OHS charges Ottawa woman with cruelty after dog found covered in roaches
OTTAWA, Ont. (11 May, 2010) — The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has charged an Ottawa woman with cruelty against a dog that was found covered with cockroaches and flies.
Louise Hupe, 68, was charged on May 10 after OHS agents attended a call at the request of Ottawa Police Service. Police responded to an overwhelming smell coming from Ms. Hupe’s apartment and a concern for anyone living inside. But when they arrived, police found the conditions of the unit to be unacceptable for the dog and contacted an OHS agent to investigate.
Police asked the OHS to remove a dog, a four-year-old female shepherd mix from the apartment, which was covered in garbage, dog feces and urine, mouldy food, and was overrun with cockroaches. There was no working toilet in the unit and the stench inside the unit was nauseating. Hoards of live and dead cockroaches and flies covered the dog’s overgrown coat.
“The conditions inside the apartment were far and away the most disgusting I’ve come across in my over 20 years working with the OHS,” said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. “It’s amazing anything other than roaches managed to survive in that environment. Our attending agent was almost physically ill during the visit to rescue the animal.”
Ms. Hupe was issued an OSPCA order to provide a clean and safe environment for the dog, which is a necessary part of the animal removal process. Ms. Hupe failed to comply with the order and the dog was removed and taken into OHS custody. While dirty and unkempt, the OHS vet found the dog to be in otherwise good health.
The dog could possibly remain in OHS custody until May 12. If Ms. Hupe provides a clean and safe environment for the animal, subject to OHS inspection and pays all the costs associated with the removal, legally she may claim her dog. If Ms. Hupe is unable to fulfil those obligations, the dog will become the property of the OHS and will be assessed for adoption. OHS staff continue to provide loving care, food and water to the dog during its stay.
Ms. Hupe is charged with five counts under the Ontario SPCA Act including failing to provide the dog with adequate standards of care, such as appropriate food and water, sanitary conditions, and adequate ventilation, as well as permitting the dog to be in distress. She is expected to make her first court appearance on June 3.
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.
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