A 44-year-old woman and 49-year-old man from Chisholm, just south of North Bay, have been found guilty of animal cruelty and sentenced to a lifetime prohibition on owning animals.
On August 21, 2017, an Ontario SPCA officer with the North Bay and District Humane Society executed a search warrant at a property in Chisholm and found 13 cats locked inside a camper trailer. Ammonia levels from cat urine were overpowering within the trailer and every surface was covered in feces says an OSPCA news release.
Additional cats were located inside a home on the property and a total of 15 cats were voluntarily surrendered to the care of the Humane Society. A veterinary examination revealed that, in addition to being thin, matted and covered in fecal matter, the cats were also infested with fleas and suffering from upper respiratory infections, dental disease, roundworms and ear infections.
An officer returned to the property again on September 14, 2017, and discovered four kittens confined to a carrier inside the camper trailer. An additional seven cats were also discovered inside. The owners voluntarily surrendered all 11 cats and a veterinary examination revealed the cats, which were covered in fecal matter, were suffering from fleas and roundworms.
On March 2, 2018, Bernice LaRochelle and Samuel Lebeau pled guilty to four counts each of animal cruelty for:
- failing to provide the care necessary for the general welfare,
- failing to provide sanitary living conditions,
- permitting distress to an animal and causing distress to an animal.
The Justice of the Peace sentenced them to a lifetime prohibition on owning animals, with the exception of one dog presently in their care that they are permitted to keep. They are subject to unannounced inspections by the Ontario SPCA and must provide proof that the dog in their care is receiving annual veterinary care.
They were also ordered to pay $800 in restitution to the North Bay and District Humane Society.
“The choice to assume the care of an animal comes with the moral and legal responsibility to ensure that those animals are being cared for appropriately,” says Lynn Michaud, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA.