Case Snapshot
Case ID: 9745
Classification: Vehicular, Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Animal was bound
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Sunday, Oct 8, 2006


Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendants/Suspects:
» Daniel Charles Haskett
» 17 year old

Case Updates: 16 update(s) available

A mayor's tears summed up a central Alberta town's shock and outrage over the horrific torture and killing of a dog.

"People are wanting justice and don't know if they are going to see it or not," a shaken Dorothy Moore, mayor of Didsbury, said Thursday.

Passersby found the dog, a female collie-Lab cross, still alive but lying in a pool of blood in the street earlier this week. Her four legs were bound together with duct tape, a bag was covering her head and there was a tow rope around her neck. It appeared she had been dragged behind a vehicle.

The veterinarian called to the scene said the rope around her neck was so tight it caused one of her eyes to pop out. Her neck, back and pelvis were also broken.

The vet euthanized the dog immediately.

The case sickened even veteran police investigators, and the Didsbury RCMP detachment fielded dozens of calls from people expressing "outrage at the case," said Sgt. Kevin O'Dwyer.

Moore said so many residents approached her with concern over the case that her office decided to issue a written statement.

"The Town of Didsbury council and administration are shocked and distressed by this unbelievable event in our friendly and hospitable town. This is definitely the antithesis of the spirit of our community."

The 19-year-old girl who found the dog on the road said she hasn't slept properly since discovering the animal.

Chloe Kary said the incident is more disturbing for her now that a former friend has been charged in the incident.

Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, and a 17-year-old youth have been charged under the Criminal Code with injuring or endangering an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, as well as obstructing police.

Neighbours said the dog belonged to the Haskett family.

Kary said the news has horrified the entire community. "

We watched the news in the bar last night and people were yelling and disgusted that this could happen in our town," she said.

Cheryl Wallach of the Calgary Humane Society said the crime is particularly upsetting because of the suspects' ages.

"This is a big red flag of things to come," she said.

Under the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty for adults convicted of animal cruelty is a $2,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

The two suspects are scheduled to appear in Didsbury provincial court Nov. 6.


Case Updates

An Alberta man who tried to kill his family's injured pet dog by binding her with duct tape and dragging her behind a car was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail.

Daniel Charles Haskett, 21, will serve his sentence on weekends.

Haskett pleaded guilty in May 2007 to one count of animal cruelty and one count of obstruction of justice for his part in the torturous death of Daisy Duke, a Lab-border- collie cross.

In an agreed statement of facts, Haskett admitted to putting a bag over her head and dragging the dog after a 17-year-old friend inadvertently ran over the animal and then hit it with a shovel in October 2006.

Daisy was found bound with duct tape, her neck, back and pelvis broken. She was barely alive and a veterinarian called to the scene immediately euthanized her because of the severity of her injuries.
Source: The Barrie Examiner - Dec 20, 2008
Update posted on Jan 3, 2009 - 9:09PM 
Frustration over another delay in the case of a man who pleaded guilty to animal abuse boiled over into the parking lot of a provincial court in central Alberta on Friday. Daniel Haskett had been scheduled to be sentenced to one count of animal cruelty in the torturous death of Daisy Duke, a Lab-border-collie cross, who was bound and dragged behind a car.

But his lawyer surprised provincial court in Didsbury by announcing his client wished to change his plea to not guilty.

The case was set over to Oct. 21 for a judge to rule on the request - more than two years after the dog's death.

As Haskett and his family were escorted away by the RCMP, he turned and lunged at a protester who was yelling obscenities at him and his mother.

Haskett, 20, told court he had lied when he agreed to the facts of the case because he wanted the matter to be over with and people to quit harassing him.
Source: The Canadian Press via Yahoo News - June 27, 2008
Update posted on Jun 27, 2008 - 5:26PM 
Sentencing of a man charged in a high-profile animal abuse case in Didsbury has been delayed yet again.

Daniel Charles Haskett, 20, pleaded guilty in May 2007 to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and obstruction of justice.

Haskett was charged after a Lab-collie named Daisy Duke was found severely injured on a Didsbury street in October 2006. The dog's injuries were so severe, it had to be put down.

Haskett was originally set to be sentenced on Oct. 17, 2007, but his lawyer withdrew on the day of sentencing. The case was then adjourned to April 21 for sentencing.

That date has now been pushed back to June 27 due to a scheduling conflict with Judge Ian Kirkpatrick, officials said Thursday.

The Airdrie and District Humane Society has been monitoring the case since October 2006. The latest delay is "very troubling and a constant reminder of a horrible situation," said society president Renae Warne.
Source: Canada.Com - March 14, 2008
Update posted on Mar 14, 2008 - 2:19PM 
Sentencing for an Alberta man who admitted to torturing his mother's dog has been delayed again after his lawyer quit abruptly yesterday over ethical and professional concerns.

Daniel Haskett, 20, of Didsbury pleaded guilty last spring to one count of animal cruelty and one count of obstruction of justice for initially lying to police about his role in the death of Daisy Duke, a Lab-border-collie cross.

He originally was to be sentenced in August, but that was delayed due to incomplete psychological tests and pre-sentencing reports.

His lawyer, Mark Takada, told provincial court yesterday that Haskett's version of events to a psychologist "differed significantly" from the agreed statement of facts he signed back in May.

As a result, Takada withdrew from the case. He said outside the courthouse that he feared he may have been "a party to misleading the court" as to what happened.

"I've either misled the court unwittingly by signing the agreed statement of facts or I'd be misleading the court by saying that what he told (the psychologist) was correct. So that's the problem it puts me in," said Takada.

"Mr. Haskett's never said he's not guilty. It's just the facts around his involvement in the case that are contentious at this point."

Takada would not say specifically how Haskett's version of events changed in the psychologist's report.

But he said if more blame was being put upon Haskett's 17-year-old friend and accomplice, who also pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty, "that would make a big difference in what the sentence would be."

The 17-year-old was sentenced in May to three months of house arrest, two years of probation and 240 hours of community service.

An adult convicted of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Takada said he was planning to ask for a conditional sentence for Haskett - basically house arrest - before he read the psychologist's report.

Haskett has until Nov. 5 to find a new lawyer.
Source: Edmonton Sun - Oct 18, 2007
Update posted on Oct 18, 2007 - 11:46PM 
A 10-week delay in the sentencing of a central Alberta man who admitted to fatally torturing his mother's dog left animal rights activists disappointed but determined to see the case through to its conclusion.

A small group of protesters from across the province gathered in Didsbury, Alta., on Wednesday hoping to see Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, sent to prison for his role in the death of Daisy Duke, a Lab-border-collie cross.

But incomplete psychological and pre-sentencing reports means the case, which sent shock waves across Canada, will not be closed until Oct. 17 - a little more than a year after Daisy was found barely alive in an intersection of this quiet farming town.

In May, Haskett pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and one count of obstruction of justice for initially lying to police over his involvement in the crime.

In an agreed statement of facts, Haskett admitted to dragging the dog and putting a bag over its head after his 17-year-old friend inadvertently ran over the animal and then hit it with a shovel.

The dog was found barely alive and bound with duct-tape after being dragged around town until the tow-rope snapped. A veterinarian who inspected the dog immediately destroyed her because of the severity of her injuries.

Haskett's friend, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was sentenced to three months of house arrest, two years of probation and 240 hours of community service after pleading guilty in April.
Source: CNews - Aug 1, 2007
Update posted on Aug 10, 2007 - 12:52PM 
A central Alberta man who pleaded guilty in a horrific case of animal abuse involving a pet dog has been sentenced to three months of house arrest followed by two years of probation.

The young man from Didsbury, Alta., was less than three weeks away from his 18th birthday when he became involved in what his defence lawyer told court was a "poorly thought-out euthanasia attempt."

A young Alberta man was sentenced to house arrest and probation after he pleaded guilty to animal cruelty towards Daisy Duke, above, a lab-border collie cross. (CBC) Court heard the accused accidentally backed over a lab-border collie cross belonging to his best friend's mother. The teen helped try to kill the dog, named Daisy Duke, by taping a plastic bag over its head, dragging it behind a car and hitting it over the head with a shovel. The dog was found still alive in the middle of an intersection, but had to be put down by a veterinarian. The young man will also have to abide by a curfew for nine months after his house arrest is up and do 240 hours of community service.

Another male accused, Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, has pleaded not guilty and scheduled to go on trial in May, 2007.
Source: CBC News - May 10, 2007
Update posted on Jul 1, 2007 - 4:59PM 
According to an agreed statement of facts, the chain of events that led to Daisy Duke's death began last October when the teen accidentally drove over the dog after visiting with Mr. Haskett.

Fearing that he would lose his driver's licence and get in trouble from Mr. Haskett's mother, the teen and Mr. Haskett devised a plan to kill the dog and pretend that she had run away.

After various attempts to kill Daisy failed, the two decided to drag the dog out of town to dispose of the body.

Both confessed to not seeking help or checking to see if the dog was still alive.

The teen's attempt to drag Daisy out of town failed when he ran over the dog a second time and snapped the tow rope.

A couple who found Daisy, bound and barely alive in the middle of an intersection, called police and a veterinarian, who immediately destroyed the badly injured dog.
Source: Globe and Mail - May 23, 2007
Update posted on May 24, 2007 - 10:46AM 
A 19-year-old in Didsbury, Alta., entered a surprise guilty plea Wednesday on a charge of willfully causing injury to an animal, after a dog was dragged behind a car last fall and found barely alive.

Daniel Haskett had been scheduled to begin trial in Didsbury on Wednesday after entering a plea of not guilty in December 2006.

Haskett and a 17-year-old, who can not be named due to his age, were charged after a Labrador retriever-collie cross named Daisy Duke was found bleeding on a road in October 2006, its muzzle and legs bound with duct tape and a tow rope around its neck.

Police accused the pair of putting a plastic bag over the dog's head, dragging it behind the car and hitting it over the head with a shovel. The animal was wounded so severely that it had to be euthanized by a veterinarian.

Police said the dog was Haskett's family pet.

Haskett has been ordered to undergo a psychological assessment before a sentencing hearing on Aug. 1.

The 17-year-old has already been sentenced to house arrest and probation.

The case attracted widespread attention. At earlier hearings, crowds of as many as 100 people from across the province gathered outside the courthouse, heckling and jeering at Haskett.
Source: CBC.Ca - May 23, 2007
Update posted on May 24, 2007 - 10:14AM 
A 17-year-old Alberta youth has pleaded guilty in a horrific case of animal abuse.

The youth was charged after the death of pet dog Daisy Duke, who was dragged behind a car with all four legs bound and a bag pulled over her head. The Labrador-border collie cross suffered a broken neck, back and pelvis and had to be put down.

An animal lover from Didsbury collected nearly 100,000 signatures on a petition calling on the federal government to strengthen federal animal cruelty laws.

Another male accused, Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, is scheduled to go on trial May 23.

The youth is also charged with causing death or injury to an animal, a charge that will be dealt with May 10.
Source: Cnews - April 18, 2007
Update posted on Apr 18, 2007 - 4:25PM 
Joining an animal-rights protest may have cost a Didsbury man his dream of becoming an RCMP officer after he was charged with mischief.

In Didsbury provincial court yesterday, Denny Stabenow said he was informed by the RCMP last Thursday that he had been dismissed from the recruiting process.

"No punishment the court could give me could feel worse," he said.

"This is the worst thing that could happen to me.

"It's been a life-long goal."

Stabenow was charged with public mischief in early November for allegedly kicking the van ferrying Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, who is charged with torturing a dog.

He said the RCMP has a policy that recruit hopefuls can't go through the process while charges are before the court.

He said he applied to work for the Mounties in January.

Stabenow is scheduled to return to court Dec. 20 to answer to his charges.

Meanwhile, Haskett's defence counsel Mark Takada was also in court yesterday and entered a not-guilty plea for his client, who hasn't been back in court since he was met with a horde of angry protesters on his first appearance in November.

Haskett and a 17-year-old male, who can't be named, were charged in October after a collie/lab cross dog was discovered bound, with a bag over her head and bleeding on a Didsbury road.

The dog had numerous broken bones and was in such bad condition, a veterinarian was forced to euthanize her at the scene.

A trail of blood led RCMP officers to an address where the arrests were made.
Source: The Calgary Sun - Dec 12, 2006
Update posted on Dec 12, 2006 - 2:05PM 
A central Alberta man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of animal cruelty in a case that has shocked much of the province.

Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, was accused of dragging his family's pet to its death behind a car.

Daisy Duke, a Labrador-border collie cross was put down after allegedly being beaten, tied up and dragged until most of its bones were broken.

The case has outraged people in Haskett's hometown of Didsbury, as well as across the province and country.

Residents have collected 45,000 signatures on a petition pushing for tougher sentences for people who abuse animals.

Haskett's trial is scheduled for May 23.
Source: AZ Central - Dec 11, 2006
Update posted on Dec 12, 2006 - 12:57PM 
A young Didsbury man accused of animal cruelty in the dragging death of a dog stayed away from the local courthouse Wednesday on the advice of his lawyer.

"I was concerned for his safety to be honest with you," lawyer Mark Takada said of Daniel Haskett,19, who was surrounded by jeering protesters at his first court appearance.

"I have no problem at all with people standing out here demonstrating ... But you cross the line when you try to intimidate a person and try to impede their right to come and go freely."

Haskett's lawyer also said threatening letters have been sent to his client and one person has been sentenced to a day in jail for making threatening phone calls.

A small group of protesters were waiting outside court Wednesday.

Last month a Labrador retriever-collie named Daisy Duke was found bleeding on a road with its muzzle and legs bound with duct tape and a tow rope around its neck. The dog had to be put down.

Haskett and a 17-year-old, who can't be named because of his age, have been charged with injuring or endangering an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Haskett has also been charged with obstructing justice.

Robin Reesal, a Calgary based psychiatrist, said there is reason for Takada to be concerned.

"When you raise anger and emotion to that level you may be taking a ticking time bomb and just lighting the fuse of someone out there that you are unaware of," he said.

People become more emotional about animal cruelty cases than those involving people because they see animals as helpless creatures, said Reesal.

RCMP said Wednesday they were not aware of any threatening comments about the accused online, but would investigate if complaints were made.

An online search turned up a site full of profanity, threats and other postings suggesting the accused should be bound and dragged behind a vehicle.

One writer asks for a description of one of the accused, his address and phone number. The person writes: "Justice will not be served in court. These people should be tortured..."

Another says: "I would like to slowly torture both of them." The writer goes on to say: "If he doesn't get punished properly by the law, he may get punished properly by the people."

Both of the accused are expected back in court next month.

Takada said the case is complicated and he's not sure how Haskett will plead.

"He's got a lot of regret about what happened. This is a very sad situation and he feels very badly about that."

The two accused aren't the "sadistic brutes" they've been made out to be, he said.

The dog was initially accidentally hit by a vehicle, he said. Takada says his client is not responsible for dragging the dog behind a car.
Source: CBC - Nov 23, 2006
Update posted on Nov 24, 2006 - 12:10AM 
A young man accused of beating his family dog and then dragging it behind a car was confronted by at least 50 people and their pets Monday as he made his first court appearance.

The crowd threw threats and profanities at Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, as he tried to leave the courthouse in the central Alberta community of Didsbury. Haskett and a 17-year-old youth, who can't be named due to his age, are charged with injuring or endangering an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

No pleas were entered and the cases were adjourned. Haskett was scheduled to return on Nov. 22 while his co-accused was set for Dec. 7.

The two were charged after passersby found a female collie-Labrador cross lying in the street in a pool of blood in early October.

The dog's four legs were bound together with duct tape, a bag covered its head and there was a tow rope around its neck. It appeared the pet, named Daisy Duke, had been dragged behind a vehicle.

A veterinarian called to the scene said the rope around the dog's neck was so tight it caused one of her eyes to pop out. Her neck, back and pelvis were also broken. The vet destroyed the dog immediately.

The allegations have prompted strong reaction across Alberta. One Didsbury resident started a petition on the Internet, and the RCMP warned against taking vigilante action after a man was arrested for leaving a threatening message on the Haskett answering machine.

"We've received hundreds, maybe thousands, of messages from people who are just outraged at the reports," said Tim Battle with the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The case is in the early stages and none of the charges has been proven.

Cases involving animal cruelty have a wide interest.

Ontario Liberal MP Mark Holland last month introduced a private member's bill aimed at reforming animal cruelty provisions in the Criminal Code.

Holland said animal cruelty laws haven't been modernized for 100 years and are "woefully inadequate."

The current law allows for six months in jail and-or a $2,000 fine for an adult.

When an animal is found mistreated, it inevitably raises questions about the people who do such things.

Battle and Randy Lockwood, a senior vice-president with the American SPCA, told resource officers at a safe schools conference Monday in Edmonton that cruelty to animals by young students can be an important warning sign of future violent behaviour against people.

In an interview, Lockwood stressed that signs of aggression toward animals shouldn't be taken lightly by teachers, parents or authorities.

"One of our messages to law enforcement officers is this may be considered a so-called minor crime, but it is a crime that often allows you to intervene at an early stage or early age."

People who intentionally hurt animals are four to five times more likely to commit violent crimes than the general population, Lockwood said.

He also said most offenders start abusing animals when they are still children around the ages of seven or eight.

"It gives the individual an opportunity to experience gaining a sense of power and control through the suffering of others. And if it has no consequences, it's certainly likely to be repeated."
Source: Brandon Sun - Nov 6, 2006
Update posted on Nov 6, 2006 - 5:04PM 
A large group of animal-lovers plans to gather outside provincial court in Didsbury tomorrow as two people accused in the deadly torture of a dog are set to appear.

Elena Napora, a member of the Edmonton-based Voice For Animals, will be one of about a dozen people making the drive to the town, about 60 km north of Calgary, to make a point on behalf of animals that can't.

They will join a group of Calgarians demanding justice in the horrific torture of a dog named Daisy Duke.

"It is not enough to slap them on the wrist," Napora said of abusers.

"We want to show our support for stronger legislation."

Daisy Duke's owner Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, and a 17-year-old male have been been charged with animal cruelty after the Lab-border collie cross was found alive despite a broken neck, back and pelvis on Oct. 8.

She was put to sleep after being found with a bag pulled over her head, a rope around her neck and all four legs bound.

A 100-metre-long blood trail, where she had been dragged behind a vehicle, led to a home where arrests were later made.

If convicted, the law allows for six months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine for an adult.

Outraged animal-rights advocates say that's not enough.

"This is not just a childish prank," said Calgarian Trudy Sattler, a Compassion in Action member.

Hundreds have signed a petition asking the Tory government to reintroduce Bill C-50 to better protect animals.

Wild Rose Conservative MP Myron Thompson will present the petition in the House of Commons.

Cheryl Wallach, spokeswoman for the Calgary Humane Society, said the shelter has been promoting the petition because changing the laws is the best way to hold abusers accountable.
Source: Calgary Sun - Nov 5, 2006
Update posted on Nov 5, 2006 - 7:45AM 
There's a scam going around involving the recent case of animal cruelty in Didsbury.

A dog had its legs bound and muzzle taped shut while it was dragged behind a vehicle through town.

The animal had to be put down.

But now it seems someone is approaching people in Calgary, claiming to be from a radio station.

The reportedly are trying to collect money for an advertisement to generate donations for the Calgary Humane society and the Didsbury dog.

The Calgary Humane Society says they aren't asking for donations for this cause, but they are collecting signatures on a petition.

Didsbury resident Tamara Chaney organized the only petition The Calgary Humane Society is endorsing.

Cheryl Wallach from The Calgary Humane Society says this disturbing case in Didsbury has struck a chord with a lot of people and that's why officials are concerned about someone claiming to be collecting donations on their behalf.

Tamara Chaney's petition basically calls for the reintroduction of Bill C-50 in the House of Commons.

The proposed bill calls for stiffer penalties for animal cruelty under the criminal code and addresses wording issues so blatant offenders don't get off.
Source: Calgary.CTV.Ca
Update posted on Oct 24, 2006 - 11:22PM 
A death-threat charge has now been laid in connection with a horrific case of animal abuse in small-town Alberta, where officials are begging residents not to let their outrage turn to vigilantism.

A 20-year-old Didsbury man was charged yesterday with uttering threats in connection with a message that was left on the answering machine at the home of one of the teenagers who stands accused of torturing his own family's pet.

"We're not going to put up with any vigilante activities," Didsbury RCMP Sergeant Kevin O'Dwyer said yesterday. "It was a real and credible threat that was made to them and we have a proper system of dealing with criminal activity and that has taken place."

Last Sunday morning, a bloodied female collie-Labrador retriever cross was found lying on a street in the community of 4,600 some 40 minutes north of Calgary. The dog's legs and muzzle were bound with duct tape. Its head was covered with a bag and a rope was wrapped around its neck.

The dog was alive when a couple found it. But a local veterinarian found the animal was so badly injured -- it had a broken back, neck and pelvis -- that the dog was immediately euthanized.

Police said they followed a trail of blood to where they believed the animal was beaten before it was dragged behind a vehicle.

Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, whose family owned the dog, is charged with injuring or endangering an animal and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal as well as obstructing police.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has also been charged with animal cruelty.

Adults convicted of the cruelty charge could face a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

Evan Austin Sagert, who police say knew the Haskett family, was arrested yesterday and charged in connection with the message that was left on Thursday.

Didsbury Mayor Dorothy Moore said she has been flooded with e-mails that she said would also qualify as threatening toward the young men charged with animal cruelty. She called for cooler heads to prevail.

"I think what they're doing is saying how helpless a dog is -- especially since they just adore their masters -- and they're just so offended by that," she said of the e-mails. "But at the same time, there's no excuse to abuse the family."

The case, and the attention it has attracted, has hit the community hard, she added.

"People in town are embarrassed. This is the antithesis of the community. We are a gentle community with Mennonite roots," she said.
Source: Globe and Mail - Oct 14, 2006
Update posted on Oct 15, 2006 - 1:46PM 

References

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