Friday, March 11, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Applauds Lifetime Ban in Cruelty Case

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) strongly supports the guilty plea and subsequent sentencing of a lifetime ban from owning animals in a local animal cruelty case involving repeated charges.

OHS Inspectors first charged Sylvie Belanger in May, 2010 with one count of permitting unnecessary distress to animals and three counts of failing to provide adequate standards of care for the approximately 20 cats in her care. In June, 2010 an order was issued to treat her cats for a severe flea infestation. Ms. Belanger failed to comply with the order, was evicted from her apartment, and left behind three cats without care. A second set of charges was laid in July, 2010 stemming from neglect of two cats in her care, including one that died after allegedly being stepped on, and another that drowned in the bathtub.

Ms. Belanger pled guilty to all counts of the initial set of charges. The second set of charges was stayed. In court on February 22, 2011, Ms. Belanger was sentenced to a lifetime ban from owning, having custody or care of any animals. She must also report all address changes to the local humane society or SPCA as well as allow unannounced inspections of her residence to ensure she is in compliance with the order.

"We're very pleased with the sentencing in this case," said OHS Inspector Miriam Smith. "This is the third lifetime ban we have experienced. This particular case involved multiple offences over two years with little or no compliance. A lifetime ban will ensure that no other animals will suffer from the neglect Ms. Belanger inflicted."

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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