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Web petition on dog culls garners 8,000 names

Northern shoots contentious

Trooper, a retriever cross, had 17 pellets lodged in his face from a shotgun blast.

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Trooper, a retriever cross, had 17 pellets lodged in his face from a shotgun blast.

An online petition to end the dog shoots in northern communities is nearing its goal.

There are more than 8,000 signatures on the Ban Dog Shoots in Manitoba-Trooper's Law petition, which was started three weeks ago.

Paw Tipsters, a local non-profit charity that collects tips on animal abuse, started the petition and called it Trooper's Law in memory of a retriever cross named Trooper who was shot in the face last month during a dog shoot in a northern community.

Left lying in a yard for five days, suffering and ignored, he had 17 pellets in his face and the side of his jaw was blown off.

"We hope that the government and the First Nations leaders will stop the dog culls the way they are performing them now," said Yvonne Russell of Paw Tipsters, who said the goal is 10,000 names. "It (the petition) has grown very quickly. Sometimes, people need to see pictures and hear these terrible stories first-hand before they want to do something about it."

Trooper was collected from the yard and brought to Winnipeg by a local dog rescue. He received veterinary attention but had to be euthanized to end his suffering.

"Until these more remote areas get the resources that they need and killing the dogs is their last resort and all they have to work with, we would like to see these dogs put down humanely," Russell said.

The petition will be presented to the provincial and federal governments and Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.

"We've heard and seen pictures of dogs shot, left to suffer for a few days until they bleed out or being shot and set on fire when they're half alive and thrown into the dump," Russell said.

It is a contentious issue as dog culls are common in northern communities as a quick way to reduce out-of-control, stray populations.

Left unchecked, the starving dogs run in packs and will attack humans with horrible results.

On April 8 in Shamattawa, a six-year-old boy on his way to school was attacked and mauled by three stray dogs. The youngster survived and was treated in hospital in Winnipeg for bites on his head and neck.

Band officials and RCMP officers shot the dogs.

"We don't want to see people hurt in these communities ,but we don't want to see animals being hurt either," Russell said.

"There needs to be some programs put into place (to assist the communities in controlling dog populations in other ways)."

Paw Tipsters hopes the petition brings about national change.

"The original goal was to have them stopped here but really, they take place all over," Russell said.

"We're hoping that if Manitoba can get on-board to stop them, then maybe other provinces will follow suit."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM CDT:
cleans up cutline, adds fact box

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