Four Belleville residents plead guilty to animal cruelty

by | Media Releases |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Belleville, ON (June 6, 2018) – Four people from Belleville have pled guilty to animal cruelty charges under the Ontario SPCA Act following an investigation relating to an emaciated dog.

Daniel Michael Withlaw, 28, Rodney Dylan Forbes, 20, Jessica Joyce Elisabeth Garland, 23, and Taylor Mary Irene Pocknell, 21, pled guilty on Monday, June 4, 2018 in a Belleville Provincial Offences Court to eight animal cruelty charges:

  • 1 count each of permitting an animal to be in distress
  • 1 count each of failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water
  • 1 count each of failing to provide adequate medical attention
  • 1 count each of failing to provide the necessary care for general welfare
  • 1 count each of failing to provide adequate and appropriate resting and sleeping areas
  • 1 count each of failing to provide a space to enable the animal to move naturaly and to exercise
  • 1 count each of failing to provide sanitary conditions
  • 1 count each of failing to provide ventilation

They were each sentenced by the Justice of the Peace to a five-year prohibition on owning, caring for or living with animals, and a five-year probation. They were also fined $500 and ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the Quinte Humane Society.

In October 2017, the Ontario SCPA received a concern about a dog after the animal was brought to a veterinarian by a concerned citizen. A veterinary examination revealed the two-year-old female Boxer-cross type dog was very thin, infested with fleas and covered in urine and feces.

An investigation determined the dog was owned by Forbes and Garland, who shared rental unit with Pocknell and Withlaw. When Forbes and Garland moved, they left the dog behind in the care of Pocknell and Withlaw.

The dog was voluntarily surrendered and was treated for her health conditions. She is in the process of being rehomed.

“If you have an animal in your care, you have an ethical and legal obligation to provide the necessary requirements for that animal,” says Bonnie Bishop, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to care for your animals, contact your local animal centre or humane society to discuss your options.”

To report animal cruelty, call the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide dispatch centre at 310-SPCA (7722).



Melissa Kosowan
Ontario SPCA

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.

Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!