Kathy Dreilich holds signs against animal abuse in front of the Duncan court house on Nov. 18 as Anderson Joe was sentenced in the case of Teddy the dog. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Kathy Dreilich holds signs against animal abuse in front of the Duncan court house on Nov. 18 as Anderson Joe was sentenced in the case of Teddy the dog. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Anderson Joe will receive a suspended sentence in the death of Teddy the dog.

Joe had pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal on March 18 and was in the Duncan court house on Vancouver Island on Nov. 18 to receive his sentence from Judge Mayland McKimm.

Joe will be on probation for three months in which McKimm instructed that he must keep the peace and be on good behaviour during that time.

He also received a lifetime ban on owning any type of animal or living in a home where animals reside.

RELATED STORY: TEDDY THE DOG CRUELTY TRIAL TO RESUME BY END OF MONTH

Defence lawyer Michael Ritzker asked that Joe be given a conditional discharge to prevent him from receiving a criminal record for the first time, but while McKimm acknowledged that Joe has had a hard life and has cognitive disabilities, he has the responsibility to send a strong message to society that mistreating animals is not acceptable.

“I have to take a strong public position on animal abuse,” McKimm said in front of a packed courtroom.

“Many cases call out for jail sentences, but this is not one of them. Mr. Joe can apply for a pardon at the end of his three month probation and that is a three-year process.”

Joe could have faced a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine on top of the lifetime ban on owning animals.

Meanwhile, Melissa Tooshley, who had pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case earlier in the trial, has withdrawn her guilty plea and is scheduled to be in the Duncan court house on Nov. 21.

RELATED STORY: TEDDY THE DOG TRIAL BEGINS IN DUNCAN

In one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse the BC SPCA has ever witnessed, special constables seized Teddy in critical distress at the end of short leash from Anderson’s property on Feb. 16, 2018.

Teddy was severely emaciated and was on a tether only a few inches long, standing in a pile of mud and feces when he was seized. Teddy’s collar was so deeply embedded into his neck that his head had swollen to two or three times its normal size, and there was a severe infection in his neck. The wound from the collar exposed the dog’s trachea and jugular vein.

Despite extensive emergency treatment and around-the-clock care, the dog succumbed to his critical condition two days later, the SPCA reported.

The story went province wide, and demonstrators holding signs against animal abuse have been common at each of Joe’s court appearances.

Prosecutor John Blackman laid out the Crown’s case on Monday, and acknowledged that Joe has severe cognitive disabilities and intellectual deficits.

Blackman also said Joe has a long history of unemployment, had suffered physical and sexual abuse as a boy in residential schools and was the victim of racism in public schools.

He also abused alcohol and drugs as a young man, but has been clean and sober for many years after joining the Shaker Church.

“We don’t believe there was any intent by Joe to harm the dog,” he said.

“This offence is extremely serious, but because of Joe’s intellectual impairments, we question how culpable he was. At the age of 63, Joe has no criminal record, spends much of his life assisting at his church or longhouse, and the rest at home with his family. What’s required is for him to be prohibited from owning another animal for life. We recommend a suspended sentence.”

RELATED STORY: PROTESTERS GATHER AS DATE SET FOR DOG ABUSE TRIAL

In his efforts to convince McKimm that Joe should receive a conditional discharge, Ritzker reiterated many of the points made by Blackman, pointing out that the psychology reports on Joe indicate that his intellectual functions are less than 99 per cent of the population.

“Teddy’s life was like a house of horrors, but this man’s life has also been a house of horrors at times,” he said.

“Dogs got more consideration than little indigenous kids in those times [of the residential schools].”

Ritzker said Teddy was given to Joe just weeks before his death.

He said Joe was heading to a longhouse for spiritual healing for many days and left the care of Teddy to other people in his community before he left.

Ritzker said Joe tried unsuccessfully to get help for Teddy upon his return, finding the dog in a bad condition.

“There might have been other things that he could have done, but he couldn’t think of them,” he said.

“There was no malice of callousness on Joe’s behalf. Rather, his lack of action was the result of his cognitive deficiencies and his lack of ability to understand the consequences. The dog was foisted upon him so there’s more blame to go around here.”

Some of the spectators in the courtroom began to get restless when they realized that Joe’s sentence was not to be nearly as severe as they had hoped.

One woman stormed out the door and loudly yelled that “it’s worse than bad here”.

After the sentencing, many stood outside the court house discussing the case.

Rena Van Steele said that she was “very upset”.

“I had not expected to see Joe’s mental capacity so bad,” she said.

“The first question I have is why did no one else go to that home while Teddy was suffering outside? Where were the neighbours? I want to hate Joe and all animal abusers but I can’t hate him now. I feel that we let Teddy down.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Society, with the “first of its kind” Adult Residential Substance Use and Supportive Recovery Facility Homelessness Count. It was done around the time of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (March 3 to 4, 2020) to complement the count. (Photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey homeless, recovery counts show need for long-term solutions

This was the first time recovery, substance use facilities were included in the count

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read