Thursday, December 17, 2009

OHS charges Navan farmer with several counts of animal cruelty

December 17, 2009
For immediate release

A Navan-area farmer has been charged with several counts of animal cruelty after a dog, sheep, rabbits, chickens and ducks were found on his property without adequate shelter, food or water.

On Oct. 20, Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) inspectors charged Maurice Mouawad, 54, for permitting distress to and not meeting the standards of care for animals in his possession. Earlier in October, inspectors visited Mr. Mouawad's property after receiving a complaint call about the condition of animals on the farm. During one of the visits, an agent noticed a nine-year-old Rottweiler-type dog with an apparent injury to its right hind leg. The animal was observed to be in poor health, and was seen to be limping. The agent issued orders to have the dog seen by a veterinarian, but Mr. Mouawad opted to surrender the dog to the OHS instead. An OHS veterinarian later humanely euthanized the dog, due to the extent of its injuries and overall health.

The investigation into Mr. Mouawad's property also uncovered several sheep, rabbits and fowl, all lacking adequate food and water, and some with obvious injuries. On Dec. 10, OHS inspectors laid subsequent charges against Mr. Mouawad relating to these livestock.

Mr. Mouawad has already appeared in court, where he pled not-guilty to the charges against him. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2010. This is the first time the OHS has had a case proceed to trial since the organization began laying charges under the new provincial animal cruelty act, which came into effect in March.

"The extent of neglect in this case across various species of animals is deeply disturbing," said OHS inspector, Miriam Smith.

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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