Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19268
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: pig
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Thursday, Dec 22, 2011

Disposition: Alleged

» Mathew Mawson
» Roxanne Veinotte

A Vanier couple has been charged with animal cruelty after an adult pot-bellied pig was found neglected in their basement.

The Ottawa Humane Society charged Mathew Mawson and Roxanne Veinotte with permitting distress and failing to meet standards of care under the OSPCA Act. Each faces a maximum fine of as much as $60,000 and as long as two years in jail.

Ottawa Police were at the home Dec. 22 investigating another matter when they found the pig and called OHS Rescue and Investigation Services to the scene.

Investigators found an immobile pot-bellied pig whose hooves had grown half a metre long, curling around and digging into the back of its feet. The animal was kept in a room with a slippery floor, which prevented it from moving normally or grinding its hooves down.

"This is both heartbreaking and outrageous," said Miriam Smith OHS RIS Inspector. "It's difficult to believe that no one other than this couple and her son knew about the pig and that they permitted this terrible negligence to continue for so many years."

The couple was urged to seek veterinary care for the pet. OHS returned to the home Dec. 23 with a veterinarian who euthanized the animal because it was in extreme pain and would suffer from a permanent hoof and joint abnormality.

The pig lived with minimal sunlight and only basic necessities like food and water. Smith said it was clear the owners often forgot even those basics.

The pot-bellied pig is a domesticated breed and many owners compare it to a large dog.

Orléans resident Joelle Ethier has a three-month-old pig named Leroy. She said that it's an exotic animal and pet owners need to know that it requires extra care before buying one.

She said that Leroy enjoys sleeping on her lap while she watches TV and needs constant attention.

"They need a lot of affection," she said. "Even more than a dog would."

Mawson and Veinotte were each charged with two counts under the OSPCA Act and are expected to make their first court appearance on March 8.


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