts On Noses
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:46 AM
Please use the word "suffering" in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to mean social or psychological suffering. See definition of 'suffering' as per Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about suffering or pain in the broadest sense. For physical pain, see Pain. For other uses, see The Suffering.
Suffering, or pain, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical, or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence usually compound that of intensity. In addition to such factors, people's attitudes toward suffering may take into account how much it is, in their opinion, avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved.
Suffering occurs commonly in the lives of sentient beings, in diverse manners, and often dramatically. As a result, many fields of human activity are concerned, from their own points of view, with some aspects of suffering. These aspects may include the nature of suffering, its processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal, social, and cultural behaviors, its remedies, management, and uses.
The word suffering is sometimes used in the narrow sense of
pain, but more often it refers to
mental or emotional pain, or more often yet to
pain in the broad sense, i.e. to any unpleasant feeling, emotion or
From: John Poirier
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2009 8:42 AM
The laws should reflect what's in the hearts of the people who write them. And what's in the hearts of the people, is that the SPCA is there to serve and to protect. The SPCA is in place to prevent cruelty to animals.
They are not just animals anymore, they are friends and companions, family and kindred spirits. It is our duty, and yours to protect them. There is no question in my mind that animals who are chained and neglected, can suffer great deal's of pain and misery, depression and heart break . There is little doubt, that chained dogs suffer psychological trauma, and I strongly urge you to use the word "suffering" in the PCA act to prosecute for the suffering of isolated dogs. It is a form of cruelty, and should be stopped now!
John A Poirier, Richmond B.C.
Please stop the abuse and isolation of
dogs by including this type of suffering in the PCA Act.
From: Judi Gibbs
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 2:55 PM
I have grown very weary of the lack on the part of the SPCA to do much of ANYTHING to help animals that spend their lives chained and neglected. Perhaps you need to redefine your meaning of the word "abused".
I do not believe that supplying shelter, food and water constitutes a caring pet owner and the fact that the Society can do nothing to help animals left outside with little or no comfort or contact in stressful situations is despicable.
I'm not sure exactly what form of CRUELTY you are against because I would expect that you could and SHOULD do more than what you do. We hear time and time again about concerned people calling you and being told that there is nothing you can do.
Please have a look at your guidelines and if they need changing then CHANGE them. This is not acceptable in our society.
Judi Gibbs, North Vancouver BC
From: Naz Karroll
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 7:35 PM
I want the PCA Act used to help all
suffering, isolated dogs, whether they be on chains or other
tethers, in pens, in garages, in sheds, under porches, in closets,
or in basements. I want the BC SPCA to use the word "suffering" in
the PCA Act to prosecute for the suffering of isolated dogs, a form
of cruelty in most people's minds, and one that more people in BC
have to witness every day, than all the media-attracting puppymills
and starving horses put together.
From: John Harrison
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 3:27 PM
As someone who has made numerous reports to the SPCA about the terrible suffering of several chained dogs, I urge you to take immediate action and use your mandate to stop the chaining and subsequent suffering of chained dogs. You have the power to use the word "suffering" in the PCA Act to prosecute for the suffering of isolated dogs. It is time that this dreadful form of suffering be addressed.
John Harrison, Vancouver, BC
From: Roslyn Cassells
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 1:11 PM
Please think about this when you think about the
definition of cruelty, especially when it comes to the many sad
cases of isolated, penned, chained, lonely dogs. The neglect
they suffer is certainly cruelty, and should be treated as such.
Dogs are social animals, and to isolate a social animal is to
cause her distress, it is cruel, and it is unacceptable in our
society. Dogs should be allowed to socialize with other dogs, or
at least humans on a daily basis. To neglect this is to neglect
a basic social need. Please do not ignore these sad cases, it is
not enough to provide food, water, and shelter...we must not
forget to tend to their sweet doggie hearts!
From: Nadine Raynolds
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 12:00 PM
I am a long time dog lover and advocate
for protecting the rights of all animals. It is my understanding that we
have the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and I am writing to ask
that you please advocate for the inclusion of the word "suffering" in
From: Anne Birthistle
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 1:22 PM
I am pleased to be part of next week's walk, and would love for part of the proceeds to be used for the rescue of yard dogs: they truly do suffer when isolated and I
believe most British Columbians would wholeheartedly agree with your using the word "suffer" in the PCA Act in prosecution of their cases. I know two different individuals who are distressed to have to witness daily the isolation and lack of stimulation of neighbouring dogs, and who feel they have no recourse to help them. Let's change all that!
Anne Birthistle, North Vancouver
From: Susan HansenTo: email@example.com
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 4:15 PM
Regarding all chained dogs...please use the word SUFFERING in the PCA Act to prosecute for the suffering of isolated dogs...why should these dogs suffer under their CRUEL owners...it makes me physically sick.
Susan Hansen, North Vancouver
From: Linda Futty
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:19 AM
I am writing to the SPCA because I am concerned that there are, in our society, so many dogs kept in isolated and socially deprived conditions and with no apparent recourse as to how to end their suffering.
I urge the SPCA to use their prosecution powers within the PCA Act to include the chaining and socially isolating dogs under the definition of "suffering" in that act.
There can be no doubt that dogs kept in these confining conditions suffer severe emotion and psychological trauma.
Linda Futty, Port Coquitlam, BC
From: Marion Lindsay
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:32 AM
When Kito first came to live with us, he was afraid to go in our yard,understandable due to being chained up in a yard for six years. He was fearful of strangers and barked when he saw people with hats on, or if they were holding an umbrella or a hockey stick. He hated the rain, and was reluctant to go outside if it was raining.He chewed on his feet incessantly, and would not allow them to be touched.He was afraid if people reached out to pet him.
In time, these fears and nervous habits have dissipated, due to the love,attention and socialization he has received in our home, with no more chains. It took a few years for these fears to subside, and even now, 6 yrs later, there are still occasional situations that make him feel insecure and afraid.
When a dog is chained, he misses out on the necessary social interaction with people and other animals. He learns to be leery of humans, suffering depression, loneliness, and boredom. That is the key word - SUFFERING. Chained dogs SUFFER from isolation, boredom, loneliness, and neglect, resulting in depression and self mutilation, and fearfulness. They SUFFER from being outside in extreme weather temperatures, and some have lost their lives because of it. Some have died from choking themselves accidentally at the end of a chain.
Chained dogs SUFFER from arthritis,sore paw pads, chains embedded in their neck, and many other physical ailments. They SUFFER from a lack of love and attention, which is vital for their emotional and physical well being. The SPCA stands for the PREVENTION of CRUELTY to animals, and it is CRUELTY to chain a dog, causing emotional and physical suffering. The word "SUFFERING" in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act needs to include social or psychological suffering.
Please take a stand and work to change the laws,so that the suffering of animals includes a dog that is chained. The current law is inadequate, leaving the SPCA powerless to help chained dogs, because it deems that as long as they have food and water and "shelter", they are not suffering. Currently, a "shelter" might be merely a board leaning up against a fence, or a plastic dog house. The food and water dish are often accidentally tipped over, so the water is then gone, and sometimes the water is frozen in winter. I hope there will come a time very soon, where it will be against the law to chain a dog.
Marion Lindsay, Squamish, BC
From: Kathryn McCartney
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:00 PM
I am writing you this letter
to express my deep concern regarding the
SPCA's seeming inability to alleviate the
distress of chained dogs.
From: Colin MacKay
I am pleased that the SPCA has adopted a plan to raise public awareness
of the misery endured by chained and neglected dogs.
Yours very hopefully ,
From: Madelon Keij
As one of many dog-loving Canadians, I would like to let you know that I believe it is high time to make some changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and include social and emotional suffering as a true cruelty to all too many dogs whose owners choose to have their canines chained, stuck in cages, garages, basements etc.
The good work you do in seizing the unfortunate dogs who spend their lives in isolation, usually chained or tethered in some way, is admirable. However, all too many dogs who spend a long, boring and painful life by themselves, locked up in small areas, often without windows or light, is something that should be addressed by an organization that is into prevention of cruelty.
Truly, spending lives in isolation is just as sad and emotionally crippling as being chained or otherwise restricted from having a normal dog's life.
The SPCA has the power to include in the P.C.A. Act that suffering encompasses psychological and social cruelty and I am urging you to stop this kind of suffering too.
Dog owners who psychologically abuse their dogs, should face charges in the very same way that physically abusive owners are charged.
Personally, I know of 3 dogs in my immediate neighbourhood that are suffering, even if they are not chained. These dogs too, deserve to be freed from their suffering, yet as of now they do not have a hope in hell. They'll die without ever having really lived.
Please act NOW and change so many more dogs' lives, now and for always!
South Surrey, B.C.
Shouldn't keeping dogs this way be as illegal as puppymills?
One of the most powerful things you can do
is to spread our web of compassion for animals. Send the AAS Website to everyone you know who hates cruelty to animals.
The power of animal-lovers joined together by the internet is changing animal protection and welfare in this province.
Use your power for the animals!