At the end of their rope

Pam
Pam Frampton
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Bullet at the dilapidated wharf that was his only world for many years. Photo courtesy of Kelly Baker-Joyce

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
- Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), missionary, theologian, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate

This is not a happy story. It's not a pretty story. You will not enjoy it. But it's an important story, one that needs to be told. And retold. And told again.
Until things change and the story is no longer true.
And, meanwhile, perhaps you can help.
This is the story of Bullet, a purebred Australian shepherd, who lived on the Burin Peninsula.
I wouldn't say lived, exactly. Endured is more like it.
You see, Bullet's owner soon grew tired of the dog's hyper behaviour, and so he chained him on outside. But before long the constant barking and the poop on the ground became too much and Bullet was moved further away, downhill from the house to a dilapidated wharf where he took shelter in a rickety doghouse and spent every single minute of every single day at the end of a six-foot chain.
The owner's brother brought him food once a day.
There were no walks. No companionship. No toys or treats. No grooming. No stimulation. No medical care.
That's how and where he was when Burin Peninsula SPCA special constable Pauline Beazley found him July 21this summer.
The SPCA in Burin Bay Arm had gotten a tip from a concerned citizen that a dog was tied 24/7 to a rotting wharf.
"His coat was badly matted with dreadlocks hanging from his sides," Beazley writes via e-mail.
"He started to get a little excited and made his way around the wharf as far as his chain would allow movement. He wore a harness that had torn on one side but still managed to hold him. His stiff stance and unwagging tail warned me to be careful. My attempt to stroke him and check his harness to see if it was too tight was met with a warning growl."
Beazley managed to track down the owner and learned that Bullet had lived this way for nine years.
How he managed to survive through frigid winters on a wharf with a flimsy house as his only shelter is astounding enough, not to mention the constant depression of living in isolation.

Solitary confinement
Dogs are pack animals, and keeping them in a state of what is essentially solitary confinement is devastating for them, and incredibly cruel.
For an animal like an Australian shepherd, which is bred to work and run and live with farm families, the lack of stimulation and companionship would have been particularly damaging.
According to the current animal protection legislation in this province, as long as a dog is regularly given food, water and shelter, no cruelty has occurred.
Pauline Beazley would tell you otherwise.
A mother of three and a school bus driver, she and one other SPCA special constable are responsible for the area of the Burin Peninsula south from Swift Current. They are on call 24 hours a day and their work is purely voluntary.
It's also incredibly frustrating and disturbing.
"I just love animals," she said when I reached her via cellphone as she was selling tickets for an SPCA fundraiser at the local mall, having just dropped a busload of children off at school.
"Ninety per cent of the calls - almost every call I go to - involves animals being tied on. We don't stop. I can't keep up with all I've got to do. We're not talking about someone tying their dog on for an hour on a sunny day. We've got no problem with that.
"We're talking about people who make tethering a permanent part of their animals' lives."
Beazley admits her work is dispiriting but she doesn't want to dissuade anyone else from getting involved with the SPCA.
The shelter where she's a volunteer has too little space and too few resources.
She said the biggest problem is they spend all their time fixing short-term problems - one animal at a time - instead of working on long-term solutions, like going into schools and educating children about how to treat animals properly.
She is frustrated by the fact that if you encounter a wild animal, you can call the Wildlife Division and expect a co-ordinated, trained, well-equipped response, but if you find an animal tied on, malnourished and languishing in its own filth, you have to rely on volunteers to take care of the problem and cash-strapped charities to pay for whatever is needed.
In Bullet's case, the owner was advised of what he needed to do to improve the dog's living conditions, but he couldn't be bothered and turned the dog over to the SPCA.
He also declined to provide any money for the dog's care, even though the legislation says he should do so.
And so, after nine years of neglect and mind-numbing isolation, of cold and wind and rain and sleet and snow, of matted fur, a metal chain, a shabby house and no affection, Bullet no longer knew how to interact with other dogs or people.
One day after he was removed from his horrible home, he was euthanized.
"His owner could not be charged with any offence, never had to cover our expenses and there is absolutely no deterrent to keep him from acquiring another dog," Beazley said.
Thankfully, the provincial government is now reviewing the animal protection legislation and is considering the tethering issue as part of that review. It is accepting written submissions from the public and expects to have new legislation to introduce in the House of Assembly next spring.
Tougher, stricter laws can't come soon enough for Pauline Beazley.
She calls the current act the only legislation she knows of that has to be enforced by a voluntary organization.
"People will say, 'Well, you can always call the RCMP if you find a neglected animal,' but the RCMP doesn't have the equipment and resources to deal with abused animals. They don't have vehicles with kennels and places to keep animals. They've got enough crimes to deal with."
Other municipalities in Canada have adopted anti-tethering legislation. If animal protection is something that matters to you, please help where you can to make a difference.
It's too late for Bullet, but it doesn't have to be too late for other neglected animals.
Good boy, Bullet. May you finally rest in peace.

Pam Frampton is The Telegram's story editor. She can be reached by e-mail at pframpton@thetelegram.com. Read her columns online at www.thetelegram.com

Organizations: RCMP, Wildlife Division

Geographic location: Swift Current, Canada

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  • LocalResident
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    @Cluett Tayson - I can't comment on this situation because I wasn't involved directly and don't know the facts...but I have seen this kind of situation time and time again. The dogs are medically in good enough shape to make a recovery, but emotionally they can't be rehabilitated. If a dog has had no socialization for that many years its essentially a wild animal. The SPCA can't adopt out a pet with any temperament issues as a safety measure. A dog with these types of issues is very dangerous and even after a lot of working with them, there is no guarantee he will ever be adoptable. From this story I got the impression they were already overwhelmed at the shelter, so I assume this was the only option. It's a terrible choice to make. It's too bad some people in life are so cruel to their animals that other people need to make a tough choice like this.

  • Kaolynn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Chained animals are prisioners not pets. Our laws need changing but it will not happen without public support. Please sign online petition (link posted by Shelly) and write to our provincial government. If we all raise our voices we cannot be ignored and we can change this horrible practice.

  • Erin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Absolutely gut wrenching story. How does this not qualify as animal abuse and the owner not punished?!
    Another form of animal abuse is kennel training taken too far. Many people keep their dogs in kennels inside their homes for far too many hours and this is another issue that needs to be addressed. I would like to see more people installing pet doors.

  • liz/aka/jane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I intend to report any animals I see chained on outside for more that a day or two. the story broke my heart, it's funny, the animal lovers here read it but two people who came to visit and don't like animals wouldn't readi it even after my bringing it to their attn. Guess some people want to bury their head in the sand so they won't see the cruelty all around us.

  • Essie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I agree with Deborah,Bullett's owner should certainly have to pay in some way for the cruelty he or she caused this poor dog.It can't be labelled anything else but CRUELTY.There are fines for cruelty to animals and anyone found guilty should be given full punishment to fit those crimes.Anyone that treats any animal in this way should be totally ashamed of themselves.

  • Jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Shelly Hillier from Marystown, Newfoundland writes: Want to help ???
    Please Go To This Site And Sign The Petition AGAINST TETHERING ANIMALS !!!!

    While this may seem like a great law, it could be bad for responsible dog owners that tether their dogs to go out side to use do their business. When we moved into our new house before we put up a fence my dog was thethered but only for very short periods during the day. Dog lives in the house, sleeps on the bed but did spend periods up to an hour on a tether. The dog was walked a couple times a day but enjoyed being outside too. I have no problems with tethers as long as its not a 24/7 thing and the dog is getting proper care and attention. We need to be very carfull with this law as it could affect responsible dog owners. I think of more importance is a set guidlines on domestic housing. A set standard for kennels, dog houses and the sanitary conditions of these facilities. Have a dog in a run or kennel 24/7 to me is as bad as tether. Dogs do not have to be indoors 24/7 but need proper shelter,care and attention.

  • Bruce55
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    We as a society who treat animals in this way should hang our head in shame, actually I'm confused as to who is the human and who is the animal in this story. For the love of God and your own soul, contact your area politicians and demand that something be done to stop this.

  • Joan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    On Oct. 1st, after 14 years of unconditional love and companionship, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to have our best friend, Mr.Bojangles, put to sleep because of medical conditions that could not be treated. We are filled with grief. Our wonderful dog had the best life we could possibly give him. He really was a part of our family. I stop short of saying that he was almost like a human. He had more love in his little heart than any human I will ever know. The only animal I know that would treat other animals as Bullet was treated is the animal we call MAN . I am so embarrased and ashamed at times to be a part of this human race. To have no voice or choice as to your living conditions or who owns you, reflects back the fact that this innocent animal, this creature of God, was at the mercy of this HUMAN ANIMAL, and I hate to even add the term animal to his name, and HUMAN doesn't describe him either. God says an eye for an eye ....but if we do that, we are as merciless as the SOB that is guilty of this crime. He may not be held to the laws of our land, but he will find out that there is higher laws than ours. He will get his just reward.I am very angry and upset, but mainly heartsick. Bullet is in a much safer and happy place, and I am sure my Mr.Bo was there to greet him with a wagging tail.While I sit here in grief over my lost pet, yet another dog is going into another abuser's hands. It is time to change some laws and realize that abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. If every world leader and politician on this earth had a dog, and it was treated the way that my dog was, there would never be any hatred and wars. Every one of them would be to busy with giving love and care, and receiving the unconditional love of his/her wonderful pet. The whole world would know the kindness of the animal world. GOD spelled backwards is DOG. Good-bye to Bullet and Mr.Bo. The Rainbow Bridge has been crossed.

  • jo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    the name should be mentioned.....so people can treat him as he treated bullet.....hes really not a human being to have done this

  • Cindy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Speak for those who do not have a voice.

    Something has got to be done. This absolutely breaks my heart.

  • Ann
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    This pathetic excuse for a human being doesn't deserve to breath the same air as a dog. He/She should be chained up for the rest of their lives.

    There should be justice for poor Bullet. Their name should be posted so everyone will know what kind of cruel piece of dirt that they are.

    There's nothing more precious than the love of an adorable dog/cat or whatever kind of pet you have. And all they want in return is to be loved and taken care of. It breaks my heart that Bullet went all these years without having that love.

    Rest in piece precious angel. And to the person responsible for this hideous crime, ROT IN HELL .

  • Diane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    It doesn't specify how long during that 9 years that Bullet was actually on that wharf...but the question remains... how could no one have noticed this happening? We, as a society, are just as much to blame for allowing this to continue happening as is the owner for doing it.
    If you suspect abuse or neglect, report it immediately or you are just as much to blame.

  • Leah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    This is absolutely unbelievable.
    Why did it take nine YEARS for anyone
    living in the area to report this deplorable situation? What a sin.
    The poor creature!

  • g-man
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    i dont have a dog and never wish to have a pet.i dont hate animals at all,but i hate when i hear stories like this..it sickens me,and i will sign the petition.this kinda treatment is normal for the people of burin area and marystown.cbc done a report on this last year.dogs chained on,lying in sheets of entrails on ice in the back yard and the little pom sitting in the living room window looking out at the setter with the owner.these people are not human.these people should be exploited to the hilt..great storey,sad ending..good bye to bullet.RIP

  • Kathie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Some people shouldn't have children let alone pets. We-my family- have rescued several of these tethered animals and perhaps thats what needs to be done to be humane.

  • Ann Marie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    What has happened to this dog is truly disgusting. It is hard to imagine that someone could be so cold-hearted, even harder to imagine that a whole community could allow this to go on for 9 years. It appears no one in that community has a backbone. There may be no law against what the owner and the community have done, but morally it is wrong. Lets hope our politicians can do something right for a change and make such actions a crime. The people who knew about the ill treatment of this animal are just as at fault as the owner for not having reported it sooner. Thank God for that one brave soul who did! To quote the Irish politician and author, Edmund Burke, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Good words to live by this truly was an evil deed!

  • 4 legged friends usally
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    You can judge a man's character by his treatment of the least among him.
    If you have to put your dog on a chain - you shouldn't own one. simple as that.

  • Pamela
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The owners name should be posted so everyone knows what a POS he/she is. This is beyond cruel. Not sure if this person had a conscience at all knowing he was killing this animal. What a sad pathetic excuse for a human being. I pray to god a poor innocent animal never ends up in his possession again. I'm an animal lover and I adopted a cat from the spca 2 years ago and the thought that something like this happens on a daily basis makes me want to cry. I wouldn't even want to be friends with someone who would think this treatment is ok or funny. Absolutely sickning.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    First I would like to thank Pam for an excellent column and for telling a story that needed to be told as much as it might bother us to read it.
    Too much of this abuse still happens and will probably only be stopped by publically naming the people involved and passing some new laws to protect domestic animals from humans that seem not to care how they treat them.

  • Linda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I am appalled , You would think you could become numb to this kind of behavior by a human being! Apparently not..for I hear this kind of thing all the time! Too bad we can't take these people and do the same thing with them just so they can feel the same feelings as the poor helpless animals who depend on them! They are not fit to be able to live and breathe! Yes legislation truely needs to be changed to protect these faithful loving creatures worldwide!

  • Cluett
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    No one supports the cruel treatment of a pet and each owner should be held acccountable. If the rules are not in place to ensure this lets work on the rules..

    There are many cases where owners are still charged when there is clear evidence of abuse., there are not charges here.

    In the meantime, apparently the dog was fed daily, sheltered to some extent, and was not physically abused or at least not abused directly by hitting or beating.. matted hair yes, but no mention of chains or collars grown into flesh, no sores or visible cuts or injuries. Yes, it was deprived of the companionship of people , the ability to run free and interact with other dogs. Cruel treatment to be sure, for people and dogs.

    It was treated the way we treat people who commit serious crimes, and I realize that people are thinking creatures and they make a personal choice....we lock them up in small spaces and provide them with the bare necessities.

    Anyway, the rescuers resolved the situation quickly.. it took them 24 hours...this is a recurring story as animals are seized and there are no resources or any committment to reabilitation. The animal was supposedly delivered from its terrible existance by having its life snuffed out.

    You all believe that the right thing was to destroy the animal. You must take the word of the SPCA representatives on that. The dog survived a tough time for 9 years I would suspect that it had enough left in the tank to recover if given better treatment, good food, medicine and affection. Certainly an effort should have been made. Isn't the cure worst than the abuse...?? I wonder what choice the dog would make if it could think and rationalize.....maybe it would prefer its lonely existance, shabby house and steel chain. All it really had was its little life...although some, in fact many, pin their hopes on something else.. I am pinning my hope on only what I have in this life...fool hardy say those who prefer to ignore the laws of nature and believe in fairy tales, myths and superstitions.
    Sometimes our condition is not what we would like it to be...I am thankful that the SPCA only deals with animals. No doubt, there are many situation where animals have to be put down because of their condition; I don't perceive that to be the case here and the main reason to get rid of it seems to be lack of home or lack of financialresources. Come on, give it an effort!!

  • Deborah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    One thought came to mind while reading this tragic story and that is that someone should chain the OWNER on for about 1/10th the time and see if he/she likes it. This is an outrage to all animal lovers everywhere and I agree that the person accountable for such cruelty should be held accountable!

  • Elaine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Bullet's story is certainly heart wrenching. How can the law not hold owners like this accountable? Unfortunately, there's too much of these sorts of things happening and these innocent creatures cannot speak for themselves. We have to be their voice and figiht for them. Whoever Bullet's owner was I hope you never own another animal again and that you carry that same cross someday. God bless Bullet and the others who are neglected and abused.

  • Judy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I hate stories like this. I can't believe it took 9 years for someone to notice. Can't see how the poor dog survived the
    winters. I feel bad to leave my cat alone in the house for a few days. Yes, the people should be charged and yes I did sign the petition.

  • Pam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Actually, my column says Bullet had lived this way for nine years.

  • Shelly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Want to help ???
    Please Go To This Site And Sign The Petition AGAINST TETHERING ANIMALS !!!!

    This petition is in support of the SPCA's
    Start a Chain Reaction Campaign and its proposed changes to municipal and provincial laws. These changes include anti-tethering and humane treatment laws and the regulation/licensing of backyard breeders.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/unchain/petition.html

    Please Sign Your Name TODAY...
    We Couldn't Save Poor Bullet, But There Are MANY MORE Out There Who Are Going Through This Same Disgusting Ordeal !!! They Can't Speak For Themselves, So PLEASE Become Their Voice And REPORT These Terrible Sightings ! We NEED to Get The Word Out To The Public !!!!

  • Wendy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    some people make me sick, when it comes to these poor animals!! would they do this to thier children? it is beyond me why some people bother to get animals if they don't have the sense to care for them properly!! we need to speak on behalf of these animals so they don't have to suffer like this anymore. Please report anything you see or hear when it comes to these poor innocent animals.

  • sicken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    When i read this piece it made me sick and sad, to think that some one so heartless could do this to any dog, where is the compassion that newfie's are famous for, well i guess like every thing else that is gone too.
    this person is nothing more than a heartless animal, and he will meet his maker some day, or at least meet his match, ....
    you never know when he might meet some one who will treat him the same way,
    I hope that the government will pass some law to prevent this in the future, and the owner 's will be made more responsible for their animals.

  • Candy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I just don't understand how a person can be so cruel and STUPID. People like this should be punished. These animals are innocent; they depend on us for love and EVERYTHING. I can't say anymore. It makes my blood boil.

  • LocalResident
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    @Cluett Tayson - I can't comment on this situation because I wasn't involved directly and don't know the facts...but I have seen this kind of situation time and time again. The dogs are medically in good enough shape to make a recovery, but emotionally they can't be rehabilitated. If a dog has had no socialization for that many years its essentially a wild animal. The SPCA can't adopt out a pet with any temperament issues as a safety measure. A dog with these types of issues is very dangerous and even after a lot of working with them, there is no guarantee he will ever be adoptable. From this story I got the impression they were already overwhelmed at the shelter, so I assume this was the only option. It's a terrible choice to make. It's too bad some people in life are so cruel to their animals that other people need to make a tough choice like this.

  • Kaolynn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Chained animals are prisioners not pets. Our laws need changing but it will not happen without public support. Please sign online petition (link posted by Shelly) and write to our provincial government. If we all raise our voices we cannot be ignored and we can change this horrible practice.

  • Erin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Absolutely gut wrenching story. How does this not qualify as animal abuse and the owner not punished?!
    Another form of animal abuse is kennel training taken too far. Many people keep their dogs in kennels inside their homes for far too many hours and this is another issue that needs to be addressed. I would like to see more people installing pet doors.

  • liz/aka/jane
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I intend to report any animals I see chained on outside for more that a day or two. the story broke my heart, it's funny, the animal lovers here read it but two people who came to visit and don't like animals wouldn't readi it even after my bringing it to their attn. Guess some people want to bury their head in the sand so they won't see the cruelty all around us.

  • Essie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I agree with Deborah,Bullett's owner should certainly have to pay in some way for the cruelty he or she caused this poor dog.It can't be labelled anything else but CRUELTY.There are fines for cruelty to animals and anyone found guilty should be given full punishment to fit those crimes.Anyone that treats any animal in this way should be totally ashamed of themselves.

  • Jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Shelly Hillier from Marystown, Newfoundland writes: Want to help ???
    Please Go To This Site And Sign The Petition AGAINST TETHERING ANIMALS !!!!

    While this may seem like a great law, it could be bad for responsible dog owners that tether their dogs to go out side to use do their business. When we moved into our new house before we put up a fence my dog was thethered but only for very short periods during the day. Dog lives in the house, sleeps on the bed but did spend periods up to an hour on a tether. The dog was walked a couple times a day but enjoyed being outside too. I have no problems with tethers as long as its not a 24/7 thing and the dog is getting proper care and attention. We need to be very carfull with this law as it could affect responsible dog owners. I think of more importance is a set guidlines on domestic housing. A set standard for kennels, dog houses and the sanitary conditions of these facilities. Have a dog in a run or kennel 24/7 to me is as bad as tether. Dogs do not have to be indoors 24/7 but need proper shelter,care and attention.

  • Bruce55
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    We as a society who treat animals in this way should hang our head in shame, actually I'm confused as to who is the human and who is the animal in this story. For the love of God and your own soul, contact your area politicians and demand that something be done to stop this.

  • Joan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    On Oct. 1st, after 14 years of unconditional love and companionship, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to have our best friend, Mr.Bojangles, put to sleep because of medical conditions that could not be treated. We are filled with grief. Our wonderful dog had the best life we could possibly give him. He really was a part of our family. I stop short of saying that he was almost like a human. He had more love in his little heart than any human I will ever know. The only animal I know that would treat other animals as Bullet was treated is the animal we call MAN . I am so embarrased and ashamed at times to be a part of this human race. To have no voice or choice as to your living conditions or who owns you, reflects back the fact that this innocent animal, this creature of God, was at the mercy of this HUMAN ANIMAL, and I hate to even add the term animal to his name, and HUMAN doesn't describe him either. God says an eye for an eye ....but if we do that, we are as merciless as the SOB that is guilty of this crime. He may not be held to the laws of our land, but he will find out that there is higher laws than ours. He will get his just reward.I am very angry and upset, but mainly heartsick. Bullet is in a much safer and happy place, and I am sure my Mr.Bo was there to greet him with a wagging tail.While I sit here in grief over my lost pet, yet another dog is going into another abuser's hands. It is time to change some laws and realize that abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. If every world leader and politician on this earth had a dog, and it was treated the way that my dog was, there would never be any hatred and wars. Every one of them would be to busy with giving love and care, and receiving the unconditional love of his/her wonderful pet. The whole world would know the kindness of the animal world. GOD spelled backwards is DOG. Good-bye to Bullet and Mr.Bo. The Rainbow Bridge has been crossed.

  • jo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    the name should be mentioned.....so people can treat him as he treated bullet.....hes really not a human being to have done this

  • Cindy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Speak for those who do not have a voice.

    Something has got to be done. This absolutely breaks my heart.

  • Ann
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    This pathetic excuse for a human being doesn't deserve to breath the same air as a dog. He/She should be chained up for the rest of their lives.

    There should be justice for poor Bullet. Their name should be posted so everyone will know what kind of cruel piece of dirt that they are.

    There's nothing more precious than the love of an adorable dog/cat or whatever kind of pet you have. And all they want in return is to be loved and taken care of. It breaks my heart that Bullet went all these years without having that love.

    Rest in piece precious angel. And to the person responsible for this hideous crime, ROT IN HELL .

  • Diane
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    It doesn't specify how long during that 9 years that Bullet was actually on that wharf...but the question remains... how could no one have noticed this happening? We, as a society, are just as much to blame for allowing this to continue happening as is the owner for doing it.
    If you suspect abuse or neglect, report it immediately or you are just as much to blame.

  • Leah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    This is absolutely unbelievable.
    Why did it take nine YEARS for anyone
    living in the area to report this deplorable situation? What a sin.
    The poor creature!

  • g-man
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    i dont have a dog and never wish to have a pet.i dont hate animals at all,but i hate when i hear stories like this..it sickens me,and i will sign the petition.this kinda treatment is normal for the people of burin area and marystown.cbc done a report on this last year.dogs chained on,lying in sheets of entrails on ice in the back yard and the little pom sitting in the living room window looking out at the setter with the owner.these people are not human.these people should be exploited to the hilt..great storey,sad ending..good bye to bullet.RIP

  • Kathie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Some people shouldn't have children let alone pets. We-my family- have rescued several of these tethered animals and perhaps thats what needs to be done to be humane.

  • Ann Marie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    What has happened to this dog is truly disgusting. It is hard to imagine that someone could be so cold-hearted, even harder to imagine that a whole community could allow this to go on for 9 years. It appears no one in that community has a backbone. There may be no law against what the owner and the community have done, but morally it is wrong. Lets hope our politicians can do something right for a change and make such actions a crime. The people who knew about the ill treatment of this animal are just as at fault as the owner for not having reported it sooner. Thank God for that one brave soul who did! To quote the Irish politician and author, Edmund Burke, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Good words to live by this truly was an evil deed!

  • 4 legged friends usally
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    You can judge a man's character by his treatment of the least among him.
    If you have to put your dog on a chain - you shouldn't own one. simple as that.

  • Pamela
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    The owners name should be posted so everyone knows what a POS he/she is. This is beyond cruel. Not sure if this person had a conscience at all knowing he was killing this animal. What a sad pathetic excuse for a human being. I pray to god a poor innocent animal never ends up in his possession again. I'm an animal lover and I adopted a cat from the spca 2 years ago and the thought that something like this happens on a daily basis makes me want to cry. I wouldn't even want to be friends with someone who would think this treatment is ok or funny. Absolutely sickning.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    First I would like to thank Pam for an excellent column and for telling a story that needed to be told as much as it might bother us to read it.
    Too much of this abuse still happens and will probably only be stopped by publically naming the people involved and passing some new laws to protect domestic animals from humans that seem not to care how they treat them.

  • Linda
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I am appalled , You would think you could become numb to this kind of behavior by a human being! Apparently not..for I hear this kind of thing all the time! Too bad we can't take these people and do the same thing with them just so they can feel the same feelings as the poor helpless animals who depend on them! They are not fit to be able to live and breathe! Yes legislation truely needs to be changed to protect these faithful loving creatures worldwide!

  • Cluett
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    No one supports the cruel treatment of a pet and each owner should be held acccountable. If the rules are not in place to ensure this lets work on the rules..

    There are many cases where owners are still charged when there is clear evidence of abuse., there are not charges here.

    In the meantime, apparently the dog was fed daily, sheltered to some extent, and was not physically abused or at least not abused directly by hitting or beating.. matted hair yes, but no mention of chains or collars grown into flesh, no sores or visible cuts or injuries. Yes, it was deprived of the companionship of people , the ability to run free and interact with other dogs. Cruel treatment to be sure, for people and dogs.

    It was treated the way we treat people who commit serious crimes, and I realize that people are thinking creatures and they make a personal choice....we lock them up in small spaces and provide them with the bare necessities.

    Anyway, the rescuers resolved the situation quickly.. it took them 24 hours...this is a recurring story as animals are seized and there are no resources or any committment to reabilitation. The animal was supposedly delivered from its terrible existance by having its life snuffed out.

    You all believe that the right thing was to destroy the animal. You must take the word of the SPCA representatives on that. The dog survived a tough time for 9 years I would suspect that it had enough left in the tank to recover if given better treatment, good food, medicine and affection. Certainly an effort should have been made. Isn't the cure worst than the abuse...?? I wonder what choice the dog would make if it could think and rationalize.....maybe it would prefer its lonely existance, shabby house and steel chain. All it really had was its little life...although some, in fact many, pin their hopes on something else.. I am pinning my hope on only what I have in this life...fool hardy say those who prefer to ignore the laws of nature and believe in fairy tales, myths and superstitions.
    Sometimes our condition is not what we would like it to be...I am thankful that the SPCA only deals with animals. No doubt, there are many situation where animals have to be put down because of their condition; I don't perceive that to be the case here and the main reason to get rid of it seems to be lack of home or lack of financialresources. Come on, give it an effort!!

  • Deborah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    One thought came to mind while reading this tragic story and that is that someone should chain the OWNER on for about 1/10th the time and see if he/she likes it. This is an outrage to all animal lovers everywhere and I agree that the person accountable for such cruelty should be held accountable!

  • Elaine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Bullet's story is certainly heart wrenching. How can the law not hold owners like this accountable? Unfortunately, there's too much of these sorts of things happening and these innocent creatures cannot speak for themselves. We have to be their voice and figiht for them. Whoever Bullet's owner was I hope you never own another animal again and that you carry that same cross someday. God bless Bullet and the others who are neglected and abused.

  • Judy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I hate stories like this. I can't believe it took 9 years for someone to notice. Can't see how the poor dog survived the
    winters. I feel bad to leave my cat alone in the house for a few days. Yes, the people should be charged and yes I did sign the petition.

  • Pam
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Actually, my column says Bullet had lived this way for nine years.

  • Shelly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Want to help ???
    Please Go To This Site And Sign The Petition AGAINST TETHERING ANIMALS !!!!

    This petition is in support of the SPCA's
    Start a Chain Reaction Campaign and its proposed changes to municipal and provincial laws. These changes include anti-tethering and humane treatment laws and the regulation/licensing of backyard breeders.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/unchain/petition.html

    Please Sign Your Name TODAY...
    We Couldn't Save Poor Bullet, But There Are MANY MORE Out There Who Are Going Through This Same Disgusting Ordeal !!! They Can't Speak For Themselves, So PLEASE Become Their Voice And REPORT These Terrible Sightings ! We NEED to Get The Word Out To The Public !!!!

  • Wendy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    some people make me sick, when it comes to these poor animals!! would they do this to thier children? it is beyond me why some people bother to get animals if they don't have the sense to care for them properly!! we need to speak on behalf of these animals so they don't have to suffer like this anymore. Please report anything you see or hear when it comes to these poor innocent animals.

  • sicken
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    When i read this piece it made me sick and sad, to think that some one so heartless could do this to any dog, where is the compassion that newfie's are famous for, well i guess like every thing else that is gone too.
    this person is nothing more than a heartless animal, and he will meet his maker some day, or at least meet his match, ....
    you never know when he might meet some one who will treat him the same way,
    I hope that the government will pass some law to prevent this in the future, and the owner 's will be made more responsible for their animals.

  • Candy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I just don't understand how a person can be so cruel and STUPID. People like this should be punished. These animals are innocent; they depend on us for love and EVERYTHING. I can't say anymore. It makes my blood boil.