A Duncan couple who was charged with animal cruelty under the Criminal Code after authorities found a badly abused dog in their possession on February 16th, 2018 has once again managed to delay their trial.
According to court records, Anderson Joe and Melissa Tooshley were supposed to stand trial for the neglect and abuse of their dog, Teddy, on Tuesday morning.
However, their case was moved to a new date – June 5th, 2018 – after the couple’s defence lawyer asked for an adjournment that was approved by the judge. This is the third time their trial has been delayed.
Joe is facing charges under section 445.1(1) of the Criminal Code (cause unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal) and section 446(1)(b) of the Criminal Code (owner failing to provide necessaries for animal). Tooshley is facing one charge of cruelty under section 446(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.
During the couple’s arrest, their medium-sized brown dog was found extremely emaciated, tied up with a rope that was only a few inches long, and standing in a pile of mud and feces.
Upon closer inspection, it became evident that his collar had dug deep into his neck, causing severe infection and making his head swell up to two to three times its normal size.
“The constables used bolt cutters to free the dog and immediately rushed him to an emergency veterinary clinic,” says Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.
“The wound from the embedded collar exposed the dog’s trachea and jugular vein – it was horrific. This kind of appalling neglect and cruelty is sickening and absolutely unacceptable in our society.”
Dubbed by the SPCA as “one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse” they have ever seen, Teddy’s case touched the hearts of everyone who read about it.
This petition to Crown Council and local MLA Doug Routley has therefore been started to hold the owners accountable for their actions, by giving them the maximum penalty possible: five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
It has been gaining traction since its creation and originally had a goal of 13,000 signatures – the petition currently has over 132,000 supporters.
RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, a Victoria based non-profit organization, has been following the case since it came to light.
Most recently, members organized a peaceful protest at the Duncan courthouse this morning when the trial was supposed to commence.
However, their cries for “Justice for Teddy” fell on deaf ears, as the courthouse adjourned, pushing the trial date to June 5th, 2018.
According to Jesse Adams, co-founder RainCoast, the move was a display of the defence attorney’s attempts to get the activist’s movement to die down. “But we will show up every time,” says Adams, vowing to not let the justice system water down the defendants’ crimes.