St. Thomas man convicted of animal cruelty banned from owning animals for 10 years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - St. Thomas, ON (October 31, 2017) – A 34-year-old St. Thomas man has been found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act following an investigation into his mistreatment of animals in his care.
Shawn Spanner was found guilty of one count of causing distress to an animal and two counts of failing to comply with standards of care. He was sentenced on October 26, 2017 in an Elgin County Provincial Offences Court to a 10-year prohibition on owning animals, a two-year probation and is subject to inspections by the Ontario SPCA to ensure compliance of the prohibition order. He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,700 to the Ontario SPCA.
On February 15, 2017, the Ontario SPCA, with assistance from members of the Ontario Provincial Police Elgin County Detachment, executed a search warrant at a residence in Iona Station in response to a concern about animals that were believed to have been abandoned.
Four dogs and two cats were discovered living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions within the home. The floors were covered with feces, urine and garbage, with dog food poured in a pile on the kitchen floor. The animals were removed to provide them with the care they required. A veterinary examination revealed one of the dogs was suffering from a skin infection, which was successfully treated.
All of the animals were relinquished to the Ontario SPCA and later adopted into new homes. As three of the dogs were pit bulls, which are not permitted in Ontario under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, the Ontario SPCA transferred them out of province to be adopted.
“There is no excuse for not providing the proper care your animals require,” says Carol Vanderheide, Regional Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “Failure to do so can have serious legal consequences."
If you see an animal in distress, or suspect animal cruelty, call 310-SPCA (7722) to report it to the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty reporting centre.
Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:
Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is Ontario's animal welfare organization. A registered charity, the Society is comprised of close to 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.
The Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations, including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education & Animal Centre.
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