VANCOUVER, November 24/06 – “No one would allow dogs to be shot in the financial district of any major city in Canada, so why should it be acceptable on native reserves,” says HSC Executive Director, Michael O’Sullivan, responding to recent news reports that sanction “dog shoot” days when any dog found running loose is killed or wounded with gunfire.

“Any trigger happy moron can pick up a gun and blow away an animal. Victimizing ourselves and others is easy. Instead it takes brains, patience, understanding, kindness and money to do the right thing. But that’s hard work, and the reason why so many people seem willing to take the easy way out,” said O’Sullivan.

Humane solutions can only be accomplished through a carefully structured program of responsible ownership, education, spaying and neutering, money, stiff fines and penalties. ‘Saving Lives: The Humane Society of Canada’s Action Plan to Prevent Dog Bites’ can be found here or by calling toll free 1-800-641-KIND.

“Some have also suggested that because of social and economic conditions on native reserves that these are legal and moral excuses for such activities. Regrettably, in our opinion, we are deeply concerned that such racial overtones mean that we should simply accept that native people living on reserves should not be expected to take better care of their animals -- and further that native people and their animals deserve less consideration and legal protection than people and their animals living elsewhere in Canada. This is simply wrong,” he said.

Over the past 35 years, the animal charity’s staff has worked across Canada and in many developing nations under harsh conditions and believes these are not an excuse for cruelty to animals.

“The Humane Society of Canada is willing to offer whatever support we can to bring a humane and effective solution to the problems facing people and animals. Rather than yelling ‘lock and load’, we need more government action for public safety initiatives that save the lives of people and animals,” said O’Sullivan.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.

BACKGROUND

Under the Criminal Code of Canada if the court finds there is evidence both sufficient and admissible and finds a person guilty, then counselling to commit, conspiracy, attempts and the commission of cruelty to animals is a summary conviction matter that carries with it a $2,000 fine and/or six months in prison for each offence. Further a person convicted receives a criminal record and can be prohibited from owning or working with animals or birds for up to two years. There are additional sanctions, such as firearms prohibitions which can also be considered by the court.

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