North Bay woman found guilty of animal cruelty following investigation involving 600 rats
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – North Bay, ON (March 28, 2018) – A 53-year-old North Bay woman has been found guilty of four counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act following an investigation relating to more than 600 rats found living in her apartment.
On March 7, 2018, Mandy Statham was found guilty in a North Bay Provincial Offences Court of the following offences:
- Permit distress to an animal
- Fail to provide care that is necessary for their general welfare
- Fail to provide sanitary living conditions
- Fail to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention
She was sentenced to a 20-year prohibition on owning or caring for animals and is subject to unannounced inspections by Ontario SPCA officers. She was also ordered by the Justice of the Peace to pay $500 in restitution to the North Bay and District Humane Society.
On December 16, 2016, an Ontario SPCA officer with the North Bay and District Humane Society attended an apartment in North Bay after a concern was reported regarding a large number of loose rats at the residence.
A total of 606 rats were found to be living in unsanitary conditions and were voluntarily surrendered into the care of the North Bay and District Humane Society. The rats had been living in the owner’s belongings, including inside the kitchen stove, closets and mattresses. Rat urine, fecal matter and debris were scattered throughout the unit, creating an overpowering smell of ammonia.
Once assessed to ensure they were healthy and suitable for adoption, the rats were transferred to Ontario SPCA Animal Centres and Humane Societies across the province where they were placed up for adoption.
“This was a rather unusual situation, but there are situations where people acquire more animals than they can care for, or they don’t take steps to ensure that their animals do not breed,” says Lynn Michaud, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “If you find yourself in a position where you cannot care for your animals, please contact an Ontario SPCA Animal Centre or your local Humane Society to discuss your options.”
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.
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