Two people from Thunder Bay convicted after 23 cats and kittens abandoned

Legal Update
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THUNDER BAY – A 45-year-old woman and 47-year-old man from Thunder Bay have been convicted under provincial animal welfare legislation following an investigation relating to 23 cats and kittens found abandoned in a park.

April Cochrane pled guilty on November 2, 2018 in a Thunder Bay Provincial Offences Court to causing distress to an animal, failing to provide for their general welfare and failing to provide adequate and sanitary conditions. The Justice of the Peace sentenced Cochrane to 60 days in custody, two years probation and a two-year prohibition on owning or caring for animals. At the conclusion of that prohibition period, Cochrane will be limited for life to owning a maximum of two animals at any one time. She was also ordered to pay $525 in fines and $1,308 in restitution to the Ontario SPCA.

In June of this year, 47-year-old Todd Quenville of Thunder Bay was sentenced to 90 days in custody for his involvement after pleading guilty to causing distress to an animal, failing to provide for their general welfare and failing to provide adequate and sanitary conditions. He received two years probation and the same court ordered prohibition as Cochrane. He was also fined $525 and must pay $1,308 in restitution to the Ontario SPCA.

Ontario SPCA officers with the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society were called to Wilson Street Park in Thunder Bay on June 15, 2016, after 23 cats and kittens were discovered abandoned in one dog crate. One kitten in the crate was found dead.

The investigation resulted in witnesses coming forward, which led to an Ontario SPCA warrant being executed at a home in Thunder Bay where 37 additional cats were removed from unsanitary conditions. Cochrane and Quenville were subsequently charged.

“Animals are sentient beings, not items to be discarded when you no longer want them,” says Lynn Michaud, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “We urge anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are unable to care for their animals to reach out to the Ontario SPCA or their local humane society.”

To report animal welfare concerns, contact the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722).