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Corner Brook rally organizer couldn’t stand back as animals are abused and neglected

Angela Street holds her cat, Kyou, during a rally in Corner Brook Wednesday, calling for justice in the recent death of a cat in Port aux Basques and for changes in animal cruelty laws.
Angela Street holds her cat, Kyou, during a rally in Corner Brook Wednesday, calling for justice in the recent death of a cat in Port aux Basques and for changes in animal cruelty laws. - Diane Crocker

Angela Street has had her cat, Kyou, for 14 years. In that time, she’s moved apartments and provinces, and Kyou has made the moves with her.

“Every time I made sure that my animals could come with me.” 

On Wednesday afternoon, she brought him with her to a rally calling for changes to animal cruelty laws in Corner Brook.

Organizer Kat Smith speaks to the group of about 50 people who attended the rally in Corner Brook Wednesday.
Organizer Kat Smith speaks to the group of about 50 people who attended the rally in Corner Brook Wednesday.

Organized by Kat Smith, the rally was held in response to the violent killing of a cat, Mittens, in Port aux Basques in September.

The two people — Jody Anderson and Peter Rossiter — charged in connection with Mitten’s death were to appear in provincial court in Port aux Basques on Wednesday. Anderson’s appearance was set for the same time as the rally.

“Mittens was an elderly cat,” Street started to say outside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment where a group of about 50 people, some who brought their pets, gathered after walking from the Corner Brook Civic Centre.

She paused as Kyou began to meow loudly.

“I hate the idea that anybody would hurt an animal and in such a brutal way. “Why wouldn’t you just give it to someone else. It’s heartbreaking and it’s senseless."

Smith grew up with a love of animals and was taught to protect them.

“I’m just after seeing so much abuse, and neglect and cruelty grow in this province in the last year,” she said. “And then to hear about this cruel murder of Mittens, it just sent it over the top.”

So, the young animal activist, who rescues lost, abandoned and stray animals and helps out rescues in the area, felt she had to do something.

“There was just no way that I could stand back and not try to have something done in this situation.”

She wanted to be there to show support for the people involved in the In Memory of Shadow rescue group in Port aux Basques.

Participants in the rally make their way across Mount Bernard Avenue to the RCMP detachment in Corner Brook on Wednesday.
Participants in the rally make their way across Mount Bernard Avenue to the RCMP detachment in Corner Brook on Wednesday.
Smith and those gathered want to see Anderson and Rossiter, if convicted, punished to the full extent of the law. They also want changes to make those laws stronger and will be forming a committee to push those changes.

“We need bills put into place and laws that will better protect animal rights. They’re still looked as no more than human property here in Canada and they need to be looked at as sentimental beings with feelings.

“They’re lives, they’re innocent and they deserve to be treated with respect.” 

The Western Star had not yet been able to find out what happened during the court appearances, as of the time of publication.  

The court process could be a long one and Smith said she’ll keep up the fight.

“Because justice does need to be served, and it’s not only on the matter of Mittens. It’s the matter of our county, our province. There’s so many animals being abused and neglected. I will keep up fighting for their rights and their protection.”

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