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Peaceful protest planned for dog shot by OPP officer in Collingwood

By JT McVeigh, The Enterprise-Bulletin

Karen Sutherland, of Collingwood, holds a photo of her dog, Merrick. The dog was ran down and shot by an OPP officer who mistook the animal for a coyote. 
CHRIS DOUCETTE/Postmedia Network

Karen Sutherland, of Collingwood, holds a photo of her dog, Merrick. The dog was ran down and shot by an OPP officer who mistook the animal for a coyote. CHRIS DOUCETTE/Postmedia Network

It has been a hard three weeks for Karen Sutherland and Scott Klinck after their dog, Merrick was killed by an OPP officer responding to a call about an aggressive, rabid coyote in a Collingwood neighbourhood the night of Oct. 19.

Public outcry quickly grew when video footage was posted online that night. It appears to show an officer hit a dog with an OPP cruiser multiple times and then kill the animal by shooting it.

The couple want closure on the incident so they have planned a peaceful protest for Merrick, Thursday in front of Collingwood Town Hall from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"The first few days were the hardest because there was finding out it was her, then trying to finding her body," said Klinck. "And then there was trying to get past all of the reporters, it was just a lot to happen all at once."

The worst part for Klinck was waking up and watching the video on television.

"I thought that they were just going to talk about it, I didn't know that they were going to show it," said Klinck.

What is upsetting after the fact for Klinck is the personal hatred against the police that is being directed to him.

"It was just one officer who did a really stupid thing," Klinck said. "But it is really hard to separate all of your anger to what people are doing about this, I want to keep separate how you treat people and how you treat animals."

No apologies have been offered to the couple, but they have been interviewed by officers from the OPP Professional Standards Branch based in Orillia which is investigating the matter.

"We have to have some type of meeting, at least a way of saying that this isn't right," said Klinck. "And we figured that the best way to do it was at town hall, not the police station because we don't want to make this totally against the police."

For Klinck he just wants everything to quiet down.

"It's been a lot of attention," said Klinck. "You know this is a small town, everybody knows you, and if a person dies it takes a couple of weeks to get over."

"But you don't see them run over by a car on the television, we just want some closure."

Klinck hopes that the demonstration Thursday brings them a little peace.

"We can't stop people hurting people, but we can stop people from hurting animals." Kinck said.

 



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