24-year-old woman convicted of animal cruelty banned from owning animals for 15 years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tillsonburg, ON (September 21, 2016) – Tillsonburg resident Caitlyn Hicks, 24, has been banned from caring for or owning animals for 15 years after being found guilty last week of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act.
Ontario SPCA investigators executed two search warrants on July 24 and July 25, 2015 at a Tillsonburg residence after being notified of several abandoned animals in unsanitary conditions. When the officer entered the unit they found two Shepherd-type dogs, one long-hair cat and several tanks containing a variety of different species of fish. The animals had no food or water and the hallways of the residence were filled with feces and garbage, with an overpowering smell of ammonia.
The Ontario SPCA took the animals into its care and treated the dogs and cat for a severe flea infestation. The dogs, cat and fish were later surrendered to the Ontario SPCA and have since been adopted into new homes.
Hicks was charged with causing distress to an animal, failure to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention and failure to provide adequate and appropriate food and water.
Hicks failed to attend her September, 15 2016 trial date in Woodstock, ON. A trial was held in her absence where she was convicted of causing distress to an animal. Hicks received a 15-year prohibition from having custody or control of any animal and probation for two years. The Ontario SPCA has the right to inspect Hicks’s residence without prior notice to ensure she is complying with the prohibition order. She must also pay restitution in the amount of $1473.70 to the Ontario SPCA for the care of her animals.
“There is no excuse when it comes to failing to care for your animals,” says Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief, Ontario SPCA. “If you are having difficulty providing care for your animals, contact the Ontario SPCA to discuss your options.”
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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