CTV Producer Honoured For Helping Animals In Need

CTV Vancouver is being honoured for making an outstanding contribution to animals in need in British Columbia.

Senior digital producer Darcy Wintonyk has been unanimously awarded the 2014 award for Media Excellence by the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Darcy, a longtime animal advocate, has reported on dozens of animal cruelty cases and ensured they receive significant coverage through Canada’s largest broadcaster.

Those cases include the Whistler sled dog massacre, the recovery of Trooper, a golden retriever found starving and near death, and, most recently, a B.C. dog walker accused of leaving six dogs to die in her overheated truck.

Her in-depth investigations on animal hoarding, puppy mills, unscrupulous breeders and cruelty cases often span several years as they make their way through B.C.’s court system.

“So many animal lives have been saved because of the exposure she has given to these issues,” said Lorie Chortyk, community relations manager for the BC SPCA.

Darcy’s promotion of sick or injured animals in the SPCA’s care has helped raise thousands of dollars to assist in their recovery.

Her love of animals has also spearheaded segments on both local and national CTV broadcasts highlighting responsible pet ownership and adoption.

“It's often said that societies can be judged by how they treat their animals and I think in B.C. that's absolutely true,” she said.

“People in this province have a real empathy for animals. Just about everyone shares their home with a pet, so I think that's why animal welfare issues affect us so much. We love our pets so much it's hard to believe that someone would do something horrible to one.”

The award was presented at a ceremony at the University of British Columbia on May 30. The BC SPCA Awards Program honours both people and animals who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare during the past year. Recipients include veterinarians, staff, volunteers and animal heroes.

This year’s recipients included Molly, a young dog found starving and near death in Port Hardy. The former owners of the Shepherd-cross are facing animal cruelty charges.

The BC SPCA, a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations, investigates thousands of reports of animal cruelty each year.

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