A Bethune woman is frustrated with the lack of help she’s been getting to try and save Christmas, an abandoned puppy who’s been in her neighbourhood for about a month.
“He’s about anywhere between nine to 11 months, very nice looking dog; he’s scared to death of people,” said Twyla Fiddler.
She said she’s frustrated with the lack of support and information she has available when it comes to tracking down and catching the abandoned dog that’s been around her home.
Derrick Shaw, mayor of Bethune, said there have been attempts made to try and capture the dog, but they have been unsuccessful so far.
“The dog is skittish so you can’t call it,” Shaw said.
He said the community does have a humane trap in place, but the dog isn’t going into it.
Fiddler said she’s reached out to various animal rescue organizations, including the Regina Humane Society and Saskatchewan SPCA, but none of them have been able to help her capture the dog and give it the treatment it needs — she says the dog has been getting ill.
The Regina Humane Society said it’s contracted within the city so rural areas fall outside of its jurisdiction.
“Something has to change to be able to get people out to the rural areas to actually take care of stuff like this.”
She said she wants to see more resources and information available for people in rural areas when it comes to catching stray or abandoned animals.
Don Ferguson is the executive director of Animal protection Services of Saskatchewan and said when it comes to animal control in rural areas, and dealing with dogs and other companion animals, the responsibility lies with the R.M.
He said one the difficulty when it comes to animals on the loose is if it’s abandoned or a stray.
“Did someone actually witness this animal being dropped off, or is this a stray that’s wandered away.”
He said if there’s someone who saw the animal being abandoned and is able to provide them with details, animal protection services would then investigate.
This recent dog isn’t the only animal Fiddler has seen abandoned by her place. She lives near Highway 11 and said she’s seen a cat thrown from vehicles travelling over 100 km/h.
“All of a sudden this cat came running through my yard, and it was literally missing half of the hair and the skin on the side of his body where he hit the pavement when the people threw him out the car, so it’s very frustrating.”
People need to have a heart when it comes to getting rid of an animal, she said, noting there are other ways to do so.
Ferguson said the Animal Protection Act changed in September 2018. It allows animal protective services to seize the animal and do an investigation if it’s found it was abandoned.
The current penalty could be as high as a $25,000 fine and a lifetime ban from owning animals.
Ferguson said about two per cent of their cases go to court, and then 95 per cent of those end with a punishment for the offender.
The maximum penalty has never been handed out.
A person could also face up to two years in jail, but that punishment hasn’t been handed out either.