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The Highland Animal Relief Team HART, is a registered charity, operating in the region of Bancroft, Ontario since 1995. HART works to high standards of ethical care for the dogs coming to our rescue door. They are all provided basic and emergency vet care/spay/neuter/socialization, before adoption to very well screened homes. The dogs' needs are met in the interim by caring foster volunteers, in their private homes. Contact number 613-338-3333







Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Help prevent cruelty to animals by learning to identify cruelty, and understanding what steps you can take to stop it. It is only through action that we can make a difference.

Each year HART/Newf Friends has animals come into our care who have been the victims of cruelty in the form of neglect or cases of intentional cruelty. Dogs who have been abandoned, starved, denied veterinary care for injuries or illnesses, shot, beaten, dragged behind cars…..we see it all. With the help of concerned citizens who call in tips, police officers and animal control officers are able to investigate cruelty allegations and save animals from further harm. This can only happen if people come forward and report cruelty. Please, if you witness cruelty, don’t turn a blind eye and let the animals continue to suffer. Report cruelty, and save a life.

HART’s Bancroft Times Ad April 7, 2010 Click the image to see in larger size

We have had several dogs come into HART’s care in recent months who have been the victims of cruelty. The most recent case involves 8 year old littermates Sophie and Tasha who are currently in the loving care of a Newf Friends/HART foster home.

On March 13, 2010 these gentle family dogs were found on a country road in Apsley, Ontario, barely clinging to life with severe head trauma. Their injuries are NOT consistent with being struck by a car--both show only injuries to the top of the head. Their injuries ARE consistent with being beaten over the head.

Sophie is pictured here several days after her injuries were sustained. Sophie was not expected to survive, but she managed to pull through. In this photo much of the swelling in her head had reduced and her eye returned to the socket. There is still a significant chance that her eye will need to be removed. She suffered multiple fractures around her occipital lobe. She had extensive brain swelling, bleeding, was unable to move her tongue for days after her injuries, could not use her jaw, and was unable to swallow. Her tongue continues to flop out of her mouth. She has permanent brain damage, and her gait has been affected as she is no longer able to walk in a straight line.

Tasha is shown here several days after her injuries were sustained. Her eye swollen and bloody, she has lost her vision in one eye. Suffering from a fractured skull and much swelling she has been on pain meds since her injuries.

The girls’ injuries were extensive, and survival unlikely. Thanks to exceptional around the clock care from Dr. Kim Facey, Apsley Veterinary Services, these two girls beat the odds and survived. Tasha and Sophie both have fractured skulls and have each lost the use of one eye. Sophie has a ruptured ear drum and is still at risk of losing her damaged eye. Both girls suffer from brain injury, and Sophie will likely have permanent neurological dysfunction as a result of her injuries. Both girls were anemic from blood loss–-Sophie had chronic nosebleeds for nearly a week after her injuries.

After a week of hospitalization, the girls were moved to their foster home, where they have continued to receive medical care, with medication and treatments multiple times a day. Dr. Facey travels to their foster location to reassess the girls regularly.

The girls in their foster home shortly after arriving. Sophie’s head still has swelling, and both girls have swollen eyes.

Donations are needed to help cover the high cost of pain medications, eye medications, vet care including potential removal of Sophie’s eye and spaying of both girls once they are healthy enough. HART is a registered charity and a tax receipt will be issued for your kind donation. Donations can be made to HART online – in the comments section, note that you would like the funds directed to Sophie and Tasha. Cheques payable to HART can be mailed to HART PO Box 1713 Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0


The girls at their foster home a few weeks after arriving.

The criminal investigation into what happened to Sophie and Tasha is not complete and we are not able to go into specific details at this time. Although we believe we know who did this, there is a lack of concrete evidence and this is making the investigation difficult--the likelihood of charges being laid are slim unless someone comes forward with more information. Tips can be called in anonymously to CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-TIPS or the Bancroft OPP station 613-332-2112.

The girls at their foster home -- enjoying some playtime now that they are starting to feel better.