VANCOUVER — Vancouver police arrested on an unrelated charge the owner of the German shepherd who died last week after being discovered in a dumpster with serious injuries.
Police arrested Brian Whitlock in Vancouver today for an outstanding criminal harassment warrant dating back to an April 4 incident, but while in custody SPCA investigators plan to interview him about his dog Captain’s death.
“It’s preliminary to come to any conclusions in this case, but we’re pleased we’re now able to have the opportunity to speak with him,” said Marcie Moriarty, the SPCA’s manager of cruelty investigations. “What I can say is that we haven’t received the final necropsy report that would absolutely rule out something like [Captain] being hit by a car -which is highly unlikely.”
Until the necropsy proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a human killed Captain, no charges will be laid Moriarty said.
Captain was suffering from serious cuts and bruises and was likely quadriplegic by the time he was rescued from a dumpster in Kitsilano on the 1400 block of Maple Street last Wednesday. On Thursday night he died of a heart attack, despite B.C. SPCA staff giving him CPR for more than 30 minutes.
Captain was discovered wrapped in a bloody blanket that covered his bruises and cuts — he was also underweight. A vet exam showed he had spinal cord damage and air around his lungs and was not likely to recover.
Meanwhile, a vigil for the two-year-old dog at 7 p.m. this evening brought hundreds out to a Kitsilano Beach.
Waving posters voicing their support for the German shepherd and the SPCA, people walked their pooches down to Hadden Park, one of Vancouver’s 35 off-leash dog parks.
Captain had more than one owner, according to information stored on the dog’s microchip, Moriarty said. The canine was once a police dog candidate but deemed too friendly, the SPCA said Thursday.
Under the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty causing death is up to five years in jail and a lifetime ban on owning pets. A fine of up to $10,000 can also be imposed.
An online campaign has raised over $67,000 as of this evening for the B.C. SPCA’s investigation into Captain’s injuries.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and the offers of help we have received for this poor dog and for the support we receive for the thousands of other animals who suffer abuse and violence,” said Moriarty. “The reality is our constables do their work because donors pay for them to do the work. And we couldn’t investigate the 7,000 animal cruelty complaints a year . . . without the 100 per cent donor support.”
Donations to the organization’s cruelty investigations department can be made through their website at spca.bc.ca or by calling 604-681-7271.