Dog disappears after abuse complaints

This photo posted on Facebook last week was taken down around the same time the dog was reported missing. -
This photo posted on Facebook last week was taken down around the same time the dog was reported missing.
— image credit:

The disappearance of a Duncan dog shortly after allegations of neglect and abuse were widely circulated on Facebook has attracted the attention of the police.

The Facebook post began circulating last week showing a pooch surrounded by what appears to be feces and other filth at a residence on Mary Street in Duncan. It was taken down at approximately the same time the dog was reported missing to police Feb. 13.

By Sunday, a second Facebook profile had been created, showing the first photo, as well as new photos of the dog, with the caption “I’m safe!”

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Cst. Jon Stuart confirmed Mounties are still firming up details on the case, but are investigating a possible theft and have a person of interest they are pursuing.

BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said the organization was aware of the dog’s situation and has an ongoing file on the pet’s owner.

“We’ve definitely seen many copies of the (original Facebook) post as well,” Chortyk said in an email to the News Leader Pictorial. “We had already received a complaint and had attended the property before (the photo) was posted.

“My understanding is that the dog was taken inside immediately after the first visit and numerous official orders were issued by the constable to change the environment for the dog (we are legally required to give an owner the opportunity to change the situation — if they don’t follow the orders in the time frame given that’s when we can seek a warrant to remove an animal).”

BC SPCA constable Tina Heary said that upon the SPCA’s first visit, the owner opted to move the dog inside. When the SPCA stopped by the residence the following day after orders were made to check in, the owner notified the constable the dog was missing.

“Since that time, the RCMP has now opened a file with the missing dog,” Heary said.

Heary said often it can be hard for the public to come to grips with current provincial legislation, whereas the SPCA doesn’t have the authority to arrive on site and immediately seize a dog.

“I know the public supports strong animal cruelty laws, but it’s quite difficult for our investigating officers as well. We’re faced with what we see and we can’t remove.”

Stuart said whoever stole the dog could face property theft charges, and it will be up to the SPCA if the dog is returned to the owner.

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