On December 24, 2013 the RCMP attended Askim's residence on a false complaint. Askim, a golden labrador cross, was in the bedroom with his owner and her friend. The RCMP banged on the bedroom door causing Askim to bark so the friend held on to the dog. The police grabbed Askim's owner by the hair and threw her to the ground, breaking her nose. She demanded to know why the officers were doing this to her, all the while Askim was under control but barking at the commotion.
The owner's father started down the stairs and asked the RCMP what they were doing with his daughter. One of the officer's, Tobin, was standing at the stairs and told him not to come down. The father, hearing Askim's distress, called the dog to "come." Askim did as he was told and ran past the two officers who were on top of his owner in an attempt to reach the father (and safety) upstairs. Tobin turned and shot Askim as the dog tried to get past him to the father. Askim was left for dead.
Debra, the owner's mother, arrived at the residence. There were three RCMP officers there and none of them had checked on the dog. Debra followed the trail of blood and found Askim under a bed where he cowered in fear. Blood sprayed from his head wounds every time he moved. Debra begged Sgt Preto to allow her to take the dog to the vet for emergency care but Sgt. Preto refused. He told Debra that Animal Control had been called and she had to wait for them. Debra waited for 2 hours, repeatedly begging Sgt. Preto to allow her to take Askim for help. At the end of 3 hours, Animal Control finally showed up with a truck to remove a deceased animal. The police had not just failed to call Animal Control within the first 2 hours of the shooting, but they relayed to Animal Control that Askim was dead.
Askim was taken to the vet which resulted in antibiotics and some pain meds but Animal Control wouldn't allow x-rays to determine the extent of the gunshot injuries. He had lost so much blood the vet was concerned for his survival. Regardless of Askim's critical condition, Animal Control took him to the Kamloops pound where he remained, bleeding, full of infection and suffering in pain.
RCMP Sgt Preto has told the media Askim had acted aggressively, forcing the officer to shoot. He failed to tell the media that this isn't the first dog this officer has shot. Preto made excuses for why the RCMP couldn't provide the statements required by Animal Control to obtain Askim's release, when the Use of Force Legislation requires that all police officers who use force including pepper spray, taser or a gun must fill out the Use of Force forms immediately following an incident.
The Kamloops Animal Control personnel know Askim to be a gentle dog. They had to attend in October, 2013 when Askim was attacked by the neighbour's dog. Askim did not inflict any injury on that dog although he suffered the attack for 30 minutes resulting in multiple bites and flesh being torn from his hind limbs. Given the history of this docile canine, the RCMP alleging that Askim behaved aggressively in any manner is a feeble attempt to justify using lethal force inside of a residential dwelling.
The officer who shot Askim could have used his taser (without leads) or pepper spray. Instead he chose to put all the occupants at risk by discharging his gun. This officer's badge should be reviewed as his actions do put the public at risk.
There are so many unanswered questions: Why did the officer choose to shoot Askim? Does the officer have a fear of dogs as this is not his first canine victim? Why did Sgt. Preto tell Debra that Animal Control had been called for help when clearly they had not? Why did Preto prevent Debra from getting help for Askim immediately? Why did three RCMP officers (including Tobin who shot Askim) allow an animal to suffer without helping? Why did the RCMP tell Animal Control that the dog was deceased? Is this another RCMP cover-up?
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With this petition we endeavor to shine a spotlight on the cruel and inhumane manner in which dogs are shot and victimized by the RCMP during the course of their duties. Global attention on this matter should be a catalyst to create change in the attitudes and actions of the RCMP with respect to animals and finding alternate solutions to using lethal force.
Bringing a global awareness to this terrible tragedy is the only way in which the RCMP will be forced to address the animal abuse that they are sanctioning when their officers are not held accountable for shooting, maiming, and without regard, killing family dogs.
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