High profile animal abuse trial in Duncan delayed to March 29

A high-profile animal cruelty trial was supposed to resume in Duncan Friday -- but the accused's lawyer is quitting.

Anderson Joe is nearing the end of his trial into the death of Teddy the Dog. But on what was supposed to be the final day, his defense lawyer, Scott Sheets, quit.

Scott told court it was due to personal circumstances. It's not known what will happen now, but trial judge says there are no plans to declare a mistrial.

The trial is now put on hold until March 29.

Teddy was found in the backyard of a Duncan home by the SPCA in February last year.  The lab mix was chained up, starving, and his head was swollen to nearly twice its size. He died shortly after being seized.

Anderson Joe has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to provide necessities for an animal and causing unnecessary pain or suffering.

Last month co-accused Melissa Tooshley pleaded guilty to failing to provide necessities for an animal. She is scheduled to testify against Joe.

Meantime anger has flared over the conditions Teddy had to ensure, sparking some to carry out acts of vandalism, and racism against the property where Teddy lived, and affecting neighbours.

Politicians and community members came together Wednesday to call for an end to the activities, and appeal for calm.

Jesse Adams, founder of  RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, says while he agrees -- he says leaders also missed the opportunity to address the issue angering people -- animal abuse.

 Adams has called for protests to be peaceful to get justice for Teddy, and not to be hateful.

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