Too often, first responders such as police are called on to manage wildlife or animal-related issues that are not within their mandate. Due to a lack of funding and training, these incidents end in tragic violence. It is time for this to end.
By calling on the OPP and Ministry of Community Safety and Corrections, we can put pressure on the political and bureaucratic systems to get funding and training for first responders across Ontario and prevent future tragedies.
Commissioner Hawkes and Minister Naqvi,
As a resident of Ontario or an animal lover with an interest in the humane treatment of animals, I urge you to take immediate action to create funding and training for first responders across the province for wildlife or animal-related scenarios.
As witnessed in October, an OPP officer chose to run down what he thought was a coyote (and was actually a senior dog) three times prior to using his sidearm to kill him. This is unacceptable behavior, and a symptom of the larger systemic failure to provide training and education across the province.
Unless you take action, these tragic incidents will continue - and every time they do, the OPP and province of Ontario are given a scar that cannot be healed in the public eye.