The shocking video depicting an Ontario Provincial Police officer running down what was initially reported as a “possibly rabid” coyote multiple times with his vehicle has another twist: it was a family pet killed only blocks from his home.
The OPP confirmed today that it was in fact a dog, likely belonging to a local man who noted his blind and deaf senior pet (21 years old) wandered away after his gate was blown open by the wind.
While this news is tragic, and will likely attract even more attention to the news, our stance remains the same: justice must be served.
We are calling for a full investigation into what we at The Fur-Bearers believe may be a case of animal cruelty, as well as a full inquiry into the handling of wildlife calls by police in Ontario.
Because while this tragedy lays at the hands of one officer, it is a symptom of a systemic failure across the province. As the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is unable to respond in a timely manner to wildlife calls (as is their mandate), municipalities and citizens often rely on police to manage what are perceived to be potentially dangerous or unsettling situations involving wildlife.
Police in Ontario are given extensive training in use of force, investigations, and procedure. But they are given little-to-no training on wildlife or non-human animal response. Couple this with a lack of education of most residents on wildlife behaviour – and domestic pet behaviour – and it is more tragedy waiting to happen.
Sign our Care2.com petition today and tell the Minister of Community Safety and Corrections Yasir Naqvi and OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes that you want to see real change to how wildlife and pets are treated, backed by funding and training for first responders in Ontario.
Until such action is taken, more tragedy can be expected for the animals in Ontario, and those who love them.
Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly humane.