Ted Penston was driven to action after he saw what he describes as a horrific display of animal cruelty outside his home.
“This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this,” Penston said in a phone call with Victoria Buzz. “We’ve been here 20 odd years.”
But on Monday afternoon he saw something unbelievably shocking: a man violently abusing a dog at Brydon Park.
“I live right beside the park,” Penston said. “I saw him from my deck.”
He says the man was choking, kicking, and throwing around a small dog, in full view of other park users.
According to Penston there were a handful of women with their children in their park, screaming and asking the man to stop the abusive behaviour.
“My wife says, Ted, you’ve gotta do something.”
He says he confronted the man, who swore at him before trying to punch him. Penston stepped backward in response and fell over, and he says the man kicked him while he was on the ground.
The man then allegedly threw the dog into a car and fled the park.
Saanich Police are investigating the assault and say they have identified a suspect, but have not yet made an arrest.
Penston, meanwhile, says while he is humbled by the support shown by his neighbours and the community, he is uncomfortable with the attention and adds that the situation has escalated recently.
He says that the suspect’s mother came to his house on Wednesday night, and verbally assaulted him and his family.
“She was screaming at me, saying I ruined her son’s life, calling me a liar.”
In an emailed statement regarding this new incident, Saanich PD are asking that people respect the privacy of the accused and of the victim as the investigation is ongoing.
“People are passionate about any time an incident involves the mistreatment of an animal, and rightly so, however we must have faith in the systems in place to address these matters and this case is no different,” Cst. Markus Anastasiades stated.
Despite the incident and the media attention, however, Penston says he does not regret his actions and will continue to enjoy the park.
“With the pandemic, we go out into the park a lot. A neighbour wrote a card thanking me for what I did. We love living here.”