A Sooke man has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and public mischief after he allegedly misled police by telling them that a stranger had attacked his dog, which later had to be euthanized.
On Sept. 6, a man reported to Sooke RCMP that he was on a walk with his dog and two young children in the area of the DeMamiel Creek Golf Course near Throup and Charters Road, when a stranger attacked the dog with a blunt object.
The dog suffered a broken jaw and ended up being put down because of the injury.
Police looked into the man’s story, including analyzing multiple surveillance videos and interviewing witnesses.
When that led them to doubt the truth of the story, they interviewed the man, who admitted to having made it up and was charged in connection with the dog injury, said Staff Sgt. Greg Willcocks, detachment commander for Sooke RCMP.
By then, however, news of the incident had spread widely on social media, “causing outrage and criticism in the community,” he said.
“Sooke RCMP received multiple phone calls voicing concern about the attack, since it allegedly occurred during school hours, inside of a major school-zone area.”
The area where the man said the incident occurred was near Journey Middle School and École Poirier Elementary.
“The concern from the community was palpable as demonstrated by the volume of media inquiries, as well as inquiries from concerned community stakeholders such as counsellors and the mayor in regard to this incident,” Willcocks said.
Derek Reid, 32, has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and public mischief, and is set to appear in court on Jan. 4.
Anyone with further information about the incident is asked to call Sooke RCMP at 250-642-5241.