Animal rescue says dog back in care after charges related


WARNING: This story contains details of animal abuse.

An animal rescue organization says a foster dog who police believe was abused by a Calgary man is back in its care. 

In a statement sent Saturday, police said a 40-year-old man is facing charges in relation to animal abuse after an investigation into an incident in the Inglewood neighbourhood. 

The incident involved a dog from the Alberta-based Animal Rescue Foundation, police said.

On its Facebook page, ARF said they became aware of an online post that showed a man with a dog who had its mouth tied shut and other details of abuse. 

The organization identified her as an ARF dog named Amber who was recently placed at a new foster home. 

“Amber’s wellbeing is our top priority. She has been evaluated by our team and we will continue to monitor her closely,” the statement read. 

ARF said it has zero tolerance for any mistreatment of animals and its foster screening process is designed to filter out — to the best of the organization’s ability — individuals who do not align with its values. 

“Due to the ongoing nature, we are unable to comment further until CPS and [Calgary Humane Society] have completed their investigation of this incident,” the organization said.

According to police, officers received reports that a man was abusing a dog while walking in southeast Calgary last week.

Police say a witness confronted the man about his behaviour and the suspect is believed to have threatened the witness. 

Police said they notified Calgary Community Standards and the Calgary Humane Society of the incident. Following a tip from the public they identified a man believed to be responsible for the earlier incident. 

Amber was taken to a designated forensic veterinarian for examination which found injuries on the dog believed to be consistent with abuse. 

As a result, police say, a man has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to animals, injuring or endangering animals, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and assault with a weapon. 

A second dog was seized from the man’s care and will remain with the Calgary Humane Society, police said.

Brad Nichols, director of operations and enforcement at the Calgary Humane Society, said the second dog was the man’s personal pet, not a foster, but added that he wouldn’t comment further on that dog’s condition. 

Nichols said cases like these are uncommon, and he’s seen less than a handful of foster animal abuse cases in his career. 

“It’s not something you can 100 per cent avoid, but you can certainly take measures to mitigate,” he said.

Further charges could be laid in relation to the incident, police said in their statement.

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