So today was conviction day for Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey down in Digby - and they were found guilty on all counts - 4 counts of animal cruelty, and 1 count of assault for Gail Benoit when she assaulted SPCA Special Constable Nancy Noel - charges stemming from a raid carried out in October 2007
It is a great day for all the puppies that - because they ended up in the care of the Benoit's - they died. Hopefully now the Benoit's will be handed a ban on owning animals for any use - personal pets, or animals related to their business. That would be the best case scenario. Hopefully the courts have learned not to let convicted animal abusers not to have personal pets - and with this couple, especially not to own unaltered animals - because if they do - you know they will breed those animals and then sell the progeny. They shouldn't be able to have access to any species other than humans. At least humans can fight back when they're abused.
Gail Benoit has said very openly that she'll never stop selling puppies - so it'll take a court order and constant supervision to make her stop - that's the only way the cycle will stop. People may say that someone else will just take up the mantle - but I think there are very few people who would do it with quite so little regard for the actual puppies health, and for the customers she is selling to.
She is obviously such a hard worker, driving to parking lots all over the province, shilling her defective wares - it just amazes me that she is so willing to carry on selling something that is so hard to sell, and takes so much work. She should really be selling things like cell phones or mirrored glass doors - I think she'd make so much more money.
Now we have more cruelty charges to look forward to as well - stemming from the 27 puppies she bought from Chapman kennels last summer. That will be great to watch move through the court system. And it's guaranteed there'll be a lot of people watching - and more and more people everyday will be learning what a puppy broker is - and that there's much better and safer and healthier ways to buy companion animals - and that is super. Michael Vick is the best thing that ever happened to pit bulls - maybe Gail Benoit is the best thing that ever happened to puppy brokers and puppy mills. You can't buy this kind of education and advertising.
Below is tonight's CTV news, and below that is the Digby Courier's news break from this morning - (oh and the whine you're hearing in the background? That's Buttercup - she is feeling ignored because I'm looking at the television and not at her!)
Benoit, Bailey guilty of animal cruelty, assault
Digby County puppy brokers to be sentenced Mar. 26
by Jeanne Whitehead
Digby County puppy brokers Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey were found guilty, today, Jan. 29, on two counts of animal cruelty stemming from the October 2007 seizure of 10 puppies from their Roxville property.
Gail Benoit was also found guilty of assaulting SPCA special constable Nancy Noel at the time of the seizure.
Dangerous road conditions prevented Benoit and Bailey’s lawyer, Mike Powers, from attending court and Judge Jean Louis Batiot advised that sentencing will take place March 26.
The 2007 seizure of 10 sick and malnourished puppies by Nova Scotia SPCA chief investigator Roger Joyce and special constable Nancy Noel followed complaints filed with the SPCA.
Both Noel and Joyce were present for Judge Batiot’s verdict and say they hope Benoit and Bailey will be prohibited from owning animals. Such an injunction could conceivably come prior to the March 26 sentencing date.
Joyce says he makes frequent checks on people who are prohibited from owning animals.
In addition to the charges from the 2007 seizure, Benoit and Bailey face animal cruelty charges filed three weeks ago—relating to their 2008 sale of puppies infected with the deadly parvovirus.
Gail Benoit addressed Judge Batiot after he read the verdict. “This has got to stop,” she said. “My family is terrified and people have threatened to burn my house down.”
“The SPCA is corrupt,” she said, as she left the courtroom.