Animal Advocates of B.C.
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace." Albert Schweitzer 1875 - 1965

In Memory of

Remembered by Ben and Crystal

Today our family suffered a big loss.  We heard the news of the death of a dog we called Kenny or " Uncle Kenny".  Uncle Kenny was very close to our hearts.  He lived in Bella Bella and was the father of our dog Kermode.  Those of you who know us, know that Kermode is our first child.  Those who know Crystal, know that Kenny was her best friend.  Kenny was the first dog to befriend her in Bella Bella.  And it was through him that she started all her amazing work with rescuing dogs from Bella Bella.  Uncle Kenny was very special, he would travel the 2.2 km to our home to visit Crystal several times every week, sometimes he would bring his family (Patches, Clyde, Whitie), sometimes he would travel alone. 

Kenny story 1.jpg (92535 bytes)
Kenny (middle) and Kermode (far right)
Whitie (now Angelo) and Patches' Happy Endings here

It was Uncle Kenny who found the abandon kitten near the old dock, it was Kenny who alerted us to the wolves circling our house, it was  Kenny who met me on the snow covered road during the snow storm and escorted me all the way home, it was uncle Kenny who found Crystal half way up a logging road and joined her in a hike, watchful and protective.  Crystal is where he would find refuge when he was sick or injured.  Crystal was the home he came to when he cut his foot, it was her home he crawled to when he was sick and lay on the porch for 3 days.  It was also Uncle Kenny, who at the sight of a couch, pounced on top of the pillows and nibbled the buttons.  It was Uncle Kenny who travelled to the ferry terminal the day we left Bella Bella, he sat next to our truck loaded with furniture and would not lift his head.  I have never seen a dog so sad and so aware of the fact that he was losing a friend.  Now it is us who hang our heads.  He was every definition of "man's best friend".  He was more than a dog, he was our friend.  Uncle Kenny was shot by an RCMP officer for animal control reasons....a symbolic life & death for the continued efforts and improved knowledge about animal welfare. Ben

kenny story 2.jpg (122628 bytes)

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to

Crystal writes....

 It's been a tough time, I feel profound sadness and guilt. 

 Kenny was shot by an RCMP constable, after numerous warnings to the owners to tie Kenny up (I'm glad they didn't regardless - he would have been a sitting duck for wolves, which would have been a terrible way to go, as many dogs and pups have).  Kenny was fighting with dogs and there were complaints to the RCMP, who finally had to act.  I am comforted to know that Kenny was destroyed by the RCMP as I'm sure that was much more humane than any other ending could have been up there for him.  

 Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming problem of animal over-population on reserves and lack of spaying/neutering, the dogs live in packs and roam the villages.  Too many aren't fed or cared for, and too many end up injured by cars, poisoned or shot as a means of population/problem control.  Most SPCA's hesitate or refuse to get involved with animal issues on reserves and there is a huge lack of education with respect to animal care.  Far too many die by gun shots.   Patches, Billy, Angelo, Bobby and many puppies were lucky to have survived and made it to AAS. 

If it wasn't for Kenny, I would never have found AAS, so he started something - even back then.  AAS saved so many from Bella Bella, and has had such an impact on my life and the work I do.  AAS was the ONLY one I could trust for help. 

For the past two years, Kenny has been sitting like a stone in my heart.  I was always so torn by what to do about him.  I couldn't justify taking him at the time.  I chose to leave him because he was one of the only dogs who was fed and fairly well cared for.  He was one of the only dogs who could claim that he had something of a home, where people knew him, petted him and fed him.  He was very independent, autonomous, intelligent and dominant (only with dogs, never with people), which formed my decision, but which also got him killed.  The only solace I have is that he didn't die slowly in agony of poisoning or hit by a car, or an untreated medical condition as is the case for so many dogs on this reserve.  That's the best I could have hoped for in this situation.   Or...I could have taken him.  I don't think I'm trying to fool myself when I say that I still don't believe that would have been the best thing for him.  He did have a full and good life while he was alive.  It was shorter than it should have been, and he died without dignity, but would a longer life of enforced confinement have been better?  I know this dog with my soul and he was quite like the wolf hybrids that are forced to live out their lives in constant confinement because they don't fit into a society that forces dogs to live as subservients.  He's the only dog I've ever NOT taken when I could have. 

I am grieving for the loss of my soul mate (yes it was him, as odd as it sounds) and for the loss of a profoundly pure good spirit.   I just can't come to terms with this - I'm a person who always takes action when I believe it is necessary, always, but in this case, my gut said he really wouldn't have been happy in a city.  I'll never sort this out or come to terms with what I should or should not have done.

I feel hope in my heart that Kenny's death wasn't completely in vain, but that he is going to walk beside us in this struggle to reach the goal of real animal welfare in BC.

 It is Crystal who has done so much for dogs and cats in Bella Bella and now in Tofino. 

Animal Advocates Society of B.C. Canada