Man and woman from Parry Sound plea guilty to permitting distress to animals


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Parry Sound, ON (March 4, 2016) – On February 9, 2016, Stephanie Russell and Stephen Schell of the Township of Perry, pled guilty to permitting distress to animals, according to the Ontario SPCA Act. They pled guilty to:

- One count of permitting distress to animals
- One count of failing to comply with an Ontario SPCA Order

On September 1, 2015, an Ontario SPCA officer attended a residential address in response to a report about two puppies in an enclosed porch with feces and urine everywhere and no food or water. The officer observed two Great Dane-type puppies confined to the porch. The officer noted a strong, foul smell, and several piles of soft-looking fecal matter all over the floor, some with what appeared to be a moldy-looking substance on them. Due to the number of animals and amount of waste, it appeared the fecal matter had been there for some time. There were lots of flies and debris, children’s toys and choking hazards, and the officer did not see any drinking water available for the puppies. The environment was very unsafe and unsanitary for animals, especially puppies. The owners of the puppies were not present at the time.

On September 2, 2015, Ontario SPCA officers returned to the address and met Stephanie Russell and Stephen Schell, who stated they owned the puppies. The environment had not changed and the owners were served with an Ontario SPCA Order to relieve their distress.

On September 9, 2015 Ontario SPCA officers returned to ensure the Orders were complied with. After determining that the Orders were indeed not complied with, the officers removed two Great Dane-type puppies from the residence of Russell and Schell. The puppies were examined by a veterinarian who stated they found some flea dirt on the dogs. A gastrointestinal swab also found a roundworm egg and possible coccidian.

“There is no excuse to let an animal go without proper veterinary medical attention,” says Senior Inspector Alison Green. “If you are unable to care for your animal, contact your local SPCA or Humane Society to discuss what options are available.”

Stephanie Russell and Stephen Schell were convicted and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $410.20 each to the Ontario SPCA. They are both prohibited from owning, having custody, or care of, or living with any animal for a period of 2 years.

The two Great Dane-type puppies that were removed received medical treatment and were then adopted into new loving, forever homes through the Ontario SPCA Muskoka Animal Centre.


Media Contact
Inspector Brad Dewar
Investigations and Communications Officer
Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:
Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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