LEGAL DEFENSE PAGE
Sadly there is a need for me to create this defense page in order to answer the slander, false accusations and outright lies that have been made against Moosonee Puppy Rescue on Facebook since July 2015. I wrote a blog on this site answering questions and explaining my position on the matter in question but that was not enough to quiet or satisfy the handful of people wishing to cause harm to our rescue organization. There are some truths I had preferred not to go public with because they do not necessarily paint certain people in a good light and I was also protecting some good people by not presenting the evidence we have to support our actions.
I did not wish to engage with people who attack, judge and harm others without any sense of responsibility or need for the truth so I remained silent and went about my business. I hoped that going through the legal process to substantiate my actions would suffice but that has not been the case. More lies and accusations are now arising by the same group on Facebook but they are now involving a dear, kind and honest man in Attawapiskat. This I will not tolerate so I will provide all facts and evidence on this page to all who choose to educate themselves.
In October 2014 we were preparing to host our November fundraiser, The Winter Dogs, in Bracebridge. I believe it was our fourth annual so, because I was scheduled to undergo knee surgery a few weeks prior to the event, I asked our web design volunteer to post the information from the previous year after simply changing the date. Time was of the essence and I was trying to cover all bases before my surgery. I did not check the web page myself at that time. Two days after returning from the hospital, I received an email from a Karen Metatawabin Wesley informing me that the information regarding the Winter Dogs posted on our web site was incorrect. Karen is from Fort Albany and she was offended that the poster stated we were raising money for spay/neuter clinics to be held in Fort Albany and Attawapiskat that year. The information was indeed outdated but had been accurate the year before when the poster was created. I immediately confessed my mistake, explained how it had been made in the rush before my surgery and corrected the error on our web page. Karen's response to my apology and correction was to contact the local newspaper, the Bracebridge Examiner, claiming MPR was a fraud and that I was taking money from hard working people by lying to them. She claimed I had not helped with the Fort Albany November 2013 spay clinic or any other in the north for that matter and that she had never even heard of me or MPR. Even after I named the people I had worked with in Fort Albany she insisted I was lying and has continued to do so until this time. This is what began all the problems that were to follow as Karen was determined to discredit the work MPR has done at any cost.
The truth is that Karen was well aware of our involvement with planning and initiating northern community clinics and was copied in emails planning them with myself, Michelle, Scott Miller and Laura Mary Gaudet from Health Canada and the vet involved Dr. Jouppi. This fact is established by the email below.
From: Michelle @hc-sc.gc.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:38 PM
To: Scott Miller
Cc: Rod Jouppi; 'LauraMary Gaudet'; email@example.com; Scott Miller; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: RE: Document attached re: dog spay/neuter clinics in the north
I'm just adding Karen Metatawabin's email to our group so that we keep her in the loop.
Clinics are huge undertakings so partnering makes a great deal of sense and when Health Canada, Fort Albany's Chief Rex and MPR were collaborating things were promising initially. MPR had raised $8,000 to contribute to the joint venture of clinics in Fort Albany and Attawapiskat. When, however, the band councils of both northern communities determined they did not have funds available we were left with MPR's $8,000 and nothing more. Since we had never intended to pay for both clinics on our own the partners went back to the drawing board to see what could be accomplished. The final plan that was initiated had MPR paying for the Attawapiskat clinic entirely and paying half of the commercial transportation costs on Thunder Air for the Fort Albany clinic. After raising more money, we paid for the vet, vet tech and supplies container to fly from Fort Albany to Attawapiskat ($530.91) and then for their return to Timmins. This saved Fort Albany $2,500 by not having to pay the return transportation themselves. Everyone but Karen Metatawabin was happy with the partnership and what we had been able to make happen. She has denied our involvement and publicly posted bits and pieces of emails to distort the facts. We have the receipts from Thunder Air to prove what we paid but they are too large to post here.
Karen has had a vendetta against MPR ever since this first encounter and she continues to falsely accuse us of wrong doing and unethical practices. I do not claim to understand her motivation.
During the evening of July 30, 2015 I received a call from a young paramedic in Attawapiskat who had taken in a dog whose ear had been torn off in a fight. She reported that the dog needed immediate care and asked if MPR would have the dog flown out and accept responsibility for his medical care if he were surrendered to us. I said we would. She then proceeded to find the owner of the dog. This paramedic had volunteered at the spay/neuter clinics MPR had hosted in Attawapiskat and she also assisted our regular rescue worker Floyd when he needed help so she was known to me. Floyd had taken some time off from dog rescue to attend to personal business so the paramedic had agreed to fill in for him. No one in the MPR organization is paid so to have volunteers fill in for one another is greatly appreciated by us. This dog would be the first to be flown of Attawapiskat on our behalf by anyone other than Floyd. Floyd is a native and resident of Attawapiskat and the paramedic is a young white woman.
Once the owner of the dog known as Manajanish was located the situation and needs of the dog were discussed with her and she was asked if she would surrender the dog to Moosonee Puppy Rescue. Once consent was given the paramedic had the verbal agreement witnessed as is our protocol. We do use written surrender forms in most cases but we learned, through our clinic work in Attawapiskat, how many residents were uncomfortable signing what was in fact a document. They were happy to verbally agree to leaving their dog for spaying but would not have done so if they had to sign anything. So, out of respect for this awareness, we changed our protocol from signed surrender forms to witnessed verbal agreements. The owner and her family had overnight to consider the surrender of the dog and were asked to meet at the airport the next day to see him off if they were still comfortable with their decision. The family did indeed show up at the airport the next day and had even taken their son out of camp so he could say a final farewell to the dog.
Shortly after the dog left the community the paramedic received several threatening phone calls from a woman by the name of Karen Metatawabin. She said the dog had been stolen from a family member and she told the paramedic she would lose her job and have the entire community of Attawapiskat turn on her if the dog was not returned. The paramedic was shaken as any young woman working in a remote area would be and she immediately contacted me. I was confused but once I heard the name of the dog's owner I was not concerned because Janie Wesley and I had worked together in the past and I felt I knew her. Several years prior, she had asked me to take her neighbour's dog's puppies because they were unwanted. I agreed to do so immediately but didn't hear back from Janie for five days and by that time all nine puppies had frozen to death outside in a dog house because no one wanted make their way through the deep snow to get them. Our second interaction was when Janie's dog had pups and she asked MPR to take them. We agreed and the pups were flown out to us. Sadly they died while in foster care due to a parasitic overload they would have garnered through the poor health of the mother. It was the only time we had lost an entire litter. Manajanish, the dog in question, had been neutered, vaccinated, treated for parasites and micro chipped free of charge to Janie at a MPR clinic in Attawapiskat. She had known who to call when she needed help with unwanted pups and where to go to get her dog fixed and I felt we had a relationship of sorts.
I don't claim to know why there was such a turn around in events but I suspected it was because Karen had found out Janie had surrendered her dog to MPR rather than to the rescue organization she worked with in Barrie Ontario. Still, I felt we could work out a solution where everybody would be satisfied and the dog's best interests would be taken care of. I phoned Janie Wesley three times and each time she hung up on me after just a few words were spoken. Nothing was accomplished.
The next day a NAPS (Nishnawbe - Aski Police Service) officer contacted me and told me I was being charged with theft. I explained my position in terms of the dog being surrendered to MPR. She said she was unaware of the information I had provided and would interview all those involved in removing Manajanish from the community. While waiting for their determination Floyd contacted Chief Spence to make her aware of the accusations against MPR and the threats being made to the paramedic. MPR had received a letter of invitation from the Chief prior to each free spay/neuter clinic we hosted so she knew of our organization and our contributions to the community. She also appreciated the work the young paramedic was doing within the community and realized that scaring her out of town would be detrimental to the needs of the people. After some consideration the Chief determined the dog had been surrendered legally and that everyone had done the right thing. The NAPS police also determined the dog had been legally surrendered due to the witnessed verbal agreement so no charges were filed against me. The witness statement is below. The name of the individual giving the statement has been blacked out according to the Freedom of Information Act.
August 11, 2015
I, XXXXXXX, say as follows,
Unless otherwise indicated, what I say in this witness statement I saw and heard from my own knowledge.
On the evening of July 30th, 2015 at approximately 2100 hours a male dog was brought to me by neighbour and fellow paramedic Phillipe Bigras. This dog had been found outside, and sustained severe damage to his left ear, suspected to be from a dog fight. Upon receiving the dog, I tried to clean it to the best of my ability, and aid him in any way I could. At approximately 2115, a woman whose name I am unsure of, arrived outside my residence. She informed me that a dog had been injured, and was near her house. Upon describing the dog’s injuries, I told her I believe he is present in my house. This woman entered my house, and confirmed this was the hurt dog she had seen. I asked the woman who the dog belonged to, and she informed me that he was "a community dog". I told this woman that the dog would need surgery, and would most likely be flown to a rescue group outside of Attawapiskat for care. This woman then replied that the dog had previously been owned by Kataquapit Inn owner Joe Wesley, but that he had moved, and was now looked after by his sister Janie Wesley. I asked if she would contact the owner, and ask her to come by. This woman then left my house. A rescue group by the name of Moosonee Puppy Rescue was contacted to provide information on the best plan of action for the dog. Phillipe Bigras then left my house, and Tory Chernesky was contacted, and asked to come over to help me care for the dog. At approximately 2200 hours, the owner of the dog, identified as Janie Wesley arrived at my house with her brother, to see his injuries. Present at this time was witness Tory Chernesky. Over the next hour we discussed options for the dog, and what would be in his best interest.
Discussed were the following:
- who would cover veterinarian costs
- what the extent of his injuries appeared to be
- where the dog will most likely go for care, and how he will get there
- what sort of ongoing care this dog may need
At the time it appeared Manajanish would need his ear to be amputated, as the cartilage had been damaged, and his skull was visible. Janie was able to see his injuries, and agreed that he would need veterinarian care as soon as possible. Jamie was informed that time was crucial, as infection was potentially unavoidable, and options for flights and transport to care were limited. We, being Tory and myself, discussed with Janie that Manajanish may need multiple trips to a veterinarian, as damage appeared to be quite extensive. We also informed Janie that a rescue group had been contacted, and was willing to pay for all veterinarian care, as well as organize airport pick up, veterinary care, foster, and adoption, if Janie agreed. Janie initially asked if it would be possible for Manajanish to return to Attawapiskat following his care. We discussed with Janie that the rescue group thought this unlikely, as dogs with injuries this severe may need future care, and resources for this in Attawapiskat are limited. It was also discussed that we were unsure how well Manajanish would recover with one less ear, and possible unknown further damage, it may be dangerous for him to live in such a cold climate. Janie stated she had family outside of Attawapiskat, and we asked if this family would be able to take care of him, Janie replied that none of them would be able to. After extensive discussion about what is in Manajanish's best interest, and what was best for his recovery and future livelihood, it was decided that he would be surrendered, and available for adoption outside of Attawapiskat, by this rescue group. Present during this decision was myself, Janie Wesley, Tory Chernesky, and Janie's brother. Janie was informed that this dog would ideally fly out the following day, and be picked up, and transferred into care of this rescue group. Janie asked if her daughter down south could visit him during recovery, and it was decided that this would most likely be possible, and Janie would be given information regarding his care, and updated as often as possible. Janie left my apartment, and left the dog in my care for the night, and the next morning until his departure.
On Friday July 31st, arrangements were made for Manajanish to fly out on an Air Creebec cargo plane at approximately 1300 hours. Manajanish was transferred to care of Tory Chernesky, and Sam Perruzza, who took him to the airport. At the airport they were met by myself, as well as Phillipe Bigras. The Wesley family arrived shortly after, and the family was given time to say their goodbyes. To my knowledge, at no time on this date, was the return of Manajanish to Attawapiskat discussed. The last discussion regarding his care was held the night of July 30th, and it ended with everyone's agreement that Manajanish would not return, and would be given up for adoption outside of Attawapiskat. No further discussion regarding his care took place. Phillipe Bigras, as well as myself, were present at the Attawapiskat airport, until Manajanish's departure. Moosonee Puppy Rescue was contacted, and I was given confirmation when he was in their care, and no longer under mine.
The following day, on August 1st, 2015, I gave Janie an update on what information I had on Manajanish, and how he was doing. Janie Wesley contacted me back, thanking me for the update, and asking about the possibility of her dog being returned. Initially options were discussed, and I replied to her, giving direct information regarding these options that I received from Moosonee Puppy Rescue. I also stated my role as the "middle person" and told her that she should contact the rescue group directly, as I had no input regarding this decision.
On August 5th, 2015, Janie replied to my email stating she understood I had no decision in the dispute regarding her dog, and she understood my role in aiding him during his time in Attawapiskat.
At present time, August 11th, 2015, I have had no contact with Manajanish since July 31st.
I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.
XXXXXXXXX August 11, 2015
CARE OF A DOG
Manajanish was flown out of Attawapiskat to Timmins July 31st. A volunteer drove north to pick him up and bring him down to Bracebridge. Due to his late arrival here he was vetted the next day, Saturday August 1st, in Parry Sound. We had never been told the original name of the dog so he was named Van at that time. The infection in his ear canal had traveled into his glands so his surgery had to be postponed until the infection was under control. Van was medicated and returned to our care until he could be operated on the following Tuesday August 4, 2015.
The first person to contact me was of course Karen Metatawabin. Her email and my response follows.
On Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 10:06 AM, Karen Metatawabin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Good morning, Sharron
Janie Wesley contacted me yesterday about a dog you have in your possession. I am windering if you will do the honourable thing and return it. Karen
I am more than aware of your connection here and how you have been threatening a young and caring paramedic in Attawapiskat. You, as much as anyone, should understand the need to fly out a severely injured dog and provide the care it needs. This particular dog had his ear ripped off during a dog fight and he was left with a hole in his head all the way through to his skull. The wound was seriously infected and could have become septic. Still, we waited until we had permission from the Wesley family to bring the dog out. Had the dog not been surrendered to us we would not have acted in any way. Many members of the family went to the airport to see the dog off which indicates their understanding and acceptance of the situation. What we did is the definition of rescue work. We did the same last summer for another dog you were involved with named Shrek. That family was heartbroken as well but they knew they were doing what was best for the dog.
Your treatment of a young woman who is just trying to make a difference in the community she works and lives in is shameful. It demonstrates that you are far more interested in causing trouble than you are saving innocent animals in need.
I tried to speak with Janie three times yesterday and not once would she have a conversation with me or allow me to come to any kind of understanding with her. She threatened me with the Chief and the police before hanging up on me each time. She made it impossible for me to work with her so I will now take care of things myself in the best interest of the dog. Both the Chief and the police in Attawapiskat have been approached and agree that the dog needed to be sent out and that no one did anything wrong.
I always do the honourable thing for a dog. The dog's ear will be amputated Tuesday and he will be neutered at that time as well. The vets will then determine whether he can be returned to Attawapiskat. This decision will depend on the continuing medical care he may need, his new state of vulnerability and whether he will be able to withstand the harsh cold in his condition. I will certainly let Janie know what the vets decide. Do no further harm. Sharron
The paramedic in Attawapiskat and I were in contact and she relayed a message to me from Janie, the dog's original owner. She wanted to know the status of the dog, where he was and if her daughter from North Bay could visit him while he was recuperating. I answered all questions including his medical update and said certainly her daughter could visit. My goal was to be agreeable with all involved and to accommodate as many needs as possible. Turned out all efforts were in vain.
Janie and Karen took to Facebook before Van had even had his surgery. They weren't waiting to see if the dog could be returned to Attawapiskat or not - the outcome of his surgery meant nothing to them and certainly the vets opinions were of no value to them. I had never participated on Facebook but had enough information relayed to me by supporters to keep me informed. Ill informed people were jumping on the stolen dog bandwagon without question or need for facts. I became a racist and the operator of a dog theft ring overnight.
After invading the Moosonee Puppy Rescue Happy Tails Facebook page that I have nothing to do with, the group was asked to express their negative comments elsewhere. Two new Facebook pages were then created in addition to a Change.org petition against MPR and myself. One page was called Let's help bring Manajanish home and the other was Northern Dogs and Ethics.
I still cannot comprehend how any of this group thought attacking and accusing me publicly would help come to an understanding or resolve an emotional situation. MPR had been rescuing dogs from Attawapiskat for years without issue or complaint but suddenly, at a moments notice, a fierce and brutal slander campaign was born.
A self described social media activist named L.A. Bowden joined in and championed a cause she knew nothing about. She refused to speak directly to me or ask any questions as to my actual involvement in the matter. Instead she sent me emails filled with challenges and ultimatums. One email laid out her dictates and gave me seven days to do exactly what she told me to. She posted all she claimed she knew to be true even though she lives in Nova Scotia, has never met the Wesley family or the dog in question. She never worked with me or Attawapiskat and had one sided facts at best.
Other Facebook postings of hers were just insulting.
LA Bowden It's not about Manajenish for Sharron Purdy, it's about what she thinks is best and her ego will defeat her. She has zero authority to determine an animals future. She's wrong, she knows it but as long as people keep filtering puppies to her she will continue to overcharge & when she ends up in a home because she's likely going to end up in a seniors facility soon, she will have her care paid for on the theft of dogs...disgusting!
Meanwhile, Van was on the operating table. During his surgery, a woman walked into the vet clinic in Parry Sound with a fake affidavit demanding the dog be turned over to her. She threatened to call the police if the dog was not released at that moment and she was invited by the vet in charge to do so. I was called and while Van should have stayed over night following his amputation surgery to receive intravenous pain meds and observation it was suggested we remove him from the clinic in case other zealots appeared and caused harm. We picked Van up that afternoon. It was abundantly clear from the comments on Facebook, emails I had received and the fraudulent invasion of the vet clinic that no one cared about Manajanish/Van and his condition other than the people he was currently entrusted to.
I knew what I would be doing if someone had my dog and I wanted him back and it wasn't anything that Janie's camp was doing. Seemed it was more a matter of ownership to them than the actual dog himself.
Van's surgery had gone well but, since the ear flap had been removed, his entire ear canal was exposed. He also had a bladder infection that the vets were having difficulty getting under control. Van would require ongoing care for his infection and regular visits to the vets for his ear over the coming years. In addition to the medical issues involved were the conditions he would be exposed to if he were to be returned up north. Not just the extreme cold each winter but the mosquito infestation in late spring and early summer, general infections from exposure and future dog fights. Van had lived as a predominately outdoor dog in Attawapiskat as is the custom so he would be at risk of many external threats if returned.
A complaint was filed with the Ontario Veterinary College against one of our vets, Dr. Ian White of the Parry Sound Animal Hospital, for operating on Manajanish/Van. Nothing came of it of course but why would the Wesley camp want to make trouble for the vet who saved the dog's life? Van's welfare was clearly not forefront in their minds which was worrisome. Even now Louise Bowden is going on about Dr. Ian White and myself with absolutely no regard to the facts of the matter.
Despite messages via Facebook from those looking to seek my favour on Mrs. Purdy's behalf she couldn't take the initiative herself to correspond with me. I do not like liars & Sharron Purdy is a liar as her e-mail contradicts the very statement she is spewing in her blog to seek favour with the public.
Sometimes all you have to do is give someone a shovel so they can bury themselves. Mrs. Purdy seems to be under the false assumption that she and her veterinarian Dr. Ian White with Perry Sound Animal Hospital (who I'm sure is financially benefitting from dealings with Mrs. Purdy as she is a client) could determine the best interest of Manajenish without consulting the OSPCA or filing an animal welfare complaint with the OSPCA. Neither have any legal right to make decisions regarding another's animal. As they have foregone that legality & Mrs. Purdy does not have a signed surrender document, she is a thief and whomever has adopted Manajenish aka Van should be apprised they have paid for an illegally obtained dog.
LA Bowden I do not want anything to do with that mentally disturbed woman & her underlings. She is a coward in my opinion & does not do anything to help herself by sending others to message me on her behalf.
No one has ever sought this woman's favour on my behalf as far as I know and why would they. Not only did Dr. White have a moral and legal obligation to treat Manajanish he was certainly in the best position to determine what was in the best interests of the dog while he was on the operating table. And, as all vets do after surgery he gave his professional opinion as to the dog's prognosis. He had no obligation to consult the OSPCA. Manajanish had been legally surrendered to MPR and we would have been irresponsible and inhuman not to take care of his needs. Since the surrendering of the dog gave me the legal authority to act on his behalf there was, yet again, no need to contact OSPCA.
After the false affidavit attempt was made at the Parry Sound Veterinary Clinic I received a call from an O.P.P. officer from that detachment. I was relieved to hear from him at first as I thought he would be a calm and fair voice in the storm. I was wrong. The officer was rude and belligerent and anything but impartial. He clearly wanted to catch me in some wrong doing. Even so, after receiving all the information I had and contacting the Attawapiskat police he had to determine that I could not be charged with anything. This officer actually ended the phone call with Paul by saying "off" . The implication was clear as this is not a technical term but a flip off in the most offensive way.
It has been said that the reason I haven't been charged with theft is because my husband, Paul is a retired O.P.P. officer and he has influence over all other detachments and NAPS forces as a result. Karen Metatawabin's husband is a NAPS officer in Fort Albany.
issa Renaud See this is the problem, because he is retired police he figures he (they) are above the law and I whole heartedly believe this is the reason they are getting away with this bullshit! Fear mongering is their only defence it seems.
Let's help bring Manajenish home (L.A. Bowden writing) The lack of action has to do mainly with police corruption.
Kelley Ward Yup owner of MPR husband ex POLICE
We received a phone call that threatened us and caused concern. At the time we didn't know who it was but a man with an East Indian accent said he was coming here, to our home, to take Janie Wesley's dog back. He would do so forcibly if necessary. We had no idea who or where this man was so we were unnerved. We made sure the dogs were inside at all times and Paul kept watch over our long driveway. I worried what would happen if Paul was confronted by people trespassing and threatening him. The possibilities played on us for a day until we discovered who the man actually was. I answered the phone the second time he called and he asked why I had stolen Janie Wesley's dog. I replied that I had not and while I was explaining how the dog had come to us he called me a racist. He then went on to say he was working on behalf of Janie and would be contacting Revenue Canada to have our Not-for-Profit status revoked. He was clearly delusional to think a phone call from him would accomplish anything with the CRA so I hung up on him. Knowing he wasn't rational did not help how we felt about his previous threat.
I mentioned to the paramedic in Attawapiskat that someone had threatened us and she asked if he had an East Indian accent. I said he had and she explained how he had been contacting her as well and who he was. His name was Raj Doobay ( Rajen Doobay Msc., B.A., B.ED, OCT) and he was a teacher in Attawapiskat. Knowing he wasn't nearby removed the concern we had been feeling. He did decide to call again though and began this third conversation with more accusations and threats. When, however, Paul mentioned his name he became silent. Anonymity gave him his courage and without it he slunk into the shadows of silence before hanging up. He is still brave on Facebook though;
Following the threat made by Raj King was one made on Facebook by Kelley Ward (LaLonde). While joining in the chatter on the Northern Dogs and Ethics page that was created after the comments made by that group were not tolerated on other established pages Kelley stated she would come to our property to take the dog back herself as she lived nearby. We felt it was time to notify the Bracebridge O.P.P. detachment of the potential threats being made so that if something did occur they would be aware of the situation. After Paul spoke with an officer he checked the comments on the Facebook page himself and determined a phone call was warranted. The officer contacted Kelley Ward LaLonde and warned her against making such statements. Kelley has since made a mockery of the police officer's courtesy call and shown a total disregard for the law and other people's rights as demonstrated in the following comments made by her.
Referring to the police officer that spoke to Kelley she wrote;
Kelley Ward He didn't scare me instead empowered.... I've tweeted and messaged almost all business Sharon Purdy has touched and I won't give up ...I'll do it everyday if need be! I got all the time in the world .... I'm wagging a social media war on these people in hopes that sponsors will jump on our wagon! Yes that's an Indian joke! Because they are kind people who do the right thing for their pets! And don't deserve having to fight like this .... I'm white let them be discriminatory towards me ....hell have no fury
SPREADING THE LIES
I have removed personal names and contact info from the list out of respect for those involved but they were published by the Northern Dogs and Ethics group. Businesses that had simply supported dogs in need were contacted and made to feel as if they were supporting a dog theft ring. Some had never actually worked with us and those that had were confused. None doubted us though I am glad to say. One person on the list had simply adopted a dog from us for her son who is on the Autistic spectrum.
Bloorcourt Vets and Roncy Village Vets are both owned by Mark Kinghorn. He responded to the Facebook group by saying he no longer worked with us due to "red flags" being raised (as shown on the list below). Because Mark himself raised the issue I feel it is important for me to respond. He had been part of the second vet team we sent into Attawapiskat but MPR stopped working with his clinic after that experience. MPR severed all ties with Mark Kinghorn and chose to work with Dundas West Animal Hospital instead. They comprised the vet team for our last spay/neuter clinic in Attawapiskat and it was the most successful and accomplished to date. DWAH also treats the dogs we foster in Toronto as well. We have not been associated with Mark Kinghorn or his clinics for some time now..
Businesses & Individuals with MPR Connections
- Bloorcourt Vets (West End Toronto vets – Stopped working with MPR in 2014 because of red flags, concerns
- Roncy Village Vet – Has already stopped working with MPR because of red flags, concerns
- Fetch Canine Club (pet store on Roncesvalles, west-end Toronto – many MPR adoptions out of here)
- Pet Social Club (pet store, has hosted MPR adoption(s). Toronto based )
- Dundas West Animal Hospital - Current contract for vet work in Toronto for MPR. (MPR spay/neuter clinics)
- Unleashed in the City
- Peggy Nash – (NDP, MP for Parkdale-High Park)
- WoofTown Toronto (east Toronto pet store)
- When Hounds Fly (have emailed to say they have no formal association with MPR)
- 10. Parkdale Animal Hospital (emailed to say no affiliation)
- Toronto Pet Daily (Daily digest about pets – advertising)
- TeckelKlubCares (Vancouver-based pet apparel store)
- Oh My Dog! (dog walking services, Toronto based)
- Sit! Stay! Emporium
- City Bites Magazine (Toronto-based food and drink magazine; has promoted MPR fundraisers a number of times)
- Dr. Beverly Bouffard (therapist)
- Bissell Canada
- Redemption Puppies (closely collaborated with MPR. Toronto based)
After our June 2015 fundraiser where we showed a movie we had made ourselves called Rescued: the personal story of Moosonee Puppy Rescue Kelley Ward Lalonde once again contacted the woman who had adopted a dog for her son who is on the Autism Spectrum. This young man actually videotaped a segment for the movie where he explained how the MPR dog he had adopted calmed him and made him laugh. Kelley targeted the family after they posted how happy they were with the movie and it's message to ASD kids. What did that accomplish?
As soon as Janie changed her mind about surrendering Manajanish I contacted a few people in Attawapiskat seeking their counsel. I didn't want to cause harm to anyone up there or impose a biased opinion on the situation. I was told, by more than one person in the community, that the dog should absolutely not be returned. The first comments were that Janie Wesley could easily have afforded to send her dog to a vet in Timmins if she had wanted him back. She and her family own and operate a few businesses in the community and certainly knew how to access outside services. Giving a credit card number and prepaying a deposit would be needed but that is how others in the community have taken care of their dogs.
Stella Kiokee-Koostachin Timmins Animal Hospital is who I deal with Janie, I always had Dr. Butterworth...If my pup requires emergency care, they will make every effort to help me get the pup to the hospital... they will send a Taxi to pick them up at the airport and they will shelter the dog until he/she comes back.
They said she didn't need to send him out through a third party if she wanted to keep him. I was told that Janie had family in Quebec and would often leave for several weeks at a time to visit them. During these times Manajanish was left outside and unattended. Several people saw him roaming so much they didn't think he was owned at all. Lastly, by Janie's own admission Manajanish had been hit by a car when he was roughly four months old and the family tied him up outside under the porch of the house to basically mend himself. Several witnesses heard her tell this story about her Dad's dog.
The vets had said that Manajanish could of course be returned but it was unlikely he would live long if he did. I knew the truth of the situation and that was he would not live inside the house and be taken care of as he now needed to be no matter what anyone hoped for. It was just not the way it had been.
I was being accused of being a racist for telling the truth about the dogs we rescue. If they suffered from being left outside chained up or abandoned when people moved and left them behind I told that dog's story. I also tell the hard stories of people having to give up their dogs because they either can't afford them or don't want them getting pregnant again. We are in rescue so rarely do we get the truly happy stories as there is little need for us in that event.
In interviews I discussed the different approach to animals in the north. Part of this stems from different values and cultures and part from necessity. There aren't any veterinary services in these isolated northern communities so dogs are not spayed and neutered. For the most part, dogs are not taken inside so they are free to roam and breed. Over-population occurs and for a time the only solution was the dog shoot. Because I acknowledged the facts and known neglect of the dogs I was a racist. When these things happen other places people can speak out and be enraged but it is all too easy to scream racist if they happen on a reserve. Never would I suggest that animals were not mistreated in big cities, small towns and the suburbs and I tell those stories too when we are involved with them. No where on my web page do I mention natives or reserves. I don't even refer to "rez" dogs. I don't separate the mistreatment of animals geographically. In my opinion, Karen Metatawabin and L.A. Bowden made this a race issue and have drawn more negative attention to the northern communities than I ever could have.
OUR RESCUE METHOD
MPR has always worked from within a community. We have been fortunate enough to have someone, living in each area we work from, send dogs out to us. We are contacted by people on the ground who know the situation and the needs of the dog(s) in question and asked to respond. We take every dog we are asked to and as soon as we possibly can. We don’t pick and choose the dogs we take. For instance, if the owner of a dog wants to just surrender a litter of unwanted puppies and keep the mother we can’t do anything about that. As much as we hate leaving the mom, knowing she will most likely become pregnant again during her next heat in six months, we have no control over the situation. Even with dogs that appear to be strays, time must be taken to ensure this is actually the case. By working with members of the community we are able to rescue responsibly. The community determines which dogs stay and which dogs go.
In the case of Attawapiskat, logistics for removing a dog are complicated. Because they have to be flown out, weather dictates timing as does the availability of space on a cargo plane for crates. As a result, no dog is ever whisked away or snuck out in the dark of night as has been suggested by some of our accusers.
Just as much as we can't control the dogs we are permitted to take out of a community we can't control the dogs entering either. People purchase dogs while out of the community and bring them home to breed or keep as a pet. As quickly as we help to manage the overpopulation of dogs in Attawapiskat by removing the unwanted ones and spaying/neutering the ones remaining, more are being brought in. Our recent detractors blame MPR for not doing enough, as if the dog situation was entirely our responsibility. We can assist when asked but in the end, it is not ours to control. we accept and respect that.
In all the other communities we had worked with, Moosonee, Moose Factory, Kashechewan and Fort Albany, there had been other organizations hosting the spay/neuter clinics. Once MPR began focusing on Attawapiskat, as a fly in only community, we realized the responsibility was ours. We raised the funds necessary and to date have held three clinics in Attawapiskat. Manajanish was neutered and micro-chipped, free of charge to Janie Wesley, at one of our clinics. The main intention of a clinic is to alter as many dogs that will be left in the community as possible. This is the only way the over population problem will improve. Still, we receive many spayed and neutered dogs a few months after each clinic that are unwanted.
MPR has never imposed itself on a community and I am certainly never in a position to steal a dog. The physical logistics prevents this as does common sense which suggests that after 1,400 dogs given to MPR I have no need to.
NAPS SECOND INVESTIGATION
August 12, 2015 I received an email from an inspector with the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Services in Thunder Bay. His name was Pierre Guerard and he had been re-assigned the investigation. His position in the matter was made quite clear to me as he reiterated much of what Janie claimed to be true and which he seemed to accept as fact. Perhaps it had been Karen's husband Jassen Metatawabin who has been with the NAPS police for ten years that had spoken with the inspector on behalf of Janie Wesley but it was now clear I needed an attorney. Janie Wesley had retained a lawyer who had been actively representing her for several days now.
I retained a criminal defense attorney that same evening and sent him all the correspondence I had to establish proof of Manjanish's legal surrender and his current condition. He told me I could be facing criminal charges of being in possession of stolen property. At least he realized I had not been in a position to steal Manajanish but still the threat of prosecution was real.
My lawyer sent our evidence to Inspector Guerard. The first response was a message stating if I returned the dog the entire matter could go away. I wondered how that could be the outcome of an unbiased investigation - everything could just go away and I could avoid criminal prosecution if I just gave the dog back? As much as I wanted the issue to be dropped Paul and I honestly did not know how to go back on all we stood for. On many occasions I had asked people to do the right thing for the dogs and they had. I had purposely not incorporated for years because I hadn't wanted the dogs to become a business. I believe people should help because they are needed and not because there is something in it for them like a tax receipt. It is for that reason as well that no one in the MPR organization is paid. All involved give from the heart and the work we do is fueled by good intentions. So, how was I expected to sacrifice the well being of a dog in order to make things better for myself.
My lawyer said the next step could be that we went to Thunder Bay where I would be charged and finger printed. We would then wait for a court date. The thought was an ugly one but I still didn't see a choice. If Manajanish was returned up north he would not live more than a year I felt and he would suffer through that time. I had every reason to believe this to be true and since any possibility for discussion on the matter had been taken taken away by the attackers and accusers the decision remained Paul's and mine alone. Manajanish would be re-homed where he could be a house dog and receive whatever future vet care he required.
It took only a day to hear from Inspector Guerard for the last time. He had presented all evidence to the Crown Attorney and it was determined there was nothing to support the charge that MPR or I had stolen Manajanish or that we were in possession of stolen property. The legalities were over. I had answered every accusation and charge through proper and lawful procedures.
The legal determinations were not enough for the Facebook group though. They have continued to call me a racist, accuse me of unlawful business practices, create mistrust in the community of Attawapiskat and have accused MPR of stealing three more dogs. Damage has been done in that we now have to pay to have the dogs flown out of Attawapiskat and the costs are substantial. Still, the community sends dogs to us and we pay to get them out.
Karen Metatawabin arranged to have Finding Them Homes in Barrie, the rescue organization on whose board she sits, go into Attawapiskat to take dogs out and to host a spay/neuter clinic this past February. I have absolutely no issue with who helps the dogs but to make rescue work a competition is actually detrimental. Karen incited her group to believe there was a dog overpopulation "crisis" in Attawapiskat when in fact, after three spay/neuter clinics, one government implant clinic and years of effective rescuing by MPR, the number of dogs needing to come out is under control - especially thanks to Floyd. There had been a cull planned and we were taking out as many dogs as necessary to keep them from being shot in the street. We had things under control and had raised the money to pay for the dog's fights out. If Karen and Finding Them Homes had truly wanted to make a difference they would have found an area that needed them. An area where there wasn't already a rescue organization taking care of things. They hadn't found it necessary to go to Attawapiskat prior to Karen's vendetta with MPR so why go now when they weren't needed? In my opinion, both rescue and clinic resources were wasted that could have been contributed to another isolated area that didn't have any organization working with them and their needs.
While Karen was in Attawapiskat, she convinced some residents that Floyd was a dog thief and told them to take pictures of his actions. She posted the above picture on Facebook with the caption "someone else's dog is about to go missing". This created a flurry of unfounded comments on the Attawapiskat Community Bulletin Facebook page accusing Floyd of dog theft and being mentally ill. It was said I had brainwashed Floyd and that he was under my spell which is quite an insult to a man as intelligent as Floyd and who had been saving the dogs of his community well before I came along.
It is quite easy for Karen to get to Attawapiskat in February as it is simply a drive up the winter road from Fort Albany. In Karen's haste to interfere with our work it seems she did not take time for proper protocols to be put in place and ended up bringing out a litter of pups who were infected with Parvo Virus. That means the truck carrying them, the crate they were in and any area in which they were kept is contaminated for at least six months. Parvo Virus is deadly and any dog coming in contact with the pups or anything they contaminated are at risk. MPR's protocols involve Floyd keeping pups in a separate and contained area for five days until it is determined they are well enough to fly out. He vaccinates the dogs against Parvo Virus and treats them for parasites prior to releasing them. Even the unnecessary rush to a spay clinic in February can be harmful. It means the dogs are released after surgery and left to lie outside in the cold and snow with vulnerable incisions. Normal post surgery protocols dictate that dogs wear a cone for seven to ten days so they can't chew at their their stitches. Even if the dogs that are operated on are owned they still, for the most part, are not taken inside despite assurances that might be given as we found out during our first clinic up there. There is no veterinary follow up available if the incision opens after a few days. MPR held it's first clinic in November and even in that month we determined it was too risky to release the dogs into the beginnings of harsh winter conditions. Our next two clinics were held in June and August to ensure the best possible recovery for the dogs. They still had to contend with the flies but the dogs could do more about that by moving around than they could the minus forty degree weather. Taking dogs out or holding clinics in the warmer months though means flying in and out and so far, only MPR has been prepared to do that on a regular basis.
It was only the recent attacks on Floyd that caused me to react as I have in an attempt to defend him, MPR and myself. Two months ago I joined Facebook and I now manage the MPR page so those interested can see the good work we actually do. I created this page in response to Kelley Ward's continued accusations and her placing posters on Facebook pages for stolen, lost and exploited pets across the country. Louise Bowden and Kelly Ward have both tweeted and re-tweeted everyone they can think of with harmful lies.
There is a second page called The Attacks and Lies following this one. If you don't wish to know of the trash and lowliness people can stoop to please give it a miss. It had to be written though so I could dispel the lies. I wish none of this was necessary but sadly it has become so.