HALIFAX – Two Nova Scotians have been charged criminally in unrelated horrific animal death cases — a man who allegedly drowned a litter of kittens in a bucket, and a woman who allegedly left a dog to die in an abandoned car.
“These animals suffered a horrible death,” said Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief provincial inspector for the Nova Scotia SPCA, which announced charges in both cases on Thursday.
“The reasons both of these cases went to the Criminal Code as opposed to the Animal Protection Act is because of how severe these were.”
The SPCA said a Little Narrows, N.S., woman was charged after a dog was found dead in a vehicle in a Halifax parkade on May 25. No food or water was left for the dog, Landsburg said.
“It is our belief that the car was abandoned by the owner and the dog was left inside,” she said.
“The dog did not die of heat exhaustion that day. The dog was in that car, for it was probably weeks before it was actually found. It actually died from dehydration and starvation.”
The Little Narrows woman was scheduled to appear in court Thursday. She has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering or injury to an animal and failing to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care for it.
In the other case, the SPCA said it received a call in late July about “the possible disappearance of a litter of kittens,” and determined they had been drowned by their owner, an Aldershot man.
“It’s what we refer to as breathlessness — so when an animal is drowned, it’s basically the worst sensation you can ever come across is you know you’re about to die,” Landsburg said.
She recounted a case earlier this year in which a dead cat was found in a bag in an Annapolis Valley pond, but she said it was the first such mass kitten drowning she has seen.
“Maybe 40 years ago it was the norm that people would revert to on farms or whatever — they would fill a feedbag up, and put a litter of kittens in it and drown it. That’s not the way we do things today.”
The man is charged under the Criminal Code with wilfully and without lawful excuse killing kittens. He will be arraigned Oct. 24 in Kentville provincial court.
Landsburg said the SPCA offers spay and neuter programs at low cost, and also helps find homes for unwanted kittens.
“There’s lots of options out there so they don’t have to resort to this heinous crime,” said Landsburg.