Halifax police investigate alleged mistreatment of dog after video circulates online
HALIFAX -- Halifax Regional Police are investigating after a video posted online shows what appears to be the mistreatment of a dog in Dartmouth on Canada Day.
At 5:30 p.m., police responded to the 600 block of Windmill Road in Dartmouth with reports of a physical altercation happening between four women.
Police say the alleged altercation began after two women from one vehicle confronted two women in the second vehicle after being cut-off in a drive-thru.
In a news release on Saturday, police say there were initial reports of a dog being involved but the extent was not clear at the time. Officers did check on two dogs in one of the vehicles who appeared to be in good health.
Brittany McGuire was in the vehicle that allegedly got cut-off. According to her, words were exchanged between the two vehicles, before the driver of the other vehicle got out and started allegedly assaulting McGuire’s passenger.
“All of the sudden she’s around to my side and the dog is out of the car, and she has him and everyone can see from the video what happened,” said McGuire.
The video posted to social media appears to show a woman picking up McGuire’s dog by the leash, and swinging it at her, hitting her several times.
McGuire says her main concern, was the safety of her three-month old puppy Ace.
“I thought that my dog was going to die because there was traffic everywhere, people everywhere,” said McGuire.
“I just wanted him in my arms because I didn’t want him to get run over and I thought that she was choking him to death.”
The video, which has gone viral since being posted, quickly caught the attention of animal rights activists.
“I was outraged. I was sad for the puppy, and I couldn’t understand what would bring someone to do something like that. I really couldn’t,” said animal rights activist Brenda Gerroir.
After seeing the video, Gerroir called police, who came to her home to view the video.
“The altercation that transpired between these two women is not my concern. That is between them, and they have a voice to speak for themselves,” says Gerroir. “This dog has no voice to speak for themselves, and the terror that it must have felt at that moment, being swung around like a yo-yo, is just unimaginable to me.”
Police now say they became aware of a video of the incident circulating on social media, which appears to show a dog being swung by its leash.
“The extent of, I guess, what happened to the dog came to our attention this morning when the video was circulated on social media and we immediately assigned investigators to carry on with that investigation in regards to the mistreatment of the dog,” said Halifax Police Sgt. Tanya Chambers-Spriggs.
The investigation is still in its early stages, and police say more information will be provided when available.
According to police, none of the four women wished to pursue assault charges on the day of the incident.
“What was stated to me from Halifax Regional Police was that no charges could be laid,” explained McGuire. “It was either all of us being charged and arrested at the scene, or nobody charged and arrested at all, and at the time I chose to go home.”
“I have small children, my friend has small children so that was what was on our minds at the time.”
McGuire told CTV News she hopes animal abuse charges will be laid, but for now, she is just happy her puppy is safe at home.
“Maybe we could have been better people and let them in front of us,” said McGuire. “We could have let it go, but when you involve an innocent animal that is only three-months-old, I was afraid I was going to have to go home to my two children and tell them I wasn’t bringing home their puppy.”
Police say they are working with the SPCA to determine what, if any, charges could be laid as a result of the altercation.
Anyone with information into the incident is asked to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers.