Thunder Bay woman sentenced to 10-year ban on owning animals after dog found neglected in basement

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Legal Update
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THUNDER BAY – A 35-year-old Thunder Bay woman has been convicted under provincial animal welfare legislation and sentenced to a 10-year prohibition on owning animals following an investigation into the treatment of a dog in her care.

Kristin McKay pled guilty on September 21, 2018, in a Thunder Bay Provincial Offences Court of permitting a dog to be in distress, failing to provide care necessary for the animal’s general welfare and failing to provide adequate and appropriate sanitary conditions.

McKay received a 12-month suspended sentence and a $100 fine per count, along with a one-year probation and a 10-year prohibition on owning animals. The Justice of the Peace also ordered her to pay $419.68 restitution to the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society.

On May 1, 2017, an Ontario SPCA officer with the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society received a call from Thunder Bay Police Services regarding the neglect of an animal. Police officers discovered the dog living in unsanitary conditions in the basement of a home in the north end, where it was tied to a pole on a very short lead.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the dog had been locked in the basement for three days. McKay had placed dryer sheets over the floor vents leading from the basement in an attempt to cover the smell of urine and feces in the home.

A veterinary examination of the dog revealed it had a metal “prong” collar deeply embedded in its neck, which had to be surgically removed. The dog recovered from his injuries in the care of the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society and was later rehomed.

“The pain and unsanitary conditions this dog experienced is inexcusable,” says Lynn Michaud, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “Many options exist for owners of pets who require assistance to care for their animals. There is no excuse for the intentional neglect that caused pain and suffering to this dog.”

To report suspected animal cruelty, call the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722), or your local police.

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