|Barked: Thu Mar 14, '13 12:00pm PST |
|"Lulu’s was a happy, playful, loving Weimaraner / Pit Bull mix living in Port Alberni, British Columbia. One day, the S.P.C.A. tore her from her family and immediately killed her. In the words of her distressed family from their Facebook page, here is their story:
February 2011, our dog Lulu (a Weimaraner-pit-bull cross) jumped up on my son’s friend (girl) while she was entering our home swinging her sweater sleeves wildly around in the air and YELLING “o look at her (Lulu) she’s so cute”. Lulu grabbed at one of the sleeves and in doing so grabbed the girl’s wrist area and fell down the front porch steps, all in a split second. My son, during this split second incident, yelled to Lulu because she was out the front door. He yelled “Lulu come”. She immediately ran back into the house. Myself, my son and two others (friends) took this girl to the hospital. And I kept in-touch with her and her mother during her healing process (bruising) and pain.
Late April my wife received a call from a bylaw officer that the SPCA would be coming to get our dog to do a 24 – 72 hour assessment on her for aggression due to a complaint they received. I was away at work and my wife asked that they wait until I came home before they took her because she (Lulu) was very close to me. The bylaw officer said ok. When I came home I called the bylaw officer to find out what was going on, and I asked if we could pack her (our family member Lulu) her favourite blanket, toy and some treats for the stay at the SPCA facility for her assessment, and I was told yes.
May 4th 2011, 3 months after the incident, the bylaw officer came to my house in the morning and handed me some papers saying this is the bylaw act. He came in and sat down. We got into a discussion about dogs in general and I showed him the bag we had packed for Lulu to go with her at the SPCA. Maybe twenty minutes later the SPCA officials knocked on the door and I let them in. I stated to them that we had a bag for Lulu packed and I asked if we could visit her while she is in the facility each day because she will be very scared and upset. I was told that no visits were allowed during assessments and I was only to come when I was to pick her up.
At one point during the SPCA visit in my house one of the ladies stated that “my dog is pit-bull and they’re dangerous and that they are bred for fighting”. This made me upset, and in a raised voice I told her “you’re wrong, Lulu is a happy go lucky high energy dog”. During my raised voice to this SPCA lady Lulu did not show any sign of aggression, even though I was agitated. This same SPCA officer then pulled out a picture of an arm all bruised, stepped aggressively towards myself and Lulu, stomped her foot forward on the floor and loudly said “this is what your dog did, she’s pit-bull and she is dangerous”. Lulu did not react to this aggressive move by the SPCA officer, yet I was getting mad though trying to hold my composure because I thought God forbid she is going to assess Lulu I better stay calm. I also stated to the officer that I saw that picture on the internet, that it was during the healing process and I started to explain what had happened. The officer cut me short and said “we don’t care what happened … all we want is your dog”. I asked again if I could come see her tonight before they closed the facility and was told no. I said to them “I have to, I have rights, this seems so wrong”. Neither the bylaw officer nor the SPCA officials stated to me that I do have rights to defend Lulu. The two SPCA officials said they have to go outside for a discussion, than one of them (without knocking) came back inside and asked for the bylaw officer to step outside with them to talk. Note: lulu during our heated discussions and when they walked into our home unannounced DID NOTHING. She had no sign of aggression and I noted this to the bylaw officer. Then the bylaw officer enters my home (without knocking, just walks in) and says “Ken, outside please, without your dog or your son”. My son is a witness to all the above. I go outside and the bylaw officer immediately states to me “Ken if you do not surrender Lulu to the SPCA immediately I will have no choice but to have you arrested and put in jail for resisting the surrender of your dog”. My mind is spinning, I am upset, I am worried Lulu’s assessment is not going to be a good one based on this SPCA official (who obviously hates her) whom I think is going to do it. What just happened is like in the wild west days … it felt like the bylaw officer had put a gun to my head and forced me to hand over my dog. I then said “this is unjust, I have to have rights, and if I had deep pockets I would be taking you to court, and this is so wrong”. The SPCA lady then said to me “don’t bother bringing out the bag you packed for Lulu, we don’t need that”. I go into the house, leash Lulu, and walk her to the SPCA van. This same SPCA lady (a VERY UNPLEASANT person) was standing at the back door of the van holding a clip board and loudly tapping the pen she had in her hand (tap tap tap) aggressively, and said to me “sign on the X”. The other SPCA lady opens the door and I say to Lulu “in girl, we’re going for a car ride”. The door slammed shut so very loudly it startled me, and this is when Lulu started to scratch and plead for me to let her out. Again the SPCA officer said “here on the X”. I signed my name. I was very distraught seeing and hearing my little girl plead desperately for me.
The van drove away and I could not bear to hear her crying out for me (“daddy daddy daddy” and scratching at the door). I stood there in a daze, so much had happened in such a short period of time. I was in shock and thinking “this isn’t right”. I go into the house and my son is crying and he said “the assessment isn’t going to go well, they hate her”. I said “you’re right Tyson, I think I just signed her life away, this assessment is not going to be good”. After a few minutes of tears I pick up the paper work the bylaw officer gave to me earlier and I see the vicious dog bylaw. You can have a vicious dog in the city under restrictions and yet my dog was taken away for aggressive behaviour, which is much less an offence, I think. So I called up the SPCA facility about 45 minutes after Lulu was taken away to explain to them that I don’t think Lulu’s assessment is going to be fair for her because of the way she left all upset and if authorization is deemed upon her to STOP because I have rights, and I referred to the bylaw. The SPCA lady then told me “your dog has been put down, and you signed the surrender and wanted it done swiftly.” I responded to her that I had asked them many times about my rights and not one of them spoke up stating I do have rights. I said that I would be getting a lawyer, and that I’d be in-touch.
I did seek a lawyer and was told that I had a good case BUT the city and SPCA would put me into financial hardship. I could not afford to take this to court. I met with the city mayor and council members and got nowhere. I have witness accounts of the bylaw officer stating to me that the city and SPCA would pay the cost of Lulu’s ashes to be returned in an urn back to me (as requested after I found out she had been MURDERED).
This all seems a bit suspect. The bylaw officer stated to me the reason I was not informed of our rights was due to the fact that Lulu would have been kept in a facility for months to years without us being able to see her until court, and no judge would stop the euthanization. My response to that is that the bylaw officer and the SPCA did not want to hear my side of the story at all, that they (bylaw officer and the SPCA) had an agenda and that was to do whatever was necessary in order to get my dog away from me. They all led me and my son (who was present) to believe that Lulu was going for an assessment only. We even packed her a bag for the facility. The bylaw officer and the SPCA ladies saw the bag. IN A NUT SHELL, I signed a form under duress and without due process I was misled, and our family member Lulu was destroyed. I and my family have been abused by authority figures in the community and have been lied to. Intimidation tactics and aggressive behaviour was used towards us. This experience has left me and my family forever feeling depression, grieving, angry and abused. A CORRUPT SYSTEM cost our LOVED ONE and FAMILY MEMBER, LULU, her life! Every single day I envision Lulu scratching desperately at the door of the SPCA van and crying out to me “DADDY DADDY DADDY save me” and I was led to believe there wasn’t anything I could do to stop them!
Ken & Sharon Smith
One thing is clear, Lulu was not a dangerous or vicious dog. Lulu was unfairly targeted not just by the S.P.C.A. and By-Law Officer but also by the vile, heartless mother of the young girl Lulu accidentally bit. Please help share Ken and Sharon’s story and help them to pass Lulu’s Law. By doing this, you’ll also raise awareness to what the power tripping, ego maniacal, hateful officers do to families fighting to keep their beloved pets."
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