The truth about Freckles the beagle
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.