St. Thomas man pleads guilty to animal cruelty after mange left untreated in dogs

by | Media Releases |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – St. Thomas, ON (January 19, 2018) – A 54-year-old St. Thomas man has been convicted of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act following an investigation into the neglect of dogs in his care.

James Duffy pled guilty on January 17, 2018 in a St. Thomas Provincial Offences Court to failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention. He was sentenced to two years probation, unannounced inspections by the Ontario SPCA to ensure compliance with the Ontario SPCA Act and he must accept any counselling concerning the care of animals, as recommended by the Ontario SPCA.

On January 31, 2017 Ontario SPCA officers attended a residence in St. Thomas after receiving a concern about the welfare of dogs on the property. Two German Shepherd-type dogs and one Husky-type dog were observed by officers to have hair loss, open wounds and poor body condition.

Orders were issued under the Ontario SPCA Act to have the dogs examined by a veterinarian, who found the animals were suffering from mange, a flea infestation and a secondary bacterial infection. The dogs received treatment for their conditions and improved after receiving the necessary veterinary care.

“There is no excuse for failing to provide the necessary care for your animals,” says Carol Vanderheide, Regional Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “If your animal has a health issue, you need to seek advice from a veterinarian to ensure the animal receives appropriate medical attention. If you find yourself in a position where you can no longer care for your animals, please contact your local Ontario SPCA 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.

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I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift. I am so happy there are folks like you to care for those who can’t help themselves.  My family and I have had animals all our lives and know what a comfort they are.  Thank you SPCA.