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Love of animals, hatred of bullies fuels interest in Terry

Brandon Meyer collected nearly 24,000 signatures on a petition urging strong consequences in the beating of Terry the Terrier -
Brandon Meyer collected nearly 24,000 signatures on a petition urging strong consequences in the beating of Terry the Terrier
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You wonder how often a dog is brutally killed, beaten, starved, left in the cold, or heat in a car in the middle of summer.

You hate to think about it.

But unfortunately it does happen. And most of the time it happens with little to no public attention at all.

That is not the case in an alleged animal abuse incident witnessed by a Cowichan couple on Cowichan Lake Road April 21.

That sad story of a local man punching a Boston terrier/French bulldog cross three times in the head before flinging the dog into a ditch was first shared on Facebook by witnesses Chris and Leigh Davies.

Their post was viewed 22,000 times and was shared by 345 folks.

A petition was created shortly afterward. Nearly 24,000 people signed, urging strict consequences for the accused Duncan’s Brandon Harrison, who recently pleaded not guilty to all charges.

With the B.C. SPCA claiming it conducts more than 7,000 animal cruelty investigations every year, you have to wonder why this particular case has gained so much attention.

Was it because the witnesses that day, the Davies, happen to be huge dog lovers, owning two very beautiful pooches themselves? Because they’re also fairly well-known in the community and aren’t afraid to be vocal?

Sure, that’s probably part of it.

But I’d say most of the community reaction, as well as that from folks across Canada, has a lot to due with the description witnesses reported of blatant cruelty to a small, helpless animal.

It makes me and probably every single follower of the story wonder what is happening to this tiny dog when people aren’t around?

Most folks who read the News Leader Pictorial’s initial account were also probably struck by the way the Davies said the accused acted when approached that day.

“He said, ‘I’ll f---ing kill you if you dial 9-11,” Davies recalled Harrison said to his wife.

As a result of that, Harrison is also facing charges of criminal harassment and uttering threats.

True or not — and it must be stressed we have only heard one side of this story and  Harrison remains innocent of all charges until proven guilty — there is no doubt the picture painted by this incident matches an ugly stereotype.

Everyone knows and dislikes someone who likes to threaten people and seems to be the type who would enjoy bullying helpless little dogs — a dude who’s got a whole lot of bad karma coming his way.

And when they are confronted with an opportunity, “that type of guy” is someone people will go the extra mile to see the book thrown at.

That — plus the obvious animal-love factor — may be exactly why this story has attracted the interest it has.

Regardless, let’s hope whatever the result may be (a trial date has yet to be set), it will be a hard lesson for those folks who have and are still committing those cruel acts I stated above.

It’s simply unacceptable and you will pay the consequences.

Ashley Degraaf is a News Leader Pictorial reporter.

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