Have you seen this dog?

This is Chica, she is an adult female Boxer.  And on Wednesday, August 17th, she was stolen from her home in Coquitlam by two uniformed women posing as “Animal Welfare Officers.”  They told her owner that there had been “complaints of mistreatment to the dog” made and that they were taking the dog to a veterinarian to confirm or rule out the alleged abuse.  Unfortunately, the owner was not aware of her rights, and was unaware of what organizations in British Columbia have the power to seize a dog under the PCA act (it’s BCSPCA Constables only, and they need to have a warrant when they do:)

“The BC SPCA is not empowered to go in and remove animals from private property without a search warrant unless those animals are in ‘critical’ distress, which means they would not survive without immediate medical intervention.”

These two fake “welfare officers” loaded her dog into their vehicle and left, and have not been seen since.

This kind of thing really PISSES ME OFF, for all kinds of reasons.  It pisses me off that people take things that don’t belong to them.  It pisses me off that dog owners don’t know the laws about their rights and responsibilities as dog owners.  It pisses me off that thieves dress up like animal control officers, thus making my coworkers’ jobs that much more difficult.  And it really pisses me off that these two thieves, whoever they are, are most likely stealing dogs like Chica under the guise of “rescue” – because that makes the rest of us who rescue legitimately look really bad.

I don’t know Chica’s owner – we went to highschool together but we are not currently “friends” outside of Facebook (highschool was a really long time ago.  The Food Lady is as old as the freakin’ hills).  I don’t know her and I don’t know how Chica was housed or treated in her home.  I have never met Chica.  But her owner emailed me because she knows I am involved with rescue, and wondered if I had any lines on where her dog might be being “fostered.”  Well I surely don’t, and nobody I know and/or respect in rescue does either.

This is Kate.

“Kate is 17 years old and was stolen from a house in Tsawwassen this week.  The two women who stole her dressed up in uniform and dragged her away from the only home she has ever known. She is an outdoor dog (by her choice) and is very much loved. She has medical issues and needs to be returned ASAP.”

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF CHICA OR KATE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL RCMP DETACHMENT, YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER OR SPCA SHELTER.

And keep your dogs indoors people … if you don’t, your dog could be next :(

This is Dexter:

Nobody has stolen Dexter because that would be just plain foolish of them.  After a day or so of living with the Non Stop Machine they would probably just give him right back.

One thing I really miss, living out here in the stix, is water.  I spent more than a decade of my dog owning life living at the edge of the ocean, and swimming was a regular part of our exercise routine (and by “our” I of course mean “the dogs” because there is no way in hell you will see me in a bathing suit!).  It’s bloody hard to find good swimming out here – our secret beach spot is just a half hour or so away, but it’s more of a splashing scenario than a swimming one, since the tide is either way way out, or it’s so in there is no beach to go to.  The few places for swimming I do know around here tend to be quite popular, and TWooie throws a wrench in that, being that he’s a dick.  I just want to go somewhere quiet and let the dogs swim off some energy, without running inTWooference all the time.

So Joe told us about Latimer Pond, which is just 20 minutes or so away from us, and allegedly quite empty on a weekday.  He was right!

We saw almost nobody for two blissful hours, and other than stopping the WooTWoo from taking off after some fine animal smells into the forest, we did nothing but dive, swim and fetch!

The doggies were absolutely delighted!  Except maybe for Piper.  I wonder why?

Oh Mad Teeth™, how we have missed you!

This tableau continued for some time, until Wootie tired of the game and sprang away to find something more interesting to do.

But payback was waiting for him, in the form of another little bitch.

What the hell is THAT?

Captain Sproing! visits retribution on behalf of her sister Piper!

Eventually he escaped back into the water …

…where Spring dogs fear to tread.

What the hell?  I can’t walk on this!

After some thoughtful consideration, he chose a new victim to torment, and stole Dexter’s beloved Dumbball and held it hostage.

Why do you let me him behave like this, Food Lady?

Yeah, why DO you let him behave like that?

Sorry boys and girls – can’t no man (or woman) tame the Woo!

(*insert orchestral freedomy-sounding music here*)

Lather, rinse repeat.  Some more molesting of poor Piper:

some entertaining shaking dog faces

(complete with creepy human looking teeth)

lost more action-packed repetitions of Dumbball:

while Spring did sentry-duty

and two hours later we finally made our way home, where everyone promptly crashed on various dog beds.  Everyone except Dexter, who asked to go out and do somethinganythingpleasegodlet’sdosomething!

Energy: he haz some.

Silly Dexter.  He is very difficult to thoroughly exhaust.  We did pretty good in class last night, since we are working really hard on his contacts to try and eliminate the creeping down to the 2o2o position.  We worked him so hard that by the end of class he basically dragged himself to the truck with his front legs, stuffed himself in a crate, and passed out.  I have to find where he’s hiding the recharger though, because by this morning he was once again bouncing off the walls.

Maybe I’ll tire him out tomorrow, as he’s running in another agility trial.  Actually, he’s only doing a Steeplechase – it’s Tweed’s day, and he’s doing some Standard runs.  In exchange, I’m scribing for the trial and taking some photos.  I do so love the barter system!

You should come out and see my little giraffe do his thang – the trial is at Highrun in Pitt Meadows.

But watch out … for you never know where the Woo may be hiding.

Comments

  1. The concept that people go out of their way to steal some’s pets is horrifying. Theres a reason why my pup only goes out with a family member!

  2. Was the Twoo on your excursion? Why no photos?! :)

  3. Emma Berman says:

    FL, I hope this comment won’t piss you off because it’s not intended to but it’s just that the beginning of your post about the two missing pups raised an issue for me that I’ve been trying to deal with all day and I’m not above hijacking your post to talk about it. First, I just want to say that I agree with everything you said (and for all the reasons you said) about the wrongness of stealing someone else’s pet, and especially the fact that the two women who did so impersonated animal control officers to do so. Second, that being said, what do you do if stealing the pet is the only way to legitimately rescue it because all other attempts through legitimate channels have failed?

    The reason I ask this is because I’m struggling with what to do about a dog I met this morning. You see, I’m a foster parent for my local humane society and right now I have a 6 month old Chow puppy who was spayed about a week ago (and was about a week-and-a-half into her first heat when the spay occurred). Up until this morning, I’ve never had an issue with male dogs following us on our walks, but today I had a Lhasa Apso approach us off leash and unaccompanied, on a moderately busy residential street, clearly interested in the smells my girl was giving off. The Lhasa didn’t appear to be hurt or injured in any way, had a good coat, was probably a little overweight but otherwise didn’t appear to be neglected at all. He was friendly (or distracted) enough to allow me to do a collar grab to see his tags and let me pick him up and carry him to his owner’s apartment complex (located directly across the street from where he found us) without any stress/struggle (I didn’t have a spare leash on me and there was no way I was going to let my pup off leash to clip a leash onto him). So, to all outwards appearances, here’s a dog that appears to be well taken care of and not neglected at all.

    And then I met his owner. The first warning bell for me was the fact that when I called her to tell her I found her dog, she sounded annoyed, not relieved — but that may have been because she had a thick accent and I couldn’t really understand her. The second warning bell was that she came out to meet us without a leash. So now we have a dog that doesn’t appear to be abused/neglected from outward appearances, but does have, at the very least, a very neglectful owner.

    The thing that convinced me that this was an abused dog, however, was the fact that I actually saw her abuse him. See, he kept wanting to leave his owner and follow me and my dog. And when he did so, she’d reach down and try to grab at his tail — as opposed to, say, his collar or just picking him up. She did, in fact, grab hold of his tail and pulled him backwards with it with enough force that his back feet left the ground. And when he got out of reach of her grasp (or, I guess, she decided she didn’t want to bend down anymore) she kicked him/at him (I think one of her kicks connected, but I’m not sure).

    She finally got him to obey her voice commands and follow her inside and I walked away. And now I don’t know what to do. To all outward appearances this is not an abused/neglected dog. And yet, this is a dog that suffered abuse. I suspect that reporting what I saw to AC won’t change anything because, as I said, this isn’t a neglected/abused looking dog and in our brief encounter didn’t show any obvious temperamental issues indicating abuse. I suspect that any physical abuse this dog suffers is delivered on a random basis, and I highly doubt the owner would openly abuse this dog in front of ACOs. I’m also slightly skeptical of the efficacy of ACOs here in getting a (single) dog out of a neglected/abuse situation based on my past attempts at having a clearly neglected dog removed from her owners — in this case, the dog was an outdoors only dog (no idea if it was by choice) with no real shelter, and her owners gave her no food and no potable water; she was fed by the people in the apartment complex we lived in, and I assume she drank from a truly disgusting runoff ditch located nearby. As far as I’m aware, when the ACOs came out to investigate they just gave her owners a warning. It’s possible there was going to be a follow-up, but shortly afterwards her owners moved and (probably) abandoned her; I’m not sure if the rumor I heard that they drove her off somewhere and left her there is true or not, but I suspect it’s true because she disappeared from the complex a few days before her owners officially moved out.

    So, FL, what do you do in these sorts of cases? I agree that theft is not the answer, but what other options are there when either the abuse is not clearly evident, or the animal’s owners take steps to “dispose of the evidence” as it were before the animal can be taken away via a warrant?

  4. What a great bunch of photos! I used to ride horses in that area about 30 years ago. We have taken the dogs there once, a few years past. There were a bunch of mountain bike obstacles on the trails to the east, including a gigantic teeter. Got a little agility practice in too:)
    It can get busy there on the weekend, and there can be fishermen at the pond.

  5. You called Piper Spring’s sister….I am pretty sure that means you are gonna keep her, whether you know it or not.
    Good on you!

  6. Andrea/Schnitzie says:

    Emma,

    How can you say that AC won’t do anything while at the same time failing to report the clear abuse that you saw with your own eyes?

    If AC had a report in its files that an eyewitness had seen the owner kick the dog and pull it off its hind legs by its tail, they’d be in a better position in the future to legitimately pull the dog from its abusive owner.

    If you saw a dog being actively beaten and your intervened directly to protect the dog (self-defense), that is when you call the cops on your cell phone and stay put (or move to a place of safety with the dog) until the cops appear.

    Pets rely on good Samaritan human beings to speak up for them, when no one else can. If you saw a dog suffocating in a closed car in the sun, you’d be justified if you broke a window and got the dog out so you could save its life…PROVIDED you called the police on the spot and let them know what was going on and waited there with the dog…or got the dog and yourself to a place of safety. Self-defense or substituted-defense of a dog or other animal is perfectly legal.

    You can’t say that legal channels won’t work when you don’t give them a chance to work.

    We can only hope the fake AC officers were actually well-meaning rescuers engaging in some vigilante justice. I suspect, rather, that they are dog fighters up to no good. If they are, in fact, rescuers, they do us and the animals no favors by proceeding in this fashion.

    If I was approached by two people that I knew were illegally impersonating police or AC officers, my next thought would be about answering the door with a sidearm, as I would not be confident that my knowledge of my rights and my ability to call them on their scam would be the end of the matter. Those two are frighteningly premeditated in their dog-seizure scam. Seems to me that something more compelling than a good “Get the F*** off my property, you scam artists” would be necessary to get them to back off their larcenous mission.

  7. Thanks for the message that everyone should inform her/himself as to their rights when it comes to ACO’s, real or otherwise, seizing one’s animals and/or conducting a search of one’s property.

    We had a sad case here on the East Coast of the US where real ACO’s told an elderly Master of Hounds that she could either surrender a certain number of her hounds or all would be seized. Naturally, once she “voluntarily” surrendered her animals she and her hounds lost the due process constitutional protections they otherwise would have had.

    Also many people (some ACOs in smaller municipalities included) don’t realize they cannot come on your property without either your permission or a warrant. If they ask for permission, I always remember the analogy offered by a friend of mine (herself an ACO): law enforcement has something in common with vampires. [Without a warrant] You don’t have to let them in, but once you do, bad things can happen.

    Praying for those two bitches and their families – what an awful feeling that must be. Hope the other two bitches fall in a hole.

  8. This is totally random, but I THINK I remember you saying something about feeding your dogs raw (or maybe I read too many dog blogs?) and I wondered if you feed all your fosters raw, too.

    I’m getting into the foster game next summer (summers off = being a teacher rocks. it would have been this summer, but me and the current dog had too much going on.)and I’m having a hell of a time deciding if I should put my fosters on raw, too. The chances of it being continued in their next home are slim to none – I know I’m the only one in my town that does it and probably the next town over, too.

    Sorry…completely random and a little bit rambley.
    :)

  9. I don’t know if you have people in your area who are running dog fights, but where I used to live they would come into your home (when you were gone) and steal your dogs to use them as “bait” for their fighting dogs. They often steal dogs in orderto SELL them to labratories. NB: Labs won’t take a dog that is tatooed.

  10. Emma, Andrea gives some good advice. Another thing to consider. If you do steal the dog, without going through the appropriate channels, and the owner can in some way prove you did so (or the owner reports the dog missing and you show up somewhere with it)….you are now in possession of stolen property (and depending on where you are there’s usually mistreatment charges that they’ll hit you with too when an animal is the stolen property) and the fact that she was in some way neglecting or mistreating the dog becomes a moot point. You broke the law, there’s no proof that she did, you end up in court on charges, she gets the dog back. Your life is ruined and so is the dog’s. Doesn’t exactly help the dog huh?

  11. In reference to the two dogs Food Lady posted about, if the boxer isn’t spayed she could have been taken for unethical (ie: puppy mills) breeding purposes, as well as fighting or as a bait dog. The older dog was most likely taken as a bait dog assuming someone didn’t think they were “rescuing” her.

  12. The Food Lady says:

    I seriously doubt these dogs are being stolen for “bait” dogs for dogfighting. It’s super unlikely that these women would wear uniforms and risk being identified and cook up a whole story to grab bait dogs. There are freebie dogs all over CL, and a million other ways to get dogs for that purpose. And honestly, while I am sure it happens in some places, I think the “stolen for bait dogs” story is a highly exaggerated one.

    It’s more than a little likely, and almost guaranteed, that these dogs are being stolen under the auspice of “rescuing” them from being ‘outdoor’ dogs.

    A couple of things though:

    “Pets rely on good Samaritan human beings to speak up for them, when no one else can. If you saw a dog suffocating in a closed car in the sun, you’d be justified if you broke a window and got the dog out so you could save its life…PROVIDED you called the police on the spot and let them know what was going on and waited there with the dog…or got the dog and yourself to a place of safety.”

    You should be careful when dispensing this kind of advice, because there is no legal justification here (for example) for breaking a car window and stealing someone’s property from the vehicle (which is what you are legally describing). Here you could be charged with destruction of property and theft for doing that. Only an SPCA constable can remove an animal in distress from a vehicle – not even an ACO officer can breach a vehicle for a dog in distress. So please, don’t tell people it’s okay to do this, because in many places it certainly is not.

    (I’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you all that a dog barking or moving around in a vehicle is not a dog in distress … dogs in distress in hot cars move down to the floor of the vehicle (because heat rises), they move as little as they possibly can to conserve energy, do not respond to you when you tap on the window, and then they die. They don’t race around in the car frantically – if they are barking at you, or responding to you, they are not in distress. Just FYI – they do not know they are overheating to death, so they do not panic).

    “law enforcement has something in common with vampires. [Without a warrant] You don’t have to let them in, but once you do, bad things can happen.”

    Ha ha! Love it, and it’s so true. also, remember that at least here in BC, they SPCA CANNOT remove your animal from your home without first issuing you a warning to fix whatever the problem is (unless the animal is in critical distress as defined by the PCA).

    “This is totally random, but I THINK I remember you saying something about feeding your dogs raw (or maybe I read too many dog blogs?) and I wondered if you feed all your fosters raw, too. “

    Yes, I do feed raw and I also feed my fosters raw, mostly because a) I don’t like picking up kibble poop and b) I am too lazy to make sure I have kibble handy for foster dogs. Lots of my fosters go on to kibble fed homes, and they have no problem making the adjustment.

    “You called Piper Spring’s sister….I am pretty sure that means you are gonna keep her, whether you know it or not.”

    I meant it more like “sistah” than “sister.” I like Spring, but I don’t know that she has the necessary confidence and drive to be a really competitive agility dog, and frankly that would be the only reason I would keep her, ONLY because I have far too many dogs already. As lovely as she is and as well as she fits in here, keeping another “ornamental” dog who is lovely would be silly of me. There are lots of lovely dogs out there, and many of them are in my pack already, and if she is meant to be a companion dog only, someone else should have her for that purpose. Since I do not rehome my dogs once they become mine, I can’t just keep adding dogs just because I “like” them. I cannot afford to do that, on so many levels :(

  13. I lived in central Florida… it goes on there all the damned time.

  14. Are these thefts by the two women dressing up all in the same area? Maybe the local people can set up a sting with the pd and catch these ladies. There is no reason for people doing that. That makes me so angry. I would never just let my dog go with someone with out seeing paper work. And if they wanted a Vet exam I would take my dog to the vet not them. Insane. I hope they find those babies.

  15. Any news on the two missing dogs? Their people must be frantic…

  16. I really hope this doggy found her way home, but in case I just read this article and it made me think of this post.

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Better+Life+Rescue+operators+accused+stealing+pets/5797986/story.html

Trackbacks

  1. […] Please be vigilant about this – keep your pets indoors, do not allow anyone to remove your dog from your home, demand to see credentials and paperwork for apprehension, and please, please keep an eye out for the two pups that have been featured in The Food Lady’s blog. […]

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