For at least one man, the party out at the Craven Country Jamboree ended up going too far on Saturday night when a kitten was abused in the campground.
RCMP said they were called out in the evening for a report of animal cruelty. The kitten was rescued and taken to TM’z Veterinary Clinic in Lumsden. In a Facebook post about the incident, the clinic said someone had drenched the kitten in alcohol and was lighting it on fire. In an update on Sunday morning, the clinic said the kitten was doing alright.
The man accused in the abuse was ejected from the campground, according to the festival, and though RCMP haven’t laid any charges officers said they’re investigating.
“I just think it’s just some idiot that made a bad decision, a really bad decision, and hopefully they’ll pay for it,” said Kim Blevins, director of marketing for the festival.
She said the jamboree in no way condones the behaviour, and she said she was personally shocked and saddened when she heard what had happened.
“We’re appalled. This is not something that we would ever support. We have several people bring their pets to the site, I just saw a beagle walking down Main Street.”
On Sunday morning Blevins couldn’t say whether the man accused of abusing the kitten would be banned from the festival.
Blevins did say it was unfortunate the vet clinic chose to post the story on social media before talking to the festival about it, saying that though she isn’t minimizing what happened, she believes the post blew the situation out of proportion.
For those who don’t hold a high view of the festival, the incident with the kitten likely won’t help its reputation.
However, Blevins disputes the idea that there’s all sorts of violence and crazy people running around the campgrounds.
“It’s no different than somebody committing a crime in a city – you can’t control everything, we control things the best that we can, and then after that you just have to react to it. So that’s what we’re doing right now.”
Blevins said people bring their children and families to the festival, and she seen weddings and engagements held there.
“If it was the case that this was just one big pit of debauchery then they wouldn’t be doing that, they wouldn’t be choosing this place.”
Overnight Saturday to Sunday RCMP said they had 31 calls for service at Craven, the majority of which were liquor violations. Police said that number was consistent over the weekend and consistent from past years as well.