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|Prosecutor(s):|| R. Pedersen|
|Judge(s):|| G. Clozza| CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007
An Acadia Valley male plead guilty to permitting an animal to continue to be in distress under the Animal Protection act at the Alberta Provincial Court in Hanna on Sept. 30.
Crown attorney R. Pedersen said the male, who was originally charged along with a female companion, was the registered owner of a black male lab collie cross on Nov. 27, 2007 when the Oyen RCMP received a complaint about the treatment of the animal.
Upon investigation the officer observed that the dog, who was very thin, was having seizures and not responding to his voice Pedersen told the court.
The officer also noted that while it was snowing the dog was not sheltered from the cold weather conditions.
Due to the condition of the dog the officer took the animal to the vet, who decided it had to be put down.
An autopsy later showed the dog had no food in his digestive track which the vet told the officer meant it had not eaten in at least three to four days. He noted that the dog also had no abdominal fat which indicated a state of starvation Pedersen said.
"Clearly the dog was in distress," Pedersen said, noting that the maximum fine for the charge was $20,000 as well as a prohibition to own animals.
Pedersen said the accused and co-accused still own a cat, and suggested the prohibition be on ownership of future animals.
The accused told the judge that he was on AISH and that "a big fine would be a hardship at this time."
He said he was feeding the animal however he got sick and he couldn't get the dog to eat.
Pedersen said he was familiar with the accused and his financial situation and recommended a $300 to $500 fine but noted that it "certainly would be a higher fine for a person with more substantial means."
Judge G. Clozza told the accused that "this kind of treatment of an animal is not acceptable, it's not justified.
"If it's sick you take it to a vet," Clozza said. " You can't just leave him there and expect him to get better on his own. You certainly neglected this animal."
"Given your financial situation the fine will be less than normal," Clozza said. Clozza fined the accused $300 and prohibited him for owning any pets for the next two years with the exception of the cat that was already residing at the residence.