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Charges laid against Alberta man after dog found tethered to trailer on highway
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:20AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 7:53PM MST
Authorities with the Calgary Humane Society say charges have been laid against a Rocky View County man after images of a dog strapped to a flatbed trailer while on a highway went viral late last month.
Officials were notified about an image circulating on social media on October 28, 2017. The photo was of a tethered dog sitting on a flatbed trailer that was being driven through the city.
An investigation was launched shortly afterwards by the Calgary Police Service and Calgary Humane Society.
The dog's owner, Volodymyr Irodenko has since been charged in multiple offences, including causing an animal to be in distress and transporting an animal outside the cab of a vehicle.
Brad Nichols, the senior manager of Animal Cruelty Investigations, says transporting dogs in truck beds can be extremely dangerous for the dog because of exposure to the weather and the risk of falling.
"This offense is aggravated by the manner in which this dog was being transported, on a flatbed with no side rails to keep him on the trailer. We are very lucky, in Calgary, to have agencies that can work together so effectively to ensure the well being of animals and accountability for reckless owners.”
Nichols says the public outrage mainly came from the fact that there was no protection for the dog on the flatbed whatsoever.
"We don't general deal with dogs in the backs of trucks because, generally, it's a bylaw matter. It does sometimes enter the realm of animal welfare. This was egregious because there was nothing to keep that dog on its own balance from falling off."
Fortunately the dog wasn't injured in the incident, but Nichols says that doesn't make the charges any less serious.
"The dog is in custody currently. Animals are property by law so I can't say that there is no possibility of the dog going home but at this point, it is in custody and there are conditions for the owner to not be in care of animals so there are barriers."
Acting Sergeant Dennis Smithson with the CPS says aside from turning himself in, Irodenko has not been cooperative with the investigation.
The investigation, however, worked out well, especially with the coordinated effort. "We had the Humane Society assist wtih us, we had Rocky View Enforcement team and Community Safety Standard Bylaw in Calgary go out to his home with us to seize the animal. It was pretty much a group effort by four organizations."
Smithson said a number of witnesses contacted them about the incident, including two calls to dispatchers about the truck.
If Irodenko is convicted of the criminal charge he could face jail time for causing distress to an animal.
Convictions under the Animal Protection Act could also lead to a $20,000.00 fine and a lifetime ban on owning an animal.
Irodenko's first court appearance is in early December.