North Preston man facing animal cruelty charges after dog found frozen to death

Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
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NORTH PRESTON - The SPCA have laid animal cruelty charges against a North Preston man after a dog was found dead and frozen to the ground in his yard just before Christmas.

On Dec. 23, the Nova Scotia SPCA responded to a complaint about a dog thought to be lying dead in the yard of a North Preston home. When officers arrived they confirmed the animal – an American Staffordish Terrier – had frozen to death in a doghouse.

David Ross, a chief inspector for the SPCA, said Wednesday it’s “very sad” this case turned out how it did.

“This is what we don’t want to happen,” he said.

The dog’s body was sent to the Department of Agriculture facility in Truro for a necropsy earlier this month, and the results showed the dog died of “severe malnutrition and hypothermia,” according to an SPCA release.

Ross said the dog, a female, was “quite severely emaciated” when he arrived on Dec. 23 to take the body away from the North Preston home.

He said he wasn’t sure how long the dog had been left outside.

On Wednesday, the SPCA charged the homeowner where the dog was found with three counts of animal cruelty, including failure to provide an adequate source of food and water, failure to provide reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold, and causing an animal to be in distress.

“It is unusual to find an animal that has succumbed either to the heat or the cold,” Ross said. “We’re always disturbed when this has happened because this is not what we want.”

If convicted, the man could face a lifetime prohibition on owning or having custody of animals, a maximum fine of $10,000, or six months in jail.

He will appear in Dartmouth provincial court on March 11.

Ross said he doesn’t know of anyone who has gotten jail time in an animal cruelty case, but if found guilty, he said it will be up to the judge to determine that here.

“I’d like to see the person held accountable,” Ross said.

Organizations: Department of Agriculture

Geographic location: North Preston, Truro, Dartmouth

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Recent comments

  • kathy
    January 16, 2014 - 17:26

    I hope these horrible shameful people receive the full extent of the law. Discussing.

  • louise lorette
    louise lorette
    January 16, 2014 - 15:41

    They should do jail time. Maybe it would end this unnessary cruelty.

  • Joanna
    January 16, 2014 - 11:29

    It says "if convicted" because they have to complete an investigation. I wouldn't expect much of a punishment though, we are talking about the Canadian "justice" system afterall.

  • Kristy WW
    January 16, 2014 - 08:13

    What is with " if convicted " there should be NO question, he needs to be CONVICTED! This is a terrible story! Heart breaking, this poor dog had to go through this, we as the people need to be the voice for this innocent animal. Make the owner pay! Jail time, fine, and NEVER being able to own another animal, AND post his name and picture in the news paper, make the abuser suffer!

  • Kristy WW
    January 16, 2014 - 08:12

    What is with " if convicted " there should be NO question, he needs to be CONVICTED! This is a terrible story! Heart breaking, this poor dog had to go through this, we as the people need to be the voice for this innocent animal. Make the owner pay! Jail time, fine, and NEVER being able to own another animal, AND post his name and picture in the news paper, make the abuser suffer!

    • noodle
      January 16, 2014 - 11:53

      Here! Here! I would only add that there should be a national public-access animal abuser registry or website. Even if he were banned from owning pets, without a registry there is no way for the public to check so that he and others like him don't get the opportunity to abuse more animals in the future. As it is now all he has to do evade the ban is either wait until people forget about it or to move to another community where no one knows him.