Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Excelsior! Bud Wheatley is going to jail!
Bud Wheatley has his own category on this blog for a reason. The first post is way back in 2004 when he still owned a pet store named "Snookums" - he had sold a puppy to a family in Nova Scotia, and surprise suprise, it had died on them. The puppy probably died from parvo.
Over the years it's a story that people who follow the news about puppies, pet stores and puppy brokers - have heard over and over.
And today - Bud Wheatley was sentenced to 5 months in jail, fined $200 and has to pay back the provincial government $68,000 for the cost of taking care of the animals - and a 10 year ban on owning animals. Finally a judge has given a criminal conviction for the criminal way that a human has treated sentient beings. I think that's awesome - I hope it's the beginning of the way these types of cases are handled.
In the CBC news story below - it seems that what the evidence that made this decision happen was -
Lisa Goulden, the crown attorney said that "the animals were filthy, that they were matted, that they had ear infections, that the animals had mites, lice, that a lot of the animals showed lack of grooming, that their nails were too long, that the kennels themselves were inadequate - that they were too small, that they were coated in feces and urine
The kennels were stacked 3 high - there were too many animals in each of the kennels, access to the kennels was very difficult, the lighting was very bad, ventilation was observed to be practically non-existent, food and water dishes were dirty, animals got no exercise, some were emaciated"....
So - if those things can be proven in other situations - why wouldn't crown attorneys in other jurisdictions be able to get the same convictions now? I don't see any reason.
It is especially interesting - because Gail Benoit is due back in court October 7th for a plea change, and hopefully sentencing will be handed down at that time as well - for all the puppies that died during the Chapman puppy mill kennel debacle in 2009 - so it would be lovely if this case has some residual effect on Gail Benoit's case, wouldn't it? That would be wonderful - we can only hope!!
The judge, Nancy Orr said she was urprised animal officals allowed Wheatley to operate for 15 months.
Below is the local CBC news video
And here's a CBC report of the story as well - and you can also read other articles from the past about Bud Wheatley by checking out by "Bud Wheatley category"
Online pet shop owner gets 5 months in jail
Bud Wheatley, owner of PuppiesAcrossCanada.com, was sentenced to five months in jail Tuesday for causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals.
Wheatley, 62, was also ordered by a provincial court in Charlottetown to pay a $200 fine and cover $68,000 in expenses incurred by the provincial Department of Agriculture during both the seizure of the animals and their care. He's also prohibited from owning any companion animals for 10 years with the exception of his 13-year-old dog Sacha.
He told the court he had a hard time keeping staff and couldn't sell enough animals.Bud Wheatley pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday. (CBC)
"He knows that he was ultimately responsible for the situation that led to the problems with the animals in his care and is remorseful it got to the point it did," said Wheatley's lawyer, Brenda Picard.
Wheatley had been facing five criminal charges and two under the provincial Companion Animal Protection Act in connection with a raid by RCMP officers on his place of business on P.E.I.'s North Shore in October 2009. He pleaded guilty early Tuesday to one criminal charge and one under the provincial act.
About 80 cats and dogs were seized in the raid and taken to the P.E.I. Humane Society for treatment. Some were emaciated, two had to be euthanized and one died before it could be treated.
"Almost every furry animal was severely matted, there was filth," said Crown attorney Lisa Goulden. "Many of the animals had infections, ear infections, ear mites; some of the animals had lice. A lot of the animals showed lack of grooming, their nails were too long. The kennels themselves were coated with feces and urine."
Judge calls case 'incredible'
Officials said the animals were kept in a storage shed in packed kennels stacked three high. There was little ventilation and poor lighting. The animals received no exercise and their food and water dishes were dirty.
Wheatley had previously operated the pet store Snookums in Charlottetown, and was in the news with customers complaining that dogs they bought from him were seriously ill. Wheatley blamed the customers, saying he sold only puppies.
Wheatley closed Snookums about three years ago, and went on to operate PuppiesAcrossCanada.com.
"We know now that what happened to those animals was a crime and it was punished and the full force of justice system was shown today," said Kelly Mullally, executive director of the P.E.I. Humane Society.
Judge Nancy Orr called this case "incredible" and said she found it surprising that Agriculture Department officials allowed Wheatley to operate for 15 months without a licence, even though inspectors visited his operation.
The court heard the department is reviewing training for its staff and the way they conduct their inspections.