A Navan-area man faces several counts of animal cruelty after investigators found over 70 neglected animals at an area farm.
The charges were laid on Dec. 10 after a dog, over 50 sheep, and some rabbits, chickens and ducks were found without adequate shelter, food, or water.
Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) spokesperson Tara Jackson said the nine-year-old Rottweiler-like dog was euthanized by an OHS veterinarian because it was suffering from “lots of severe medical issues” and was in chronic pain. The suffering, she added, could not be relieved.
One of the sheep was slaughtered because its injuries were so bad, Jackson continued, noting that’s standard practice when it comes to farm animals. “The extent of neglect in this case across various species of animals is deeply disturbing,” OHS inspector Miriam Smith said in a statement.
The investigation started in October when OHS inspectors visited the Navan-area home after receiving a complaint about the condition of the animals at the farm. During one of the visits an inspector spotted a dog limping. The canine appeared to be in poor health and had an injured right hind leg.
Investigators issued an order to the owner to have the dog seen by a veterinarian, but the owner instead decided to surrender the animal to the Humane Society, where experts decided to humanely euthanize the dog.
Investigators also discovered the 70-plus farm animals without adequate food and water.
None of the farm animals were surrendered to the OHS, Jackson indicated. She explained they were being raised for food and, as it’s believed the farmer no longer has any animals, it’s likely they’ve been slaughtered as intended.
This case will be the first to go to trial for the OHS under the new provincial animal act, which came into effect in March.
The essential difference between the previous rules and the new legislation, Jackson explained, is that investigators no longer have to prove willful intent to neglect or harm an animal. Instead, she continued, they only have to prove that the neglect happened.
Charged with several counts of animal cruelty is 54-year-old Maurice Mouawad.
His case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 5. (P.L.)