Just read this story in the local paper...$18,000 just doesn't seem enough to me...great to hear almost all the dogs found good homes.
Animal abuser fined $18,000
Tue, March 18, 2008
Penalty sets a record for Ontario
By ASHLEY HOUSE, SUN MEDIA
A dog breeder in Norfolk County has received the largest penalty for animal cruelty levied by Ontario courts in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ 120-year history.
Ian Charles pleaded guilty in Simcoe’s provincial court Feb. 28 to charges of failing to comply with the minimum standards of care in the breeding of dogs for sale.
The charges were laid in January 2007 when an anonymous tip led investigators to an abandoned rental farm in Langton.
"We believe the complaint came from a neighbour but we aren’t sure," said Jim Sykes, president and CEO of the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA, which looks after investigations in Norfolk County.
Thirteen rottweiler puppies and eight dogs, including one German shepherd, were found in feces-infested cages at the property.
There was no heat in the home and one dog was caged in rising water resulting from burst pipes.
The dogs suffered from starvation, exposure and lack of veterinarian care.
Charles had abandoned the dogs. He was later arrested by police.
"We aren’t sure when, how or where," Sykes said. "We just got a call Thursday saying he had pled guilty."
Charles was given three $5,000 fines and it’s been reported he must pay a $3,000 victims’ surcharge, for a total of $18,000.
He is also banned from owning animals for five years. The SPCA wanted a lifetime ban.
"Unfortunately the Ontario SPCA Act doesn’t have a lot of teeth in it," Sykes said. "The act hasn’t been updated since 1919."
Under the OSPCA Act "puppy mills" section, courts can issue fines up to $60,000, and/or two years in prison and a lifetime ban on owning animals under this section, which deals solely with breeding cats and dogs for sale.
Fern Flett, a dog breeder in Norfolk County, would like to see a harsher punishment including jail time.
"That might sound excessive but what he did to those dogs was inhumane," Flett said.
Nancibeth Koutstaal, another breeder in the county, said in some cases jail time is necessary.
"Sometimes it’s the only thing that will get through to these sort of individuals," she said.
Charles was unavailable for comment.
While animal lovers would like to see jail time for offenders like Charles, Sykes did say the record fine was a small victory for the SPCA.
"It raises the public’s consciousness," he said.
"It makes animal cruelty a higher-profile crime and perhaps it will show politicians that it should be a priority for the government."
OSPCA spokesperson Kristin Williams said the organization investigates 15,000 animal-cruelty cases annually.
"And we’d probably get more if we weren’t complaint-driven," she said.
While one of the adult dogs was aggressive and had to be euthanized, the 19 other rottweilers were adopted seven weeks after being rescued.
"They are all in great shape, happy and healthy," Sykes said. "We just had a reunion with all of them and their adoptive parents."
The German shepherd belonged to Charles’ estranged wife in Toronto and was returned to her.
I think a sufficient punishment would be jail time, fines, and sticking him in a cage with no heat, food and cover him in his own sh*t.
Let's see how he feels.
Sorry, I just can't STAND animal cruelty!!!
I agree at least for a week with out food and just keep him covered in his own shit. This type of irresponsibility is inconceivable how can a person get like that and why did people that knew him not try and get the dogs or him help.