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a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case earlier in the trial, has withdrawn her guilty plea and is scheduled to be in the Duncan court house on Nov. 21.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

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
COVID slows in Revelstoke to 2 new cases

Data is from Jan. 17 to 23

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Beard Growing Contests were popular in Revelstoke as far back as the first Golden Spike Days Celebration in July of 1944. In this staged publicity photo, local barber Clarence Sheedy is seen with contestants Toby Belinski, two unknown men, Elio Pradolini, possibly Nelson Huckle, and Al McAskill. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 348)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 28

A look at local history as recorded by the newspaper

A moose and her calf attempting to cross the Jordan River June 22, 2020, as seen from the Jordan River trail. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Letter: One year later Jordan River area still at risk

A Revelstoke company is one year in to their two year temporary permit for exploration in the area

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Most Read