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Dead dog dumped in creek

May 31st,2024 | News

Chantal Gunville was walking her dogs near Lac-des-Loups when she came across this crate in a ravine. Inside she found a dog that police suspect had been dead for days. Photo: courtesy Anitek

Warning: this story contains graphic details. 

Chantal Gunville was out for a walk with her dogs on May 11 when she came across something that no animal lover ever wants to find. In a creek near Lac-des-Loups, where she regularly takes her dogs to bathe, Gunville spotted a large crate with a dead dog inside. 

“I was speechless – I couldn’t believe it. I was very shocked by what I saw and sad for the animal that lost its life because it had such an [owner],” Gunville told the Low Down. The dog, she explained, was covered in insects and “smelled like death.” 

Unsure of what to do, Gunville posted about the dog on social media, and eventually the MRC des Collines Police came to investigate. Later, the police reported that the dog was young and brown in colour. It was then taken to Anitek, the local dog service company that cares for stray dogs found in La Pêche. 

According to Claude Lachaine, the owner of Anitek, the dog appeared to have been dead for some time before Gunville’s gruesome discovery. He added that the animal – which he believed was a pitbull – had been wrapped in blankets and placed in the crate presumably after it had already died. The dog wasn’t wearing tags and didn’t have a microchip, Lachaine confirmed. Eventually, Lachaine said its remains were transported to a local vet and cremated. 

This kind of incident is fortunately rare, Lachaine told the Low Down, but it isn’t the only instance of an animal being mistreated that’s been reported in the region in recent weeks.

In late April, Wakefielder Dylan Rollo discovered a crate with an abandoned cat inside while driving along Burnside Drive on his way to work. Unable to use the local SPCA, since La Pêche does not have a contract with the animal service provider, Rollo rescued the cat himself and managed to find it a loving home with one of his friends. 

In a similar incident on May 2, MRC des Collines Police shared on X that a resident in Chelsea had discovered a cat inside a dumpster on Old Chelsea Road. According to police, the resident observed a driver backing up a white SUV near the dumpster at 1:25 p.m., and saw a man toss a “strangely shaped bag” in the bin. When the resident went to check what was in the dumpster, they discovered the bag was moving.

Inside was a one-year-old black cat that was still alive. After a visit to a veterinarian, the cat was adopted by one of the individuals who discovered it. 

What’s in the law

According to the website Criminal Code Help, in Canada you can be charged with animal cruelty if you allow an animal under your care to suffer pain or injury, if you participate in animal fighting, or if you administer poisonous substances to a domestic animal. 

In Quebec, according to SPCA Montreal, anyone who violates provincial regulation on the safety and welfare of cats and dogs can face fines ranging from $1,000 to $62,500. If found guilty of subsequent offences, an individual could be sentenced to up to 18 months’ imprisonment.

In the case of the dead dog that Gunville found near Lac-des-Loups, executive director of SPCA de L’Outaouais Maxime Daigle said municipal bylaws often dictate how pet owners can legally dispose of a dead pet’s remains (unsurprisingly, leaving a dog in a ravine is not allowed). 

Usually it is illegal to bury an animal on your property, Daigle explained, although he added that rural property owners often do so anyway. When it comes to pets, Daigle said, “two options are offered: individual [cremation], in which case you get the ashes back in an urn – a very nice product for people to remember their animals; [or] communal [cremation], in which case you leave the animal and don’t get the ashes back.”

In the case of stray animals, animal control will pick up dead animals at no cost, Daigle explained.

The Low Down contacted the MRC des Collines Police to inquire about the prevalence of animal neglect or cruelty in the Hills, but no one was available to comment before publication deadline.  

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