Justice for Canuck the crow: SPCA investigates assault

The B.C. SPCA and the Italian Canadian Sports Federation have launched separate investigations into Saturday’s attack that sent Vancouver’s most beloved crow to a wildlife animal hospital.

Canuck the crow is showing signs of head trauma after being “blindsided” by a linesman’s flag at a soccer game on Saturday.

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Canuck’s human companion, Shawn Bergman, says Canuck is being taken care of by “quite arguably the best bird doctor in North America,” Dr. Anne McDonald at Vancouver’s Night Owl Animal Hospital.


“In the long run, time will tell,” Bergman wrote on the Canuck and I Facebook page on Sunday.

Canuck is famous for stealing a knife used in a stabbing from the crime scene and hopping on the SkyTrain to see if any of the passengers had food for him. A documentary is being made of the special relationship between Bergman and Canuck.

Canuck with knife
Canuck made headlines when he stole the knife used in a stabbing as the police were investigating the crime scene.

The SPCA’s Lorie Chortyk says the agency takes all cases of animal cruelty seriously, no matter what the animal.

Under Section 445.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada, charges can be laid on anyone who “willfully causes or, being the owner, willfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird.”

“It’s about ensuring every animal gets justice,” Chortyk said Monday.

The outpouring of support for Canuck, who gained thousands of new Facebook followers over the weekend, is encouraging, she adds, because it shows that all animals are valued in our society.

The SPCA investigates about 10,000 allegations a year. “Even if they don’t have such a Facebook presence we’d take the case equally as seriously.”

The Italian Canadian Sports Federation, which hosted the soccer tournament where the assault took place at Adanac Park, was quick to respond.

On Sunday it posted a message on its website saying that it did not condone violence of any kind against animals.

It has assigned one of its board members, Don Faccone, to investigate what happened.

“What we have been able to determine so far is that the person involved in this incident was not a member of ICSF and was not employed or directed by ICSF,” the release says. “For this tournament, each team is responsible for providing volunteer linespeople for their game and this person was related to one of the teams that was playing at the time.”

Anyone with information about the attack on Canuck is asked email Faccone at jkfdon@telus.net.

The SPCA also encourages witnesses to help with its investigation. People who have any evidence of the assault should contact the investigating officer at 604-575-2249 or the animal cruelty hotline, 1-855-622-7722.

Canuck and Shawn Bergman
A documentary is being filmed about the special relationship between Vancouver's Shawn Bergman and Canuck the crow.

In the meantime, in his most recent Facebook post, Bergman wonders if he should break the news to Canuck’s girlfriend, Cassiar.

“Through this whole ordeal, there is one person that this has affected greatly and I wanted to mention it today,” he wrote Monday. “That person is Cassiar. She is the one individual that seems worried sick about Canuck and I can't even tell her what's going on. It's been 3 days since she's seen Canuck and I can tell she's worried. She has greeted me for the past two mornings by landing on the railing by my door and squawking at me. The only other time she did this was when Canuck went missing but as it turns out he was just up in Whistler. I wish I could tell her and for her to understand what's going on. Breaks my heart. However I'm sure she will be excited to see him when he does come home.”

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