Saanich Canine Officer Drives Legislative Change

Saanich Police canine handler Constable Jason Whittaker realized there were no protections under law for his partner ‘Brock’, animals that risk injury and death alongside their partners every day they go to work.

Cst. Whittaker began the process of seeking legislative changes in January 2011. His journey ended yesterday with the successful passing of amendments to current animal cruelty legislation at the end of the spring sitting of the legislature.

The new legislation defines what a service animal working in a law enforcement capacity is. It then provides protections for these animals which did not exist prior, with fines up to $75,000.00 and or two years in jail.

“This is an important piece of legislation for law enforcement and all British Columbians. Up until now, law enforcement animals have often been taken for granted. These animals are out working to protect British Columbians day and night,” said Cst. Jason Whittaker, Canine Unit -Saanich Police Department. “I applaud the government’s stance to make B.C. the province with the toughest animal cruelty penalties in Canada. Enacting this law finally protects the animals that protect us.”

Media availability with Cst. Whittaker and ‘Brock’ is planned at the Saanich Police Headquarters between 12:30 and 2pm today. Please contact Sgt. Dean Jantzen at 250-883-0857 prior to attending. 

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