Tweed woman convicted of animal cruelty following removal of 85 animals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tweed, ON (December 19, 2016) – A Tweed woman has been found guilty of four counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act stemming from an investigation that led to the removal of 85 animals from her home. 

On October 30, 2015 the Ontario SPCA attended a property in Tweed, located about 40 kilometres north of Belleville, after receiving a report concerning a large number of animals. An investigation was launched, which revealed dogs and cats living in unsanitary conditions inside the home, with feces and urine covering the floors. Following the recommendation of a veterinarian, the Ontario SPCA removed 52 dogs and 23 puppies of mixed small breeds, as well as 10 cats.

Cathy Graham was found guilty on December 12, 2016 in a Belleville court of two counts of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care, one count of permitting distress and one count of failing to comply with Ontario SPCA Act Orders. She was sentenced to a five-year prohibition on owning or caring for animals.

Three of the dogs removed were euthanized due to the condition in which they were found. The remaining 82 animals have since been re-homed. 

“The welfare of animals is our top priority,” says Steve Toy, Ontario SPCA Senior Inspector. “We incorporate humane education to try to address situations like this wherever possible, but we do enforce the law when it’s necessary to ensure the well-being of animals.”



Melissa Kosowan            
Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 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.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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