Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ottawa Humane Society Charges Couple with Cruelty After Failure to Obtain Veterinary Care for Dog

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) has charged a husband and wife with permitting distress to, and not meeting the standards of care for their dog.

The couple brought their dog to the OHS and indicated they thought she broke her hip two weeks prior. They stated they had not obtained veterinary treatment for her for financial reasons. The OHS vet determined that the dog had advanced cancer and the condition was likely present for at least one month. She was underweight, had mobility problems, a severe urinary tract infection and was in a significant amount of pain. The prognosis was grave and the decision was made to humanely euthanize her.

OHS Inspectors charged the local Ottawa family under the Ontario SPCA Act. The couple could face a maximum fine of $60,000, and a maximum sentence of two years in jail. A court date is scheduled for April 21, 2011.

"Providing veterinary care is a legal requirement for pet owners," said Bruce Roney, executive director of the Ottawa Humane Society. "If veterinary care is not affordable, people may choose to surrender their pets to the OHS. Our goal is to educate people to help them be better owners to their pets; however, owners are not exempt from legal charges if they take no steps to provide veterinary treatment when their pet is suffering. Our community has made it clear that it will simply not tolerate cases of animal abuse or neglect."

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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