The Reef Babies Part Two

While Campbell River’s Courier-Islander newspaper comes under criticism from the RCMP for its coverage of the force’s dumping of two stray dogs on a remote beach in Kyuquot Sound, the people of Campbell River have voted with their pocket books.

Maggie Tyerman-Norbjerg, the dogs’ rescuer, sat atop a big boulder called Big Rock in Campbell River all day Saturday and into the evening to raise funds and awareness for ‘dumped dogs’. Specifically she was trying to raise $1,000 to cover the costs of veterinary bills needed for the two dogs, formerly called Reef Babies and now called Joshua and Isaac, that the RCMP dropped off to fend for themselves in remote Kyuquot Sound, four hours north of Campbell River.

As of 6 p.m. she had raised over $2,000 and vowed to continue her vigil into the night. Meanwhile stories on the issue can be accessed on this website.

On Friday, the RCMP responded to the Courier Islander’s report with a sharply worded “open letter to the editor” written by RCMP Chief Superintendent Ray Bernoties.

Bernoties reiterated that the safety of children in the village was the reason the dogs were relocated, and he suggested that the Courier Islander’s report seemed to have shown more empathy for the dogs than the child who was bitten.

“I can’t help but think that if an 11-year-old girl in an affluent neighbourhood in your area had been attacked by dogs you would’ve shown at least some concern for the girl,” Bernoties wrote, “as well as the dogs.”

This is not the first time that Bernoties has pushed back against reports in local newspapers.

In recent years Bernoties wrote public letters challenging editorial criticism of the RCMP by the Osoyoos Times on one occasion, and the Whistler News in another.

Meanwhile the dogs in question were on hand at the Big Rock in Campbell River for people to decide for themselves how dangerous they were. Apparently, at least one man in a wheelchair and several other bystanders were almost licked to death by the killer dogs.

ncameron@courierislander.com

© Copyright 2015 Campbell River Courier Islander

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