Roaming dog comes home with duct-tape message

Owner calls it an act of animal cruelty

Derek Montague editor@thelabradorian.ca
Published on April 30, 2014
Nanook, a seven-year-old part-husky, broke off his leash recently. When the dog came back home, there was a message stuck to his fur.  — Submitted photo

Kayla Everard of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is looking for whoever is responsible for an act of animal cruelty against her dog.
Sometime during the morning of April 21, Everard’s seven-year-old part-husky, Nanook, broke off his leash and went roaming in Spruce Park.

When Nanook came back home, Everard was shocked to see a piece of duct tape stuck to the dog’s back. On the tape was a message telling the owners to keep their dog under control.

“I went to work yesterday morning and he had slipped out. He had a harness on when he left,” recalled Everard. “When he came back, he didn’t have the harness. He had a piece of duct tape taped to his back. The tape said, ‘Tie your dog on. I hope he’s fixed.’

“I was upset because I had to figure out how I was going to get it off without pulling the fur off. Luckily I didn’t get too much (fur).”

When Everard began taking the tape off Nanook, she noticed the dog was in discomfort. Luckily, she was able to take the tape off her dog without any lasting damage done.

“He tried to get away from me. It was causing him some pain, but I did it as slow as I could so I wouldn’t remove a lot of fur,” said Everard.

Everard admitted that Nanook often breaks free from his leash when he’s tied on. She said she and her husband have gone through four harnesses in 18 months. But Everard believes that’s no excuse for what was done to her beloved pet.

“For one thing, it’s animal cruelty. There’s no reason why there should have been anything taped to him,” said Everard.

“He’s very passive. I’m actually surprised that someone got the tape on him. I’m thinking it had to have been a female, because he’s very timid around males.”

The same day the incident occurred, Everard posted information about it on the Happy Valley-Goose Bay flea market page on Facebook. She was hoping to get information on who taped her dog. Instead, she said many of the Facebook comments blamed her for not having Nanook tied on.

“My post was deleted (by a flea market administrator) after I got some comments … saying I should keep my dog tied on, and things like that,” said Everard. “I definitely felt that I was being blamed for him getting out ... so I had felt like I had done something wrong.”

Everard is offering a reward to anyone with information about the incident.

The Happy Valley-Goose Bay SPCA is asking people to take responsible measures when dealing with loose dogs.

“Yes, people do get annoyed if there’s a roaming dog on their property or whatever. Sometimes, despite someone’s best efforts, sometimes they will get off their chain or break their chain,” said local SPCA public relations director Bonnie Learning.

“But, having said that, whoever did that act, there’s other options they could have taken. All they had to do was … call the owners and tell them to keep their animal tied on, instead of putting a piece of duct tape with a note on the dog. Or, they could have called the town to pick the dog up. If it’s roaming, that’s the town’s responsibility.”

Even though Learning has never seen an incident like this before, she believes the person responsible could be charged.

“If it was ever found out who did that, they could definitely be charged under the Animal Protection Act, no doubt,” said Learning.

“We have had several varying abuse cases come through our door in the past 13 years. But this is the first we’ve heard of this one before.”

The Labradorian