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The Ottawa Animal Advocate

Trucker Charged under Highway Traffic Act in Protester Death

Protester for animal rights - Regan Russell

Last month, we updated you on Bill 156, commonly known as "Ag Gag" legislation, which among other things, makes it illegal in Ontario for an employee of a farm or a slaughterhouse to record and reveal animal cruelty at their place of work.

Among the odious provisions of this bill is a limitation on the liability of animal transport drivers for "injury, loss or damages suffered... (by peaceful protesters)."  Just two days after the Conservative-dominated legislature rammed through the bill, a peaceful protester was struck and killed by the driver of a transport truck delivering pigs to a slaughterhouse in Burlington Ontario. Her name was Regan Russell and she was 65 years old.

Now, according to the Star, Halton Region police have charged the man driving the truck with the Highway Traffic Act offence of careless driving causing death in the June 19 incident. Police indicate they reviewed video footage that captured the incident but refuse to release it.

Ms. Russell's sudden and violent death sparked protests by animal rights activists demanding action against the truck driver and improving laws to protect such protests.

Anita Krajnc, co-founder of the group Toronto Pig Save was quoted, "What happened to this activist is beyond tragic. She was a beautiful, beautiful woman who was kind and compassionate, loved animals, wanted the world to go vegan. She has been doing animal activism for years. She just spoke her mind, she was very articulate. She was a beautiful woman and I can't believe she is dead. She's an angel and she was giving thirsty pigs water." In a blog written shortly after the incident, OHS President and CEO linked Ms. Russell's death to the passage of Bill 156.

COVID-19 and Animals

Animals and COVID

One of the many things the public health crisis has brought to light is how misinformation can spread like a virus. Throughout the crisis, the OHS has taken a cautious and informed approach by listening to, and implementing guidelines and recommendations from the experts.

One such expert, who the OHS has worked with to develop current animal health protocols, is Dr. Scott Weese, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph. Dr. Weese recently wrote an article highlighting valuable research and information on COVID-19 and companion animals, and debunking myths and misconceptions that do not hold up under a microscope.

Read the full article

More than Pals

Adopter with their new cat

At the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the OHS temporarily suspended sending adoptable pets to its partner Pet Adoption Locations (PAL) across Ottawa. PAL partners are a tremendous support for Ottawa's animals, providing additional space and much needed visibility for adoptable animals in the community. In late July, with careful consideration for public health guidelines, the OHS resumed adoptions through a small number of PAL partners.

In less than a month, PAL partners have already seen great success — with many animals being adopted only hours after arriving at the store. As the community continues adjusting to the new normal of COVID-19, the OHS will continue to increase the number of PAL partners resuming adoptions to help even more of Ottawa's homeless animals find their forever homes. So, next time you are visiting your favourite pet supply store or veterinary clinic, watch out for the OHS PAL logo, and thank the staff for what they do for the animals.

Buddy & Belle: Gibbs

Gibbs the cat

This frightened four-month-old kitty arrived with a terribly injured eye. An OHS veterinarian examined him and it appeared that a previous injury had led to scarring of the eye. Sadly, due to the scarring, his eye needed to be removed to avoid future complications.

Your donation today will provide Gibbs and animals like him with the medical treatment, love and compassion they deserve.

Donate Now


50/50 Advertisement

Day of Giving: The animals need your help

The COVID-19 crisis is having a profound impact on our services and ability to care for the animals.

This past year has had an unimaginable impact on vulnerable animals. That's why our generous sponsors are triple-matching your contributions TODAY.

The first-year of PAW Monthly donations and one-time gifts (received by Sept. 13) will be tripled — up to a maximum of $120,000 by our sponsors.

The more you give, the greater the impact on the lives of the animals.

Donate Now


"Ruff" Time to Wiggle and Waggle

Jack and his dog

For our Wiggle Waggle this year, Jack Duncan came up with creative ways to meet his goal. He did a "physically distanced" yard sale and will be doing a "fun run" and a bake sale. Two paws up for Jack!

Read more

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