Update: Man and woman charged with animal cruelty

Colin MacLean
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Dog’s death sparks fund in his honour

Two people from Clarenville are facing allegations of animal cruelty.

The charges stem from an incident March 2 when local RCMP officers and the Clarenville area SPCA removed a dog from a home in Hillview.

The animal was emaciated when he was found and later died from his condition.

A 42-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman have been charged with one count each of animal cruelty and causing damage or injury to an animal. They are set to appear in court April 19.

Police say when they removed the dog from its home he was in bad shape. The doghouse was rickety and didn’t provide adequate shelter; the dog had no food and only a bucket of frozen water. He was also tied to a tree with a heavy chain that was digging into its skin.


As an adult he should have weighed about 90-lbs, but only weighed 53-lbs when he was recovered.

The dog, a mixed breed shepherd named Max, was taken from the home and into the care of the SCPA, but died a few days later.

This is where the RCMP involvement in Max’s story ends and Kim Baker’s begins.

Baker is the owner/operator of Silverhawk Promotions in Clarenville. It’s a webpage development and marketing company.

She follows the Clarenville area SPCA on Facebook and found out about Max’s rescue through that social media.

The incident touched her, she said.

“I had full intention of going in to visit Max until I had heard that he’d passed away. That was on a Monday and that night after I hear about his passing I came up with the idea of ‘you know what? We should do something to voice out against this animal’s neglect,” said Baker.

The next day she brought her idea to the SPCA board of directors and it was immediately approved.

The Max Memorial Protection Fund was officially launched March 6.

The SPCA controls the fund and all money donated to it goes directly to help fund the shelter’s investigation services. Investigations like the one that led Max to be taken from his owners.

It was a cause Baker wants to promote, she said.

“I’m an animal lover. When I heard the condition that Max was in when they removed him — it was horrible. ... I wanted to do something to help try and protect other animals in some small way,” she said.

Other sponsors quickly jumped on board as well. Within a week the Clarenville Caribous hockey club and the women’s correctional centre in Clarenville had both signed up to help out.

The Caribous have featured the fund before at least one game and all the players have signed a pledge to help fight animal cruelty.

The residents of the correctional centre are also making orange “stop animal abuse” ribbons, which the fund is selling for $2.

Baker also donated her company’s time to creating a website, http://www.silverhawkpromotions.com/Max/

It’s all happened in less then a month.

So it’s been a whirlwind of activity, said Baker, but well worth the effort.

Hopefully the Max Memorial Protection Fund will help other animals avoid its namesake’s fate, she said.

The Telegram requested an interview with the Clarenville Area SPCA, but one could not be arranged before Tuesday’s press deadline.




A man, 42, and woman, 38, in Hillview have been charged with cruelty to animals by Clarenville RCMP.

Officers were called in to assist the Clarenville Area SPCA in the removal of a dog from the Hillview residence, according to an RCMP news release. 

Police officers found an “extremely emaciated” dog tied to a tree by a heavy chain and chain collar that was cutting into the dog’s skin. The doghouse was inadequate, and there was no food or dish in the area, with only a frozen bucket of water found on the ground, according to RCMP. 

The dog was removed from the residence and taken in to the care of the Clarenville Area SPCA. 

The dog died a few days later in the care of the SPCA. 

The Clarenville Area SPCA have worked with other agencies and groups to start the Max Memorial Fund, aimed at raising funds and awareness about animal cruelty and abuse.



Organizations: Clarenville Area SPCA, RCMP, Max Memorial Fund

Geographic location: Hillview

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Recent comments

  • Yvette Butt
    March 21, 2012 - 22:04

    My last comments did not get posted so I will try and be a little more civilized...uh hum.... The two people who are responsible for this horrendous act of cruelty on a living breathing animal need to find out that there are consequences for your actions. There needs to be a deterrent for such a blaggard disrespect for life. To the neighbors, family and friends of these two....uh hum, people.....I hope you sleep well tonight, because this is just as much your fault and you contributed to this just the same as if you wrapped that %$$#$ chain around that little dog's neck. I am totally disgusted and ashamed to be part of the human race. MR. KENNEDY.....HELP US.......or maybe I should say God help us....

  • Cynthia French
    March 21, 2012 - 20:36

    I am so angry at these two idiots responsible for the needless suffering of this poor dog. What type of mentality would do this to a helpless creature. Where are the people who must have known that this animal was suffering. People must speak up when they see cruelty. The punishment for these people would be the same as they did to this poor dog and I would be glad to carry this out. What do you need an IQ test before owning an animal, surely they would fail. Cynthia French

  • Kent
    March 21, 2012 - 12:55

    Disgusting / inhumane neglect of an animal. Public, please inform the authorities regarding anyone you see neglecting an animal. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

  • Shirley Wareham Flight
    March 21, 2012 - 11:21

    I am and forever will be haunted by the pictures I have seen of Max.My heart breaks knowing what this poor darling must have suffered during his life.I thank God and the angels that rescued Max from the torture he was subjected to 24/7.To the angels that tried to save him , only to watch him die....I offer my deepest sympathy.I have expereienced the loss of trying to keep a little soul alive ,only for it to die.However ,because of Max's rescueres, in his final days he knew love ,compassion,comfort,and self worth.I believe that Max understood that there are good people who know the worth of a beautiful pet,and that he was one to the people who rescued him.What a blessing that must have been to him,to know someone knew he was a good dog(as they all are) and that someone saw that in him , I understand that sometimes people can adopt an animal and things happen in their personal life that may make the responsablity of properly caring for that pet difficult, but that's no excuse for rejecting ,neglecting,abusing that animal.There are numerous shelters,and individuals available who are more than happy to help.There is just no excuse for what happened to Max and thousands like him.For the love of God and his creatures ,people wake up and be responsible...there's nobody going to think less of you for rehoming your pet......but let me tell you....thousands will hate a faceless image for murdering an innocent pet.. This has to stop!The abuse and neglect is unacceptable .These abusive individuals need to change how they think about animals in their care.These creatures need food, shelter,vet care,love and compassion.It's their right. In ending I have to mention that our govenment needs to step up and help as well as so many individuals have.Make our laws to protect animals stricter,and for the love of God and his creatures,enforce them! Maximum fines,jail time,prohibited from ever owning another pet,picture and name made public so people will know not to allow that person to have a pet. Sound terribley harsh? How does, no adequete shelter, no food ,no water, no human contact, no stimulation, no vet care, a chain heavy enough to anchor a boat cuting into your poor infected neck? Do that sound harsh? Do it sound a little overboard? This ishow Max had to exist during his life.Sadly as I write this I know there are countless other ''Max's'' out there. Please ,let's all step up and take a pledge to help the helpless.One at a time, just do what you can,make that call, donate,volunteer,anything ,no matter how little a change you think it may be ...believe me,the animal you help will think it's huge.

  • Cindy - Nova Scotia
    March 21, 2012 - 10:26

    My eyes are filled with tears reading this heartbreaking story of Max~~~it doesn't even make any sense; what would ever be the reasoning behind the abuse & neglect that this poor pup so undeserving has endured. To just have an amimal in the first to watch suffer, it would have been kinder just to let him go free, it is incomphrehensible to think that if the inhumane people that owned him were not subject to an earlier complaint by someone who must have been aware before now....I hope that these people get the book thrown at them and please people don't ignore cruelty to animals, report anyone anywhere before its too late like poor Max; let us be vigilant in honor of Max's everywhere. I am a dog-lover, dog-owner and am always undercover watching in my community and would tell in a heartbeat. RIP dear Max, let justice prevail~~~

  • Janet Kielly
    March 21, 2012 - 10:13

    This is SUCH a sin. Who do these people think they are? An animal has just as much a right to a good life as humans do. They should have their names on the front page of newspapers, and there should definitely be jail time. Counselling would perhaps be beneficial as well, as there is clearly something wrong with the mindframe of these individuals. How can someone look at an animal in such hard shape and not be affected by it?? I can't even believe people like this exist. It makes me very sad.

  • Elizabeth Field
    March 21, 2012 - 09:38

    we had a dog for 14 yrs and he was a part of our family,when he died we were heart broken,what horrible people to treat that poor little max so badly ,i hope these prople are punished severly.

  • Marg
    March 21, 2012 - 09:35

    Someone said that "a lot of people don't want to get involved because of backlash from the commuity". Phone the SPCA or RCMP or anyone who can possiby rescue an abused helpless animal......ANONOMOUSLY.....then keep quiet about it; don't mention to anyone that you made the call. If only someone had done this, innocent little Max wouldn't have suffered so long and so horrendously, to the point of death. My God, how heartless !

  • Stephen
    March 21, 2012 - 09:23

    I know it wouldn't make me much better then them but I'd like to chain them to a tree with only a bucket of frozen water for an undetermined period of time and see how those cruel bastards like it. I'm disgusted to the point of shedding tears that someone could do that to any animal especially a dog :(

  • santo
    March 21, 2012 - 09:16

    Names should be published, along with pictures, public humilation may be the only deterrant for some losers. Common decency didn't keep them from doing it in the first place, maybe this will be the only way to save an animals life in the future.

  • Ann Ring
    March 21, 2012 - 08:40

    I agree these people should have their names on the front page of every paper in the province.

  • SPCA Volunteer
    March 21, 2012 - 08:34

    These people, if I can use that term to describe them, have been charges under the Canadian Criminal Code not the Provincial Code so the penalities "can" be higher. Paws crossed that there is Justice for Max and the other animals that suffer needlessly at the hand of man!

  • mace
    March 21, 2012 - 08:21

    Alot of people fail to get involved cause thier fearful of backlash in a small town.I grew up here and in my teenage years i called on 2 people in my town for pretty much the same thing as poor lil max, i was called a rat, almost got punched out, but the thing is... decent people knew what i did was right, only other abusers would disagree with me.10 years later i know i saved 4 dogs from a life of hell(punch to the face be worth that eh).Give these scumbags a jail sentance not just a fine and told not to own pets again.

    • yvette butt
      March 21, 2012 - 22:07

      its ok Mace....some things are worth a smack in the face....just like some things are worth going to jail for.....you did the right thing.

  • Mikalah
    March 21, 2012 - 07:54

    I hope you both cruel and heartless people get everything you deserve and feel the same kind of pain this poor dog felt. I have a tiny dog who I love dearly.......you people sicken me!!! :-(

  • Marlene
    March 21, 2012 - 07:28

    I am so rottted and would like just 5 minutes alone with those two idiots. There is no reason this poor animal should have died under the conditions he did. Lack of common sense on the owners part is just way out there. Put these two heartless fools in a prison cell and feed them every couple of days or better yet not at all. Let the hunger pains take over let alone a collar eating it's way through there skin. BUT no they may be charged but they will still only get a small fine or probation and they will vow never to let it happen again and they will be told they are not allowed to be pet owners again and next month they will have another and who is going to check from the law to see if they do or not. It makes me sick and have seen it happen before and unless there is going to be a drastic law change then we will read about some other poor animal dead or dying and the owners will be laughing on the sideline.

  • J Bowers
    March 21, 2012 - 07:04

    Unfortunately we all know what the law will do - nothing compared to what should be done to these so called "humans". We hear about these kinds of stories all the time, but the punishment never fits the crime. It's time for someone in the legal system to step up and make the punishment fit the crime, and set a precedent for animal cruelty. So far nobody has had the courage to do this.

  • Cory
    March 21, 2012 - 06:54

    Why are the names of these sick individuals not released to the public? They remain unknown and are therefore able to do this sort of disgusting thing again. We should spread their names and faces all over the social sites. Someone out there must know these people.

    • Silverhawk
      March 21, 2012 - 11:40

      Names will be released one it hits the court docket.. approx middle of next week

  • Wanda
    March 21, 2012 - 06:52

    What little Max went through is beyond cruelty and comprehension. My God, surely, someone in the community had to know what was going on with this helpless little dog. Why....just why...didn't anyone phone the SPCA or RCMP? For anyone who knew, and did absolutely nothing, I hope your conscience haunts you, if you got one. Many families would have welcomed Max into their home. Precious innocent helpless little Max got care his last couple of days.....but way too little too late. He was that far tortured and neglected that even warmth and food and care and love could not save him. This has wrenched the heart and soul out of me. You rotten low-life cruel heartless "murderers".....how could you look at this little dog through your windows or when you were going in and out of your house....and leave him that way? Oh precious Max, if there is any such place as "animal heaven", you're there, without a doubt.

  • Fighter for Animals Rights
    March 20, 2012 - 21:16

    When will these helpless animals have rights? Will it be when someone with authority has something drastically happen to their animal? I read about poor Max on hockeytalk and it sickens me that someone would be so cruel and then a poster makes a comment on this site about if he caught a cat that was urinating on his property that he would rip its head off. This is so unfair for an animal to have to suffer abuse and neglect because of human ignorance.

  • Char
    March 20, 2012 - 21:06

    I'm delighted that these people are being charged but the punishment will be nothing compared to the crime that's why people continue to do these cruel things. How could they chain a poor defenseless animal knowing that he had no food or water and watch him waste away in pain? How can they live with themselves? Too many animals are being mistreated and abused here in our province and beyond. It's time we do more to stop it!

  • Kay
    March 20, 2012 - 21:00

    The suffering that animal endured is unacceptable, regardless of whether you are an animal lover or not. Those pictures are gut-wrenching and sicknening. There is absolutely no excuse for this, and people who are capable of such cruelty should not expect any leniancy.

  • Peggy
    March 20, 2012 - 20:17

    This absolutely unbelievable. Do the same thing to them. Why didn't anyone in the community report this? Poor Max....my God, he must have suffered so long and so much. I am crying my heart out right now and this will linger in my mind forever.

  • Jody
    March 20, 2012 - 19:43

    I live alone in a small apartment, no pets allowed.... it breaks my heart that I can't have a pet and treat it like it should be treated while hillbillies like these have animals and starve them to death. At least the poor creature knew some kindness in it's last few days.

  • Wendy Porter-Kean
    March 20, 2012 - 17:28

    Minister Kennedy, it is now time. do the right and proper thing. please, for all the Max's out there. please.

    • Kim Mason
      March 20, 2012 - 18:58

      Upon opening my emails tonight I got the wonderful news that the individuals that we call humans have been charged with cruelty to animals. Tears filled my eyes. Unfortunately no penalty is stiff enough and nothing will bring back Max. Max tore a piece out of all of our hearts and still does to this day. There are plenty of "if only's" but the fact still remains that most people do not want to get involved. Please for the sake of all the Max's out there, dont be afraid to stand tall and speak up against these vicious acts, Remember, most forms of violence starts with animals, this could turn into a child next. Max, you are forever in my heart and now you are at the Rainbows Bridge waiting for many a kind word and warm hand to soothe you and this you shall get. Furr-ever never to be abused again.

    • Tina Robinson
      March 20, 2012 - 20:19

      I can't believe that someone could do this to a poor animal. If a person could not either afford to take care of it, or changed their minds about being a pet owner..thye should have called the SPCA before the animal suffered like this....SHAME ON THEM!!!!!!