Wednesday, August 4, 2010

OHS charges man with cruelty after two cats found dead in empty residence

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has charged a Clarence Creek man with cruelty after the emaciated corpses of two cats were found in an unoccupied residence in east-end Ottawa.

Charles Hogg, 67, was charged on July 29 with four counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide adequate food and water to two cats in his care, and for permitting distress to the animals.

An OHS emergency agent was called by the Ottawa Police Service to a residence belonging to Mr. Hogg on the evening of July 29. Upon entering the unit, the agent discovered the bodies of the two cats inside. The stench of urine, feces and decomposing flesh was pervasive throughout the unit, stemming from overflowing litter boxes inside. There were unopened cans of cat food found on the counter, and the only water source was a dirty and stagnant toilet.

Mr. Hogg had allegedly not been living at the residence for over a month, and claimed to have left what he thought was appropriate food and water for the animals during that time. The residence did not have electricity, meaning appropriate cooling wasn't available for the animals over the past several weeks.

"It's shocking to think that these animals died starving and suffering from severe heat," said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. "These cats should have been checked on regularly. They shouldn't have been left to suffer and die alone."

It is a pet owner's responsibility to care for animals and ensure their welfare, even when the owner is not present. If pets can't accompany an owner, arrangements must be made for someone to check on the animals at least every 24 hours. Failure to provide appropriate pet care can result in charges.

Mr. Hogg is expected to appear in court on Sept. 16.

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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