Ontario SPCA Commends Jail Sentence in Cruelty Case Ottawa Humane Society case sees first sentencing of its kind!

NEWMARKET, ON (05 October, 2011) —The Ontario SPCA is pleased to announce the first-ever jail sentence for charges of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act for a case of animal cruelty handled by the Ottawa Humane Society.


On October 3, an Ottawa woman, Madeleine Girard, was sentenced in Provincial court to 10 months in jail, as well as a lifetime ban from owning or having custody or care of any animal. She was also ordered to pay $500 restitution to the Ottawa Humane Society and must allow unannounced inspections of her residence to ensure she is in compliance with the court order. Prosecutor Mathew Collins sought a sentence of six months in jail and $220 restitution; however, the judge believed the offence supported a more severe sentence.


On April 21, 2011, the Ottawa Humane Society Rescue and Investigation Service officers found the decomposing body of a black and white, pointer-type dog inside the front door of Girard’s Heatherington Avenue apartment unit. Girard was charged under the Ontario SPCA Act with permitting distress to an animal and failing to provide adequate and suitable food and water, resulting in its death.


A necropsy showed the dog was emaciated with ribs, vertebrae and hip bones jutting out
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals congratulates the diligent work of the Ottawa Humane Society for the very successful outcome to this case.


“We are pleased to see this strict sentence, it really shows that animal cruelty is not tolerated in the eyes of the law”, says Connie Mallory, Chief Inspector, Ontario SPCA.


The Ontario SPCA wants to remind everyone that no animal should ever go without having the necessities of life, and that there are consequences for allowing it to happen. There are alternatives and by contacting your local Ontario SPCA or humane society they can assist you with the available services.



Provincial Media Contact
Agent Brad Dewar
Investigations & Communications Officer
Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office


The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA): Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is a registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities relying primarily on donations to fund animal protection, care and rehabilitation; advocacy; and humane education. The Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Society investigators with police powers to do so – making the Ontario SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. The Ontario SPCA is affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.