Memorial to Harper

January 17th, 2007 - Reprinted with permission of the JRTRO

Harper was adopted through the JRTRO in September 2004 to Tara Szczygiel. She comments on him here:
"Harper came to us, as I'm sure an many JRT's do, quite rough around the edges (he was a brat!). But with lots of patience, hard work and love we turned him into quite a sweet little gentleman. We always received compliments on his behaviour everywhere we went. His favourite things were rolling in disgusting stuff, lying in laundry straight out of the dryer and unwrapping presents - it didn't matter if they were his! His sassy and sweet personality as well as his silly antics will be deeply missed!"

On December 13th, Tara was walking her dogs, Hero and Harper, in an off leash area in a park in Guelph. Harper was running near a fence, and he had put his head through a hole, and Tara heard him scream. She had thought that he had got his head caught in the fence, or had possibly caught an animal himself. What she found, though when she did find Harper was that his head and neck were caught in a conibear trap, and he was suffocating. Tara was unable to get the trap off him herself and ran for help. She did find some workers in the park, but even with the additional help, they were not able to get the trap off Harper. He suffocated to death with the trap still around his neck.
News articles on the incident.

This was in a public park, and the trap was set illegally. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is investigating, and they are aware of who set the trap. Unfortunately, the illegal setting of a trap does not neatly fall under any jurisdiction of the Criminal Code, so no charges have yet been laid. The MNR has authority over all trapping issues in Ontario and is able to address this. This could have been any one of our dogs, and this is indeed something that every dog owner should be concerned about.

at play

As a tribute to Harper, Julie Deans will be doing a portrait of him, which will be auctioned off as a fund raiser for JRT Rescue. A copy of the portrait will also be given to Harper's owner, Tara Szczygiel.

at rest