An Ottawa woman was charged with cruelty after she allowed her 10-month-old pointer-mix dog to suffer for months without seeking medical attention for its worsening skin condition.
On March 29, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) received information from a local vet clinic about a dog suffering from complete hair loss, heavy scabbing, crusting, skin ulcerations reddened, swollen skin on legs and paws, and continual shaking. The dog had been allowed to deteriorate without medical attention to the point that the prognosis was grave, and the owner opted to have it humanely euthanized. Kathleen Dunn brought her dog to the clinic and claimed she noticed a skin problem eight months earlier, but could not afford veterinary treatment. OHS inspectors charged Ms. Dunn with two counts of cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act. Ms. Dunn's first court appearance is scheduled for May 5, 2011.
"This helpless dog endured months of needless suffering and may have recovered if it was seen by a vet at the outset," said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith. "If veterinary care isn't possible for financial reasons, people can choose to surrender their pets to the OHS, but they need to know that providing veterinary care is a legal requirement for pet owners."