The truth about Freck­les the bea­gle

The Compass - - OPINION -

Last week I penned a col­umn about Freck­les the bea­gle. He was found on the beach in South River with a chain from its neck wrapped around a rock. I reached the in­cor­rect con­clu­sion that the dog had been pur­posely left on the beach by some­one with the in­tent the dog would drown with the high tide.

Af­ter my col­umn was pub­lished I re­ceived a call from Freck­les’ owner. The man iden­ti­fied him­self and was very sin­cere. I was re­ally glad he called to help me tell the whole story.

I learned the dog had in fact some­how got loose from its home, which was at an­other man’s house. The owner and his buddy spent sev­eral days try­ing to lo­cate the dog, but were un­suc­cess­ful in their ef­forts. It seems that Freck­les ended up on the beach and the chain tangled around a rock where it was found by some peo­ple, who called the SPCA.

In my pre­vi­ous col­umn I wrote with­out hav­ing gath­ered all the facts. I read about this lit­tle bea­gle found on the beach and I re­acted emo­tion­ally. I am very concerned about the plight of bea­gles and that pas­sion coloured my de­ci­sion.

I am forced to re­tract my state­ments and sin­cerely apol­o­gize to the owner of Freck­les and his buddy for any stress my col­umn caused them.

Af­ter hear­ing from Freck­les’ owner, I called the SPCA and Bea­gle Paws. SPCA Spe­cial Con­sta­ble Su­san Deir told me that she took pos­ses­sion of Freck­les on Sept. 2. The SPCA held the dog un­til Sept. 8, at which time it was adopted by Bea­gle Paws.

Bea­gle Paws has a pic­ture of the dog on its web­site. This is one nice look­ing bea­gle and he has his head tipped for the cam­era, like a model. Bea­gle Paws has suc­cess­fully crate­trained Freck­les and have him al­most house-trained, and will soon have him neutered. “Freck­les is do­ing pretty good, but it’s go­ing to take a lit­tle time,” Sheila Lewis says.

Deir says they have no re­ports of any­one call­ing about Freck­les in the pe­riod from Sept. 2-8. In fact, she was sur­prised to learn I had heard from the owner on Oct. 13. How­ever, she did say that if any­one called af­ter the dog had been adopted, then it would not have been recorded.

For his part, Freck­les’ owner told me he did try to call the SPCA sev­eral times and kept get­ting voice mail. When he fi­nally got to speak to some­one, he was told the dog had been adopted.

Freck­les owner says that he is glad the dog is safe and will get a good home with some­one who can spend more time with him than his job al­lowed.

Iron­i­cally, this man had taken pos­ses­sion of Freck­les years ear­lier when its first owner threat­ened to shoot the dog. “I knew the man who had the dog and he was threat­en­ing to shoot it. I took it to save it. I was al­ways nice to it, but it was very timid. It used to cower and do its pee when you’d go near it. I al­ways made sure it had food and wa­ter ev­ery­day and it had a solid, in­su­lated dog house,” the man says.

The SPCA still had a pic­ture of Freck­les and a de­scrip­tion of where and how he was found on the beach in South River on their web­site as of Wed­nes­day, Oct. 13. The pic­ture and de­scrip­tion was also in the Oct. 8 edi­tion of the Buy and Sell Mag­a­zine, on page 67.

Deir told me that she did not think the dog had been pur­posely left to drown. She cor­rectly sur­mised the dog had bro­ken free of its tether and the chain had be­come en­tan­gled in a rock. Al­though Deir also told me that other peo­ple she knows reached the same con­clu­sion as I had, namely that the dog had been left to drown.

Ob­vi­ously, I am very taken up with the plight of bea­gles. I am a strong sup­porter of both Bea­gle Paws and the SPCA. In fact, Spe­cial Con­sta­ble Deir has in­vited me to tag along on one of her next trips into the CBN area. I gladly ac­cepted the of­fer and look for­ward to see­ing first hand some of what she has to deal with on a daily ba­sis.

Deir says that she gets many calls for as­sis­tance from the Con­cep­tion Bay North area. She says there are a lot of prob­lems with cats, but some with dogs, too.

“CBN is a hot-spot for an­i­mal cru­elty and ne­glect cases. We need an an­i­mal shel­ter there, but it’s fi­nan­cially im­pos­si­ble right now,” Deir says.

Dar­rin McGrath can be reached by e-mail (mc­grath­dar­rin@ or phone (690-6790). Edi­tor’s note: The Com­pass wishes to apol­o­gize to our read­ers for the er­ror in the Oct. 12, 2010 edi­tion of our pub­li­ca­tion, and of­fer re­gret to those po­ten­tially af­fected by the er­ror. The col­umn by Dar­rin McGrath (The Cop­per Ket­tle) on Page A5 en­ti­tled “An­other bea­gle bar­bar­ity” con­tained in­ac­cu­rate and mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Once again, The Com­pass apol­o­gizes for this er­ror.

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