Monday, February 8, 2010

OHS charges two men with animal cruelty over injured husky

February 8, 2010
For immediate release

Two Ottawa men have been charged with animal cruelty after a three-month-old husky puppy was violently thrown against a table, resulting in severe injuries and head trauma to the animal.

On Jan. 6, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) received a call from a local vet clinic about an injured dog whose care taker was unwilling to pay the estimated $400 required for examination. The dog was unable to walk or stand, exhibited signs of haemorrhaging around one eye and was suffering pain in moving its neck. The dog was surrendered to the OHS, after which emergency agents transported the dog to the shelter for care.

X-rays performed at the OHS clinic revealed a fracture to the dog's shoulder and the OHS veterinarian diagnosed severe nerve damage associated with violent physical trauma. The dog, re-named Faith by shelter staff, was immediately given pain medication to ease her suffering, and had her wounds treated and bandaged.

On Jan. 28, OHS inspectors charged Amr El Bardawil, 19, of Ottawa, the owner of the husky, for causing distress and failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention to an animal in his possession. Mr. Bardawil admitted to picking up the animal in his apartment after it urinated on the floor on Jan. 4, and throwing it approximately six feet in the air, after which it landed on a coffee table.

Sometime after the incident on Jan. 4, the dog was allegedly taken from Mr. El Bardawil's apartment and moved to the residence of Hamoun Mahabadi, 19. Mr. Mahabadi told investigators he kept the animal in his garage for approximately 48 hours before taking the dog to a veterinarian on Jan. 6. It was Mr. Mahabadi who surrendered the dog to the care of the OHS.

OHS inspectors also charged Mr. Mahabadi on Jan. 28, for failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention to the dog.

"This helpless animal endured an incredibly savage attack for behaviour that is characteristic of any young dog," said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. "That act was horrific enough, but for an obviously injured animal to be denied medical care for nearly two whole days is unacceptable. We need people to know that if they withhold medical treatment from an animal, no matter ownership or the situation, they will be held responsible."

Faith is currently in OHS foster care, where she is being regularly monitored and treated by a veterinarian. She is still having balance issues and has difficulty walking as a result of the nerve damage she sustained in the attack. She also faces possible amputation of her front right leg.

Both Mr. El Bardawil and Mr. Mahabadi are expected to make their first court appearance on Feb. 18, 2010.

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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