Captain's Story and Petition

Dec 2012

Captain's story is an example of the most extreme and vicious animal cruelty imaginable. This poor dog was beaten to within an inch of his life, then left to die, alone, in agony, in the darkness of a dumpster.

This poor Shepherd — who had been rejected as a police dog because he was "too nice" — suffered unimaginable pain and fear at the hands of his "owner"
(All photos on this page were taken from the BC SPCA website)

Captain, a two-year-old German Shepherd, was discovered in a Kitsilano dumpster on June 18, 2012. He had been stabbed, brutally beaten, and left to die. He had sustained substantial lacerations and bruising to his face and neck, suffered neurological damage, and was unable to walk (he was likely quadriplegic) as a result of the beating.

He was also emaciated, meaning he was suffering long before his life-ending beating.

According to a neighbour who heard the beating, "It sounded like something metal hitting wood, very fast and very hard, like someone was in a rage beating against something."

Police found a knife, baseball bat, heavy chain and animal feces in Captain's owner's home.

Captain went into cardiac arrest and died one day after he was found.

Why did Brian Whitlock own a dog in the first place?

Captain was initially trained by the Alberta RCMP. But when he was rejected as a police dog because he was "too nice", he was sold by the RCMP to an elderly couple in Langley, BC for approximately $1000. The elderly couple found that Captain was "too rambunctious" around their female dog, so they too decided to sell Captain on the internet, possibly on Kijiji. They sold Captain to Whitlock for $200. 

A chain of cruelty that so many dogs suffer was set in place around his unsuspecting and innocent neck with his sale as a pup to the RCMP, the sale by the RCMP to an unsuitable person, the sale by that person to his beater and killer. All those people are as responsible for the horrors Captain suffered as a mentally ill person like Whitlock is.

Here's a brief timeline of the events as we understand them (from the BC SPCA website and various other media sources):

July 18, 2012

Captain is found, near death, in the dumpster in Kitsilano. He is immediately taken to a critical care hospital for medical treatment.

July 19, 2012

At approximately 6 p.m. Captain goes into cardiac arrest and dies. Medical staff performed life-saving measures for more than 30 minutes but were unable to revive him.

July 27, 2012

The BC SPCA sends its evidence in a report to Crown counsel and recommends charges. The recommendation is that the person responsible for Captain's injuries be charged with causing unnecessary suffering pursuant to section 445.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code and if convicted, the person could face up to a maximum of five years in prison and/or a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Late August, 2012

Crown counsel returns the file to the SPCA seeking further information regarding witness statements and expert witness testimony, as well as results of DNA testing. The SPCA is currently awaiting the results of the DNA analysis, and has indicated that Crown counsel will not proceed with charges until it has all the evidence before it. The SPCA have expressed, however, that they are "very confident" that charges will be laid in Captain’s case and that he will get justice in the courts.

November 4, 2012

It has now been 101 days since the BC SPCA first sent its report to Crown counsel. We do not know what is happening at this point, but will update this page as soon as we know more.

December 3, 2012

Brain Whitlock was charged with "wilfully permitting to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury" under the Criminal Code. If convicted, Whitlock faces up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $75,000 and up to a lifetime ban on owning or having custody of animals.

January 29, 2013

Animal Advocates was in the courtroom on January 29th to find out what would happen with Captain's owner, Brian Whitlock. Whitlock's lawyer requested a delay, and the request was granted. The next date for the arraignment hearing is set for February 26th.

February 26, 2013

Animal Advocates was in the courtroom again on February 26th to find out what would happen with Captain's owner, Brian Whitlock. Find out what we learned here.

March 5, 2013

Animal Advocates was in the courtroom again on March 5th. This was Brian Whitlock's judicial interim release hearing (to decide whether he should be released on bail). Unfortunately, there was a publication ban, so we can't report on everything we learned; but we can tell you that Whitlock's bail was revoked while he awaits trial dates. Read more here.

March 28, 2013

Another day in court, another delay... We were in the courtroom on March 28 for Brian Whitlock's arraignment hearing. Unfortunately — and predictably — it was adjourned at the request of Whitlock's lawyer. The new date for the arraignment hearing is Thursday April 4.

April 4, 2013

Whitlock's arraignment hearing is pushed until April 9.

April 9, 2013

Brian Whitlock pleads guilty to animal cruelty. He will be sentenced in June. Read more here.

June 4, 2013

Today was supposed to be the day that Brian Whitlock received his sentence from Provincial Court Judge David St. Pierre. But St. Pierre reserved his sentencing decision, saying he wanted more time to read everything and articulate his decision. As far as we know, the sentencing hearing will continue on June 12 at 2:00 PM. Read more here.

June 12, 2013

Brian Whitlock was sentenced today — almost a year after Captain was found in the dumpster. Our petition requested the maximum sentence of five years in jail; Crown asked for six months; the judge sentenced him to just 60 days. And with time already served, he'll spend just seven more days in custody for Captain's death. He has also been ordered to serve three years' probation and has been banned from owning animals for the rest of his life. Read more and watch a video from CTV here. Join the Facebook conversation here

Click on small photos to enlarge

Captain in the dumpster in Kitsilano
Captain on a stretcher
Captain at the vet shortly before he died


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