© Submitted photo
Hunny (right) was left in the backyard of Jamy Smith's house on the 900 block of Athabasca Street East on Sept. 25. She was later found in the front yard, suffering from a brain injury.
Mystery and misinformation surround Hunny's death
Talk of a dog being maliciously attacked has caused Moose Jaw residents to panic.
“Our whole block is watching,” said Jamy Smith. “That’s how bad it’s got.”
Smith lives on the 900 block of Athabasca Street East.
More than a month after Hunny, a four-year-old pug cross breed, was euthanized after sustaining mysterious injuries in Smith’s yard, Facebook posts have mixed rumour with fact.
The Times-Herald spoke with Smith, and other sources, in an attempt to discover what actually happened to Hunny the night of Sept. 25.
“We were out for about 20 minutes,” Smith said. “We came back and we found the dog in the front yard doing twirls.”
Without any apparent witnesses or suspects, Hunny sustained neurological damage.
Before Smith left the house, he tied Hunny up in the backyard — not the front yard. Smith was sure the contraption was secured.
“I had one of those steel pegs you twist into the ground. I had to put it in with a pipe,” Smith said. “That was gone. The leash was gone.”
The Facebook posts, which Smith had no connection to, allege Hunny was beaten with two-by-fours, by as many as three assailants.
“How would they know unless they’re the ones that did it,” Smith asked.
Smith didn’t see proof that a weapon was used to harm Hunny, but he has a fire pit in his backyard, he said, so he keeps several two-by-fours nearby.
Sergeant Cliff Froehlich with the Moose Jaw Police Service said, as of Monday morning, Smith had not filed a complaint.
Smith took Hunny to Bellamy Harrison Animal Hospital afterhours. Smith said the veterinarians told him the dog had either been choked or hit in the head.
Dr. Lorilee Sereda examined Hunny after midnight — making it Sept. 26.
Sereda said it wasn’t her who claimed a beating took place.
“They were very adamant when they came in that this is what happened because they know this (alleged) person and there’s some tension between them,” Sereda said.
“I can’t say the dog was beaten. There’s no way I can say that it was.”
Sereda said when Hunny was admitted, the dog was very anxious, whimpering and clinging to its owner.
Sereda tested the dog’s pupillary light reflex (PLR), shining a light in Hunny’s eyes.
Hunny’s pupils didn’t constrict.
She also tested the menace response by covering one of Hunny’s eyes and trying to get her to blink.
Hunny didn’t blink.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is completely blind, it just means it couldn’t tell you if the lights are on or off,” Sereda said. “The fact that it had no menace and no PLR, it more likely was blind.”
I would suspect there to be some bruising, swelling, lacerations or something. But there was none of that that we could see. Dr. Lorilee Sereda
Sereda said Hunny was walking into things and circling to the right.
“We kind of suspected that there may be some kind of head trauma,” Sereda said.
Hunny was not bleeding externally at all.
“I think if a dog sustained head trauma (by being) beaten with a two-by-four … I would suspect there to be some bruising, swelling, lacerations or something. But there was none of that, that we could see,” Sereda said.
The next day, when Hunny showed only the slightest improvement, instead of the more expensive option of sending the dog to Saskatoon for an MRI, Smith opted to have the dog euthanized.
Hunny has yet to be cremated. Bellamy Harrison Animal Hospital still has the corpse, and will be holding onto it. If MJPS start an investigation into what happened to Hunny, the body will be sent to Saskatoon for an autopsy.
Doctor Bob Bellamy said there were a variety of possibilities — like a stroke — that could have caused the dog’s brain injury, besides two-by-fours.
“The dog was tethered, tied to a leash in the yard, and when they found the dog, it had no leash or collar on it,” Bellamy said. “One thing we suggested was perhaps the dog got caught and choked.”
None of these possibilities bring Hunny back to life.
Smith was taking care of Hunny after Donna White moved to Chamberlain and couldn't take the dog with her.
White was distraught on Friday, convinced that Hunny was the victim of a merciless beating.
“Justice needs to be served,” White said. “That’s just wrong. Whatever they were doing to the animal, they took a loved one away from us.”
White said she made a point to see Hunny “all the time,” even after Smith took her in.
When asked what Hunny’s personality was like, White responded, “She loved everybody. The friendliest dog you’d ever see.”
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.