03/19/2014 12:33 EDT | Updated 05/19/2014 05:59 EDT

If You Don't Want Your Dog, Don't Abuse It - Give It To a Shelter

Back in October 2013, some wannabe suburban tough-guy decided to beat his dog within an inch of its life with a shovel and left it in a dumpster to die until some incredibly brave citizens put an end to it (along with that kid's chances of ever appearing on stage with Eminem) and rushed in to save the animal's life. Breezy , the dog who made national headlines and earned the adoration and support of the Ottawa community, has since made almost a complete recovery and has been adopted. Skittles (the offender's rap name I have just given him) is currently awaiting his day in court. I can also assure Skittles that if he does end up in prison, he will probably want to keep that shovel on standby.

When the Breezy incident was first reported, I was shocked that such an incident could happen in the middle of the day, in a city like Ottawa. But just this week another savage story has been brought to light, this time allegedly involving a man, an eight foot rope, his pick-up truck (quelle surprise!), and his dog being dragged behind it for 1 KILOMETRE!!! The dog in that story has also recovered, thankfully, from its injuries and will be kept by the Ottawa Humane Society.

I bring this these stories up for 3 reasons:

First, because people hardly ever write about animals. When they do, articles tend to focus on endangered species or abuse that occurs far from home. Both of the above incidents are examples of the inconvenient truth that occurs in our neighbourhoods. Drawing attention to these sorts of incidents, I think, will go a long way in shaming offenders and people contemplating similar behaviour. This sort of behaviour should not and cannot occur in a society like ours.

Second, I truly believe that the Ottawa Humane Society deserves special recognition. We have a tremendous SPCA in Ottawa. My wife and I adopted two dogs from the OHS in October, and we had not yet been to their new facilities. Within seconds of walking around, you realize how much care and resources go into looking after each animal in the shelter. Without a doubt, if it weren't for the OHS, the dogs in the above incidents would surely have faced different outcomes. Though it is not always top of mind when people are considering charitable contributions, I can only advocate for my personal attachment to their mission and can attest that they are obviously putting donations to good use. Consider the OHS, or your local SPCA, the next time you are contemplating charitable donations, or when you are looking for a pet for that matter. I know that the OHS also accepts certain foods for animals, so whenever you are buying your pet food, toys or any other animal products, consider doubling up and dropping it off.

Lastly, is more so a plea. I plead with all the individuals who are thinking about getting a dog, or already have a dog, to consider that there are very few animals that display the type of loyalty of our canine friends. One of my dogs still waits for me at the front door until I get home. While I cannot understand why an individual would want to harm any animal in the way described above, I also do not think that is a question open for debate. There are numerous shelters and rescue organizations out there who would gladly offer to take your animal on an anonymous basis. And unless you are contemplating entering into the Westminster Dog Show, and I would otherwise hate to sound like Bob Barker here, but do your part and spay or neuter your pet; you would not imagine how beneficial that decision is to the system and how that decision could potentially spare some animal's life down the road.

For the alleged offenders in question, the irony in all of this is that they only protectors you would have in this would be the dogs that you allegedly decided to abuse. Think of that next time you reach for your shovel/key to your truck instead of the phone.


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