Friday, March 5, 2010

OHS satisfied with guilty plea in second recent case of cat hoarding

March 5, 2010
For immediate release


The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is satisfied with another guilty plea in the second of two major hoarding cases the organization has dealt with in the past few months.

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Nora Aubrey-Lafreniere, 51 and her daughter, Elissa Aubrey-Lafreniere, 30, appeared in a provincial offences court room yesterday and plead guilty to the counts of animal cruelty against them. Both women were charged in November of 2009 after 33 cats were removed from their Vanier apartment. Many of the cats were in need of immediate veterinary care and most of the animals were not socialized to humans. There was an overwhelming smell of urine throughout the apartment building, and feces was found covering walls, furniture and ground into the carpet of the particular unit involved.

Only four of the cats responded to medical treatment provided by the OHS and were deemed suitable for re-homing. The rest of the cats were humanely euthanized to relieve suffering or because of extreme illness.

Both the Aubrey-Lafrenieres were sentenced to a two-year prohibition of owning, having custody or care of, or living with any additional animals. The sentence also included mandatory counselling for hoarding issues. The OHS was also granted inspection rights for the period of the prohibition and for five years following.

"Animal hoarding cases are quite complicated and there are many underlying issues involved," said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. "While our priority is always the welfare of animals, we're pleased to see the counselling component of this sentence as well, and we hope our involvement with these individuals over the next seven years will have a positive impact."

On Jan. 28, Catherine Boan, 37, and Fred Long, 32, plead guilty to three counts of animal cruelty after 31 cats were found living in filthy conditions in their Lowertown apartment.

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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