Group Urges Vigorous Prosecution of Man Who Allegedly Abused Terrier and Threatened Eyewitnesses
For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2014
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
Duncan, B.C. – This week, PETA sent an urgent plea to Crown prosecutor Peter Benning calling on him to take vigorous legal action against Brandon Harrison, who faces charges stemming from an April 2013 incident in which eyewitnesses reportedly saw Harrison pinning a small dog named Terry to the ground, repeatedly punching him in the face, and throwing him into a roadside ditch. Harrison then reportedly threatened the eyewitnesses with bodily harm. He’s scheduled to face these charges in court on Monday, June 9.
Because Terry is apparently still in Harrison’s custody, PETA is also asking officials to take immediate protective custody of the dog.
“Terry relied on Brandon Harrison for his every need, and Harrison apparently met that trust with violence,” says PETA researcher Dan Paden. “As the allegations against Harrison illustrate, people who commit violent acts against animals often turn their anger toward humans, too—and PETA is calling on the court to take this case very seriously and take steps toward ensuring that nobody else gets hurt.”
PETA is asking that the defendant, if convicted, be sentenced to a period of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harbouring animals, and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counselling, including anger-management classes.
For more information, please visit PETA.org. To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit https://secure.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/MediaCenter/PrintAds/EliRothPETAPSA.pdf.
PETA’s letter to Crown prosecutor Peter Benning follows.
June 6, 2014
The Honorable Peter Benning
CJB Crown Counsel, Duncan
238 Government St.
Duncan, BC V9L 1A5
Dear Mr. Benning:
PETA is an international animal-protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters. This letter concerns a case of cruelty to animals that your office is handling involving Brandon Harrison of Cowichan Lake Road, who we understand is facing charges for allegedly chasing down and viciously beating a small dog who escaped his custody in April 2013. Reportedly, eyewitnesses observed as Harrison pinned the dog to the ground by the neck, repeatedly punched the animal in the face, and then hurled him into a roadside ditch. We understand that Harrison also faces charges for uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death to and criminal harassment of those who attempted to intervene. The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on these charges on June 9. Alarmingly, the dog apparently remains in Harrison’s custody.
As you know, mental-health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider cruelty to animals to be a red flag. The link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is undeniable, and the safety of the community can depend on vigorous prosecution of such cases (please see attached). On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in British Columbia, we respectfully ask that if convicted, in addition to serving a period of incarceration, Harrison be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling (to include anger-management classes) at his own expense. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we ask that officials immediately take the dog into custody and, if Harrison is convicted, that he be prohibited from owning animals (a common provision in such cases) for as long as possible.
Thank you for your time and consideration and for the difficult work that you do.
Cruelty Investigations Department