By Doug Draper
Tara was lucky.
When the arrow struck her from the bow of some sicko who fired it at this beautiful black lab/boxer mix of a dog, it pinned her to the ground before she managed to get up and limp back to her owners in Welland, Ontario.
It is the second time this summer that someone using arrows (the first incident involved a person or persons using a cross bow a and shooting at a cat in neighboring Harold, Ontario) has reportedly committed an act of cruelty – an act that falls under the criminal code – in the region of Niagara, Ontario. And I say reportedly because who knows how many more times these depraved acts have been committed on animals without any reporting of them?
John Greer, executive director of the Wetland & District Humane Society, told Niagara At Large that this act, committed in the Knells Court area of Wetland, near Plymouth Park and Ontario Road, as the dog’s owner was walking her), “is something that we struggle with. Why would people do this to a harmless animal? … to this big friendly dog.”
“There is a segment of society that lacks compassion. …that sees no value in animal life,” added Greer.
Fortunately, Tara is recovering from her wound, as is Cinamon the cat, who suffered four wounds from a cross bow in the Niagara, Ontario region of Thorold South earlier this summer.
Both of these cases are still under investigation and apparently there are some leads humane society officers have been given by members of the public that could lead to the arrest of the individuals involved.
If arrested, these individuals could be subject to stiff fines, up to five years in jail and a ban from owning animals for the rest of their lives.And that is good.
Even if you are not a lover of dogs or cats, please keep this in mind. Countless studies and polices profiles across North American show that people who abuse animals also go on to abuse people, up to and including viciously attacking and killing them.
Therefore, it is important that the people who perpetrate these crimes against people are caught and dealt with appropriately.
If you can provide any information on who may have shot Tara with an arrow please contact the Welland & District Humane Society at 905 735-1552. If you can provide any leads whatsoever on the cross-bow shooting of Cinamon the cat this past July in Thorold south, contact the Lincoln County Humane Society at 905-682-0767.
Before this is over, let’s not forget that some one or more persons poured gasoline or some other petroleum product over a cat named Bailey in St. Catharines about three years ago, and whoever did that is still at large and may be out there and in a position to assault vulnerable people right now. If you can still offer information that may solve that case, do not hesitate to contact the Lincoln County Humane Society at the same number listed above.
(Niagara At Large welcomes comments to our posts from people who are willing to share their first and last name with their views. Submit any comment you may have on this post below.)
The current laws are too lenient for perpetrators of crimes and abuse related to animals. The laws must include harsher sentences, fines and conditions that represent the true seriousness of the situation. As we know that this type of crime has only one direction to go and that is to progress to more heinous acts of cruelty to animals then graduate to humans, the punishment must be intense enough to deter that progressive inclination. This means: serious jail time, huge fines, psychological evaluation, community service that teaches compassion and promotes growth of a conscience and most definitely a life time ban of owning and being unsupervised in the presence of vulnerable animals as well as vulnerable humans. It is a fact that most, if not all serial killers began their path by torturing animals. That alone should be incentive to mete out serious punishment for animal abusers and animal murderers. Also, if someone knows who the perpetrator is in cases where animals have been shot or tortured and that person with the knowledge does not notify the police, then that person should be held responsible for their lack of cooperation with the authorities and be punished as well.
As an animal lover, my heart goes out to the three animals described in this article and the countless, nameless others that have been subject to similar abuse and torture.
As a pet “owner”, I am currently dealing with my own pet’s medical problem and when I mention concern for her pain and suffering, difficulty in giving medications around the clock or cost of same, I am shocked when people tell me “You need to get a ‘new’ cat” as though this treasured member of my family, were somehow “disposable”.
As a Registered Nurse, I am acutely aware that children who have a history of cruelty to animals, must be evaluated and monitored for pathological disorders. Somehow, in our society, there is greatly reduced concern when this same behavior is displayed in “grown ups”. It is termed “hunting” and described as a “sport” with an entire industry dedicated to it. How many “sports” involve one team not being aware that they are “playing” and the same team never taking their “turn at bat”? It sounds ridiculous when you think about “Little League” and yet it is true of hunting.
As I have stated before on this forum, hunting of white tail deer by anyone in our Short Hills Park is not dissimilar to what has happened to these poor pets. How is it that society abhors the shooting of a domesticated cat or dog with a bow and arrow and deems it a “humane” practice when relatively tame deer are the targets? Tomorrow I may have to make a decision to put my cat “to sleep”. I doubt the vet will tell me the “humane” thing to do would be to let her run around in the back yard, feed her some steak and then terrorize her by trying to shoot her with a bow and arrow. I doubt he will justify it by saying “there are too many cats anyway”.
Thankfully, for the pets described in this article, the shots fired were not fatal. A Jan/13 posting on this forum by Niagara Action for Animals references that 50% of deer that are shot by crossbows are wounded, but not killed. How can anyone deem that practice “humane”?
I urge all readers who do not support closing the Short Hills Park for 8 more days this year (in addition to the 4 days this past January) for the purpose of hunting deer with crossbows, to attend the Ministry of Natural Resources Public Meeting on Sept 19 from 6-8 pm at White Meadows Farms, 2519 Effingham Street, St Catharines (Pelham). Hunting in a Park surrounded by 100 homes is a public safety issue.
For more information about deer hunting in Short Hills Provincial Park, please view the following youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt4TbPxawPg&feature=youtu.be&html5=1.
Sheila Krekorian RN