FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEChisholm, ON (March 8, 2018) – A 44-year-old woman and 49-year-old man from the Township of Chisholm have been found guilty of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act and sentenced to a lifetime prohibition on owning animals.

On August 21, 2017, an Ontario SPCA officer with the North Bay and District Humane Society executed a search warrant at a property in Chisholm Township. Thirteen cats were located locked inside a camper trailer. Ammonia levels from cat urine were overpowering within the trailer and every surface was covered in feces.

Additional cats were located inside a home on the property and a total of 15 cats were voluntarily surrendered into the care of the North Bay and District Humane Society. A veterinary examination revealed that, in addition to being thin, matted and covered in fecal matter, the cats were also infested with fleas and suffering from upper respiratory infections, dental disease, roundworms and ear infections.

An officer returned to the property again on September 14, 2017 and discovered four kittens confined to a carrier inside the camper trailer. An additional seven cats were also located inside the dwelling. The owners voluntarily surrendered all 11 cats into the care of the North Bay and District Humane Society. A veterinary examination revealed the cats, which were covered in fecal matter, were suffering from fleas and roundworms.

On March 2, 2018, Bernice LaRochelle and Samuel Lebeau pled guilty to four counts each of animal cruelty for failing to provide care necessary for general welfare, failing to provide sanitary living conditions, permitting distress to an animal and causing distress to an animal. The Justice of the Peace sentenced them to a lifetime prohibition on owning animals, with the exception of one dog presently in their care that they are permitted to keep. They are subject to unannounced inspections by the Ontario SPCA and must provide proof that the dog in their care is receiving annual veterinary care. They were also ordered to pay $800 in restitution to the North Bay and District Humane Society.

“The choice to assume the care of an animal comes with the moral and legal responsibility to ensure that those animals are being cared for appropriately,” says Lynn Michaud, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “Allowing an animal to suffer needlessly will result in legal consequences.” 



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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