Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Animal abusers

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Last week it was dog abuse. This week we heard about a horse made to suffer.Neither court cases were very pleasant to sit through. And both left me wondering how people who claim they love animals could be responsible for utter cruelty.If you haven't read either of my stories, I'll spare you the grisly details.One involved a married couple who pretty much ran their puppy mill business into the ground - at the expense of the nearly two dozen animals they were housing. (Click HERE to read)The other involved a married couple who took in a couple of neglected horses - then made no effort to actually care for at least one of them. (Click HERE to read)The consistent theme that emerged in these unrelated cases is that there are people in this world who have no business owning an animal of any kind.Another is the lack of punishment that awaits these types of offenders.Sure, both couples were hit with substantial fines. But considering they are both deep in debt, what are the odds that money will actually be paid anytime soon?How about hitting people like this where it really hurts - and take away their freedom?I firmly believe anyone who could subject a helpless animal to such torment is capable of doing same to a fellow human. To me, that makes them a potential danger to society. So lock 'em up for a bit.Animal abuse laws in this country are sorely lacking. And we continue to see disturbing stories making headlines every week or so.Fortunately, all hope isn't lost. There are still plenty of caring people in this world.Ian Greaves is one such man. He e-mailed me this week after my reading the story on the puppy mill case. He had a most interesting - and heartwarming - story to share.In his words...Mike,I read with interest the article that you wrote "Puppy mill owners found guilty" online. I would like to tell you how I am personally and very indirectly involved with this story.As tragic in a sense of how those animals where treated, I want to tell you how something has come out of this very positive and made my family very happy.All the stars seem to have lined up straight for me and my family way back in May 2007. First of all, the dogs that were seized, were seized by a vet that worked for the provincial government that is a friend of ours.When these dogs where seized, they had to go to a places that could take care of them. Namely a place like Darcy's Animal Rescue Center on Portage Avenue.I guess some of these seized animals were beagles, bulldogs and three Wheaton Terriers. Of these Wheaton Terriers, one was a male and two were female.One of the Wheaton females was pregnant at the time. Hence move fast forward to the May long weekend of 2007. Getting together with my wife's family for a barbeque, my wife Shelley and her sister, Sharon, also Darcy's wife were talking about these Wheaton pups that weere coming to Darcy's animal shelter to be adopted.They had been seized from a puppy mill somewhere in southern Manitoba. My wife said to me, "Ian would you like a Wheaton Terrier puppy." I said "NO WAY".I then made the mistake of looking up this breed on the internet. I got suckered in.The pregnant female gave birth to a litter of 8 - 7 females and 1 male - at a foster home somewhere in or around Winnipeg.Hence, this is why I am writing you this email to tell you that we ended up getting one of these Wheaton puppies, that will soon be one year old on March 27. This dog has brought a great deal of happiness in this home.IMG_0651.JPG My three kids love the silly dog to death, my wife talks to it like it is going to reply and I kinda like it too. This family could not have asked for a better pet.A kind of happy note to this story don't you think.I have included a picture of Sheena our Wheaton Terrier that all of us just love.Best Regards,Ian Greaves

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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