It’s good to know that there are victories for those that need the services of guide dogs, and that justice is served against those who perpetrate animal abuse.
On Feb. 16, the National Post had a story about a taxi company in Newfoundland that was found to have discriminated against a visually impaired woman.
In April 2013, she was denied service by two taxi drivers and a third driver “abruptly drove away,” according to the story.
The Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador set up a board of inquiry to hear Anne Malone’s complaint against the taxi drivers.
The board concluded, and the commission agreed, that she had been discriminated against. Now, the taxi company is being made to pay her $5,000 and take part in training to accommodate disabled persons, the Post story continues.
It’s a very good decision for the rights of disabled people, especially those in need of guide-dog services. They should not have to be subjected to humiliate and rejection by service providers simply because they have need of animals to help them get around to perform their daily activities.
Whatever the motives were on the part of the taxi drivers in Newfoundland, they had no right to show such callous disregard to a person with a disability.
In the all the years I travelled by transit in Victoria, never once did I see a bus driver reject a person with a guide dog. If I had seen such misconduct, I would have reported it to the transit authority and the B.C. Human Rights Commission.
Moreover, I offer kudos to a friend in Kamloops, B.C. He is confined to a wheelchair, but with the help of his family, he looks after retired guide dogs. He has been doing this for many years and should be recognized for this service.
In another case, also found in the National Post on Feb. 2, justice has been served for a dog that was subjected to horrible cruelty near Windsor, Ontario just before Christmas.
In fact, the dog has been named ‘Justice’.
Someone found the dog near a Canadian Tire store while out walking their dog. A photo with the Post’s report shows the dog’s muzzle and legs tightly bound with electrical tape.
Michael Earl Hill, 32, has been convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary. After his release, Hill will be on probation for three years and he is prohibited from having any more animals for 25 years.
There’s no excuse or justification for what Hill did. Hill’s behaviour is nothing short of despicable and heinous. He’s a moral coward for what he did. I wish Hill had been sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for what he did to this dog, and that a lifetime ban had been imposed for any further ownership/possession of any other animals. However, the 25-year ban was all that the judge could impose, according to the Post report.
Still, the case of ‘Justice’ sends a message to would-be and current animal abusers that they can and will be subject to the criminal justice system when caught.