Distraught senior searching for missing pet finds her posters vandalized
VANCOUVER -- Rosamund Bell has printed a new batch of missing posters, after her first ones were vandalized, and has not given up hope that she will find her beloved Bailey.
Bell was tending to her bee hives at a green space near the Strathcona Park encampment in mid-July, when Bailey mysteriously disappeared and hasn't been seen since.
"It feels like a family member has been taken from me," said Bell tearfully.
She said she and others called for 14-year-old Yorkipoo but didn't get any response back.
"The theory is she might have been taken to the Downtown Eastside and sold for money, so I'm pretty sure she isn't in the tent city," Bell said.
She's been putting up posters throughout the Strathcona neighbourhood and the Downtown Eastside, where she later saw some ripped up, left with cigarette burns and one even had a syringe poked through it.
"It just made me feel like violated all over again, like, this is my precious little dog and they just ripped it down." Bell said.
But her experience has also been sweetened by the kindness of strangers. Two people who live in the neighbourhood offered $250 each to add to her reward, allowing her to double it from $500 to $1,000.
There's at least one other dog who went missing in the area.
Dan Siney's pug went missing near the community garden inside Strathcona Park.
He handed out countless posters and visited single-room occupancies.
"Our thinking was if this dog was too heated out then somebody is going to have to give it up because nobody is in support of stealing a dog," he said.
One week later, he got a phone call from one of the tent city organizers who found the dog nearby the community garden.
"She said she heard it barking and found it tangled up in a bush in the Cottonwood Community Garden," he explained.
Neither Bell nor Siney blame the residents of the encampment and praise many of them for being supportive and helpful.
They believe those living at the tent city need empathy and supports.
The mayor of Vancouver has called a special meeting to discuss possible housing options.
Coun. Pete Fry, who lives in the Strathcona neighbourhood, said the city can't be idle in this situation and wait for the provincial and federal governments to step up.
"Leaving the homeless people to live on the streets is not the solution," Fry said. "If other orders of government aren't ready to step up then at least the buck stops here at the city of Vancouver and make some decisions and make some moves to mitigate this ongoing disaster."
The motion proposes three possible housing options: leasing or purchasing more housing units, establishing a temporary relief encampment or temporarily converting city-owned facilities into emergency shelter spaces.
The meeting begins 1 p.m. Friday.