Yesterday in the Chronicle Herald there was an article about a guy who was fined for starving his animals. The SPCA had asked for the guy to be fined enough to cover the costs of the SPCA and the judge said:
"The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders."
When I read that yesterday morning I almost had a heart attack! I'm very happy that the president of the NS SPCA is following up on what has to be one of the most ludicrous statements to ever come out of the mouths of anyone in a position of power in this province in years. The complete article is below the press release. And the letter to the editor of the Chronicle Herald that I'm going to be writing will be coming shortly!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NS SPCA SAYS THE BUCK SHOULDN'T STOP WITH THEM
The NS SPCA is sorry to hear that at least one Nova Scotia judge doesn't think that violators of animal cruelty laws should contribute to the costs of stopping them. In refusing to order a Mill Village man he convicted of animal cruelty to contribute to the costs of the SPCA's investigation, Provincial Court Judge James Burrill said yesterday that, "The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders."
The NS SPCA respectfully disagrees. "If convicted cruelty offenders aren't going to be penalized by carrying even a little of the financial load of their bad behaviour" says Society President Judith Gass, "how fair is it that the entire burden of enforcement falls upon the law-abiding citizens of this Province?" Because, she says, that's what Judge Burrill's comment means. "The SPCA is exclusively responsible for the enforcement of the provincial Animal Cruelty Prevention Act and yet we get the whopping sum of $3000 per year from the Department of Agriculture. That's it for government funding. Every other penny of our nearly $350,000 cruelty investigations budget comes from animal lovers across the province. And I don't expect we'll be seeing a donation from Mr. Wamboldt any time soon."
Gass says that the chronic underfunding of the Society by government has long been a sore point with her agency, but Judge Burrill's remarks yesterday were salt in the wound. "It's bad enough that Mr. Wamboldt was only fined $460 for starving his three husky dogs when our law allows a maximum of $5000 for a first or second offence, but
to then let him off the hook for investigation costs..." Gass shakes her head. "This is a buck that shouldn't stop with us. Being a responsible animal guardian means that you undertake to fulfill that animal's physical and emotional needs with kindness and caring - if you fail in that undertaking, you should expect to bear the financial
cost of your failure. And that includes finding you out and bringing you to justice."
For more information about this or any other Nova Scotia SPCA investigation please contact:
Judith Gass, President
Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
c/o Provincial Office
1600 Bedford Highway, Suite 422
Bedford, NS B4A 1E8
Dog owner fined for neglect
By BEVERLEY WARE / South Shore Bureau
LIVERPOOL - A Mill Village man has been ordered to pay $800 in fines and restitution after he starved his three dogs to the point one had to be put down.
Fred Wayne Wamboldt was charged last April 15 with neglecting to provide his huskies with proper food, water, shelter and care.
Prosecutor Murray Judge said the Queens County SPCA was called in and investigators found the dogs very thin "and their coats were saturated with the smell of urine and feces."
The three dogs were seized. Two were treated and placed in homes, but the third was so emaciated he was euthanized.
Mr. Wamboldt told Provincial Court Judge James Burrill he has been breeding dogs for more than 30 years. He said they were racing sled dogs and were supposed to be thinner than purebred huskies. Mr. Wamboldt said he had been trying to find homes for the two younger dogs and planned to have the older one put to sleep once the other two had new owners.
He said that he and his wife were so upset by the charges that they are on medication and that he had to take time off from his work at Michelin because of stress.
Judge Burrill said while he appreciates that Mr. Wamboldt has been breeding dogs since 1970, standards have changed over the years.
He placed Mr. Wamboldt on probation for a year and ordered him to pay the SPCA $347.01 in restitution for vet bills. Mr. Judge had asked for $400 in restitution to the agency for its investigation, but Judge Burrill refused, saying such agencies must get their funding by other means.
"The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders," he said.
However, he did fine Mr. Wamboldt $460, for a total bill of $807.01.