Police are considering potential charges of Uttering Threats, Criminal Harassment and Counselling Suicide after escalating behaviour directed at a group that has been accused of animal abuse.
“While we respect the right of people to voice their concerns, some individuals’ actions and behaviour have now escalated to a point that has the police very concerned,” said RCMP Island District spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas on Friday afternoon.
She said an incident was reported to police and was immediately investigated.
“Police will not tolerate any retaliatory actions as a result of this incident and any reports of threats and other potential criminal behaviour will be fully investigated,” Douglas said.
Douglas also noted the individuals accused are being held accountable “and we respectfully ask that the public show patience for the unfolding judicial process.”
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP received a report of animal cruelty involving Gigi, a one-year-old calico cat.
The indoor cat had escaped but was captured by a group of youth and one adult and allegedly drugged with MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, shaved, and doused in bleach.
Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, has been charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.
The RCMP have also confirmed that a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy have also been charged with causing an animal to suffer in the incident.
All three of the accused have been released on conditions that include no contact with each other or the victim, no consuming intoxicating substances and they must not possess or have care of any pets or animals.
The trio, and others allegedly involved, have received a mountain of feedback via social media and beyond.
“We would like to reiterate that we do not support bullying of any kind and continue to work with our partners of School District #79 to ensure the safety of all students and the community,” Douglas said.
The cat has received veterinary attention and is home recovering.