Animal cruelty complaint can’t be verified

No charges laid over allegations that Penticton man bit the head off of a rat on YouTube video

No charges have been laid following an investigation into a disturbing video of a Penticton man allegedly biting the head of a rat.

“There was a very low chance of conviction for it because none of the witnesses would talk to us. There was no co-operation,” said BCSPCA constable Cathy Woodward. “We had the video, but that was all we had.”

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on March 4 and has since been deleted, was brought to the Edmonton Humane Society’s attention after someone filled out a complaint form they have online for people concerned about how an animal is being treated.

In the video, a young man sitting on what appears to be a reptile aquarium is being provoked by others in the room to “do it.” The young man holds the rat in his hand, bartering for how many beers and liquor shots he can get if he bites the head off the rat. He then holds the rat up to the video camera. The rat is then shown put up to the male’s mouth, at this point his head drops down so you can’t see his face and the camera pans to the floor where it appears the head of the rat has fallen. The next shot is of the headless rat lying nearby.

“This is very, very unfortunate. Had it been a puppy, people would have viewed it different. Rats are very intelligent, sweet animals but people view them differently,” said Woodward.

Initial investigation by the Edmonton Humane Society found the video originated from a Penticton person who posted it. They then alerted Penticton RCMP.

“It is horrible because they are not giving the animal dignity and respect, no matter what kind of animal. If it is something that is real, it is very disturbing that someone does this to another living being,” the humane society’s Shawna Randolph previously told the Western News.