Thursday, October 22, 2009

OHS charges Ottawa man with five counts of animal cruelty

October 22, 2009
For immediate release

An Ottawa man has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty following extreme cases of neglect involving 10 dogs and one cat.

On Oct. 20, Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) inspectors charged Mahamed Tariq Hassain, 29, of Orleans for permitting distress to and not meeting the standards of care for animals in his possession. On August 25, an OHS inspector was called to Mr. Hassain’s home by Ottawa police to assist with the removal of 10 dogs from the property. There were four adult pit bull-type dogs found, along with four puppies, and two adult Rottweiler-type dogs. The puppies were housed in an upstairs room that was completely covered in feces, and was without food and water. An adult cat was also found housed in a downstairs bathroom with an overflowing litter pan and no access to water.

Mr. Hassain was subsequently arrested by police on another charge, and all the animals were removed and taken to the OHS shelter, where they were housed for the duration of Mr. Hassain’s incarceration. Following Mr. Hassain’s release, OHS inspectors issued orders to ensure adequate standards of care were in place at the property. Mr. Hassain complied with those orders and the animals were returned.

“These charges are an example of the disturbing situations we unfortunately encounter all too regularly,” said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. “In this case, animals were innocent accessories. It’s heartbreaking to see these pets as the victims of such neglect.”

Mr. Hassain was charged under the Ontario SPCA Act. He is expected to appear in provincial court on Nov. 12. If convicted, he could face maximum penalties of up to two years in jail, fines of up to $60,000, and a potential lifetime ban on owning, having custody or care of, or living with any animal.

Although legally mandated to enforce the animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario SPCA Act, the OHS does not receive any government funding or funding from any animal welfare group to perform this essential work.

For media inquiries, contact:
Tara Jackson, Communications Manager
(613) 725-3166 ext. 261

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