For Mit­tens

Cor­ner Brook rally or­ga­nizer couldn’t stand back as an­i­mals are abused and ne­glected

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - DIANE CROCKER [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_­Di­aneCrocker

COR­NER BROOK, N.L. — An­gela Street has owned her cat, Kyou, for 14 years. In that time, she’s moved apart­ments and prov­inces, and Kyou has made the moves with her.

“Ev­ery time I made sure that my an­i­mals could come with me.”

She brought Kyou to a rally re­cently held in Cor­ner Brook call­ing for changes to an­i­mal cru­elty laws.

Or­ga­nized by Kat Smith, the rally was held in re­sponse to the vi­o­lent killing of a cat, Mit­tens, in Port aux Basques in Septem­ber.

The two peo­ple — Jody Anderson and Peter Rossiter — charged in con­nec­tion with Mitten’s death were to ap­pear in provin­cial court in Port aux Basques the same day as the rally.

“Mit­tens was an el­derly cat,” be­gan Street, out­side the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice de­tach­ment. A group of about 50 peo­ple, some who had also brought their pets, had gath­ered there af­ter walk­ing from the Cor­ner Brook Civic Cen­tre.

She paused as Kyou be­gan to meow loudly.

“I hate the idea that any­body would hurt an an­i­mal and in such a bru­tal way. Why wouldn’t you just give it to some­one else? It’s heart­break­ing and it’s sense­less."

Smith grew up with a love of an­i­mals and was taught to pro­tect them.

“Af­ter see­ing so much abuse and ne­glect and cru­elty grow in this prov­ince in the last year,” she said. “And then to hear about this cruel mur­der of Mit­tens, it just sent it over the top.”

The young an­i­mal ac­tivist, who saves lost, aban­doned and stray an­i­mals and helps out area res­cues, felt she had to do some­thing.

“There was just no way that I could stand back and not try to have some­thing done in this sit­u­a­tion.”

She wanted to be there to show sup­port for the peo­ple in­volved in the res­cue group In

Mem­ory of Shadow in Port aux Basques.

Smith and those gath­ered want to see Anderson and Rossiter, if convicted, pun­ished to the full ex­tent of the law. They also want changes to make those laws stronger and will be form­ing a com­mit­tee to push for those changes.

“We need bills put into place and laws that will bet­ter pro­tect an­i­mal rights. They’re still looked as no more than hu­man prop­erty here in Canada and they need to be looked at as sen­ti­men­tal be­ings with feel­ings.

“They’re lives, they’re in­no­cent and they de­serve to be treated with re­spect.”

The Western Star was un­able to con­firm by pub­li­ca­tion dead­line the re­sults of the court ap­pear­ances.

The court process could be a long one but Smith said she’ll keep up the fight.

“Be­cause jus­tice does need to be served, and it’s not only on the mat­ter of Mit­tens. It’s the mat­ter of our county, our prov­ince. There’s so many an­i­mals be­ing abused and ne­glected. I will keep up fight­ing for their rights and their pro­tec­tion.”

DIANE CROCKER/THE WESTERN STAR

An­gela Street holds her cat, Kyou, dur­ing a rally in Cor­ner Brook last week, call­ing for jus­tice in the re­cent death of a cat in Port aux Basques and for changes in an­i­mal cru­elty laws.

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