Hundreds protest dog's mutilation in Windsor, Ont.
Abused dog's owner waives right to bail
About 200 protesters gathered outside a Windsor, Ont., courthouse on Wednesday to express outrage at a man accused of mutilating his dog.
The black lab mix, named Tyson, was sexually mutilated and left for dead near a downtown elementary school on May 10. The dog's injuries were so severe it had to be euthanized.
Its owner, Anjalo Abeywickrema, 51, has been charged with one count of permitting unnecessary pain, injury or suffering to an animal.
Abeywickrema's bail hearing was cancelled on Wednesday as he waived his right to bail.
Kevin Shannon, Abeywickrema's lawyer, insisted his client had nothing to do with the crime.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the scheduled bail hearing.
The protesters called for stiffer penalties for dealing with people convicted of animal cruelty.
Organizer Tammy Deslaurier said she's been getting support from across the country since hundreds participated in a similar rally on Monday.
"We're coming and I hope Stephen Harper is ready because our group support around the country is starting to build," said Deslaurier. "This is something that needs attention now. We want change now," she said.
Windsor-St. Clair MP Joe Comartin is trying to introduce new legislation to protect animals.
The bill would create legislation enabling the courts to prosecute animal abusers as if the animal was a person.
Comartin said Canadians want a law that will better protect animals.
"Every opinion poll that I've ever seen shows that the vast majority of people want to see this kind of legislation where we see animals as sentient beings," he said.
"They have feelings. They hurt and we have to treat them in a humane fashion."
Protesters plan to hold another protest on May 30th outside Queen's Park in Toronto.