Ian Somerhalder has been busy saving man’s best friend. The “Vampire Diaries” star was sickened by a real life horror when it was revealed that an employee at an outdoor adventure tourism company in British Columbia had shot to death approximately 100 sled dogs in a little more than two days in April 2010. His reasoning was that he needed to thin out the pack.
Hearing of this, Ian Somerhalder Foundation went into action, partnering Change.org to force law-makers to enforce stiffer penalties for crimes against animals in the Canadian province. The amendments demanded by the Ian Somerhalder Foundation have now been set down in law, as part of British Columbia’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
“These animals were brutally murdered and the individuals responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Period,” Ian Somerhalder said in the announcement, adding, “Government officials need to do everything in their power to make sure this sort of tragedy never happens again.”
A petition by the ISF and Change.org was signed by more than 60,000 people, and it was this that was fundamental to forcing a change in the law.
Some of the changes that were made to the Act are:
- Higher penalties for animal cruelty to fines up to $75,000 and jail terms of up to two
- The limitation period for offences under the act was extended from six months to three years.
- Greater accountability for owners, companies, and others responsible for animals to
protect their animals from distress.
- New ability for government to set standards regarding the use, care and protection of animals, including sled dogs.
“The laws must be changed to accommodate the fact that individuals who even consider this type of behavior understand that it’s an attack against life itself and will not be tolerated,” said Somerhalder.