27 February 2016

Dog Fighting Fears Grow in Northern BC

Chocco (Brad Tanner)
For more than a year, dog owners in Northern B.C. have been voicing their fears about stolen dogs.

Panic is spreading throughout the area with on-going rumours of dog fighting and the reported disappearance of over 120 dogs in the Fort St. John area in the past 12 months.

Owners fear that dogs are being stolen to fight as well as be used as bait dogs.

While some animals have been found dead or injured with injuries consistent with dog fighting, it has been difficult to come up with more evidence. This, coupled with limited resources for the RCMP and SPCA in this rural area, has made following up on dog owners’ fears a real challenge.

Over 2,000 people have signed a petition demanding the province give the SPCA and RCMP more resources to investigate.

Brad Tanner, a breeder from the Cecil Lake area in Northern BC, started the Sea of Green program and Stolen Dogs 911 on Facebook to address the missing dog issue after his dog, Chocco, was stolen and later found shot.

Tanner says the Sea of Green program is “a program for the pet owners, by the pet owners,” that addresses the gap in guidance and services when searching for a missing pet.

“The gaps have been identified and the solution is for us to unite as pet owners to help protect and recover each others’ four legged family members. To show the industry what it is that we are wanting and needing,” Tanner told InfoStream. “In turn, we will relieve the burden on all these other organizations that aren't able to cope and handle the extreme demand that is ravaging across this nation.”

“The ‘Sea of Green’ has two main components: A dedicated network of pet lovers and a single centralised pet registry (PetLynx) and one social media point. The goal is to integrate community and technology together enabling each and every household to monitor and locate their beloved pet with merely a few touches of a button,” explains Tanner.

Tanner was the recipient of the 2015 Pet Owner Summit Award for his efforts to raise awareness about dog theft in B.C. and Alberta.

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