For at least one man, the party at Craven Country Jamboree ended up going too far Saturday night.
RCMP said officers were called out in the evening for a report of animal cruelty. The kitten was rescued and taken to TM’z Veterinary Clinic in nearby Lumsden, located 33 kilometres north of Regina.
The man accused in the abuse was told to leave the campground, according to the festival. While RCMP haven’t laid any charges, officers said they’re investigating.
“I just think it’s just some idiot that made a bad decision, a really bad decision, and hopefully, they’ll pay for it,” said Kim Blevins, director of marketing for the festival.
Blevins said the jamboree in no way condones the behaviour, and said she was personally shocked and saddened when she heard what happened.
“We’re appalled. This is not something that we would ever support. We have several people bring their pets to the site, I just saw a beagle walking down Main Street,” Blevins said.
On Sunday morning, Blevins couldn’t confirm whether the man accused of abusing the kitten would be banned from attending the festival in the future.
The marketing director said it was unfortunate the vet clinic chose to post the story on social media before talking to the festival about it the incident. While Blevins said she doesn’t want to minimize what happened, she believes the Facebook post blew the situation out of proportion and propelled a negative perception of what takes place at Craven.
“It’s no different than somebody committing a crime in a city; you can’t control everything. We control things the best that we can, and then after that, you just have to react to it. So that’s what we’re doing right now,” she said.
Blevins said people bring their children and families to the festival, and she has seen weddings and engagements held there.
“If it was the case that this was just one big pit of debauchery, then they wouldn’t be doing that, they wouldn’t be choosing this place.”
Overnight Saturday to Sunday, RCMP said they had 31 calls for service at Craven, the majority of which were liquor violations. Police said the number was consistent over the weekend and consistent with past years as well.