Sunday, January 29, 2017

One last post about Gail Benoit

Gail Benoit was sentenced January 27, 2017 for failing to supply a health certificate when she sold 2 kittens in 2016 to someone who had never heard about her - she was sentenced to one year of probation and she's prohibited from possessing or having the care of any animals for the next 5 years except for the 3 personal dogs that she currently owns.

For her 3 personal dogs she must have them microchipped and take them into a vet within the next 30 days to make sure their health is documented - and the NS SPCA can come to her house unannounced anytime in the next five years to do a welfare check on them and make sure that no more than those 3 dogs are on her premises and her personal dogs have to go see a veterinarian on an annual basis.

So hopefully - if Benoit follows her prohibition - she won't be able to pursue her business of puppy flipping until January of 2022 - in her own name anyway - she does have 2 children that have helped her in her business in the past - hopefully that won't continue.

I wanted to write one last post about her so that people don't forget about her interactions with the law and start to feel sorry for her - and also to point out that there are people who are more than willing to pick up where she's left off - and I want to show them that it's really not a good idea to take up this business as a career because it's really hard to keep puppies alive when they've been taken away from their mother too soon - especially when you've taken puppies into your home with parvo - anymore puppies you take in will probably also come down with that disease because the parvo virus is very hard to get out of your home once you've brought it in - Ms. Benoit could probably talk to you quite a bit about this.

The earliest interaction that I could find when I started tracking Gail was from 2001- a Chronicle Herald article about Gail and Dana Bailey being charged with animal cruelty after  an adult female dog and at least one of two pups were found hypothermic and emaciated.  The vet at trial said the adult dog was so hypothermic that she would only have last another day or two and would have died - the puppies were full of hundred and hudreds of intestinal worms.

It is unfrortunate that even though they were convicted of cruelty for this case - it was overturned in 2002 because the SPCA Cruelty officers didn't follow procedural rules and seized the dogs while the Benoit's were not home - the first of many mistakes that the NS SPCA made over the years with the Benoit's.

The Benoit's next negative interaction came with the Chronicle Herald in 2003 - with a news story about selling sick cocker spaniel puppies:

"I got taken big-time," Ms. Eye said Monday at her home in Steam Mill Village, Kings County. "I wanted for years to get a dog, and now I have all these problems."  
It all started when she saw an ad for cocker spaniel pups posted on a bulletin board in Coldbrook. Ms. Eye called the number and offered to visit the breeder at her home to see the pups.  
But the seller refused, offering to bring the animals to her.  
They met in a parking lot in Berwick. The woman had three pups she said were purebreds, and Ms. Eye bought one for $500.  
She received no registration papers, health guarantee, record of vaccinations or even confirmation of a visit to a veterinarian.  
"I thought it was strange," Ms. Eye said. "It didn't seem the kind of thing a reputable breeder would do." Within hours, she realized she had made a big mistake.  
"I learned a valuable lesson," she said. The pup was loaded with fleas, undernourished, hadn't been weaned properly and didn't know how to eat solid food. "He came with the worst smell, and I don't mean just a dog smell or a dirty smell. It was unreal."  
The dog had diarrhea and its feces were filled with worms. Ms. Eye took the pup to a vet, who treated him for worms.  
She phoned the dog seller, who hung up on her. Ms. Eye is now spending lots of money on vet bills. She doesn't know if the dog is a purebred. She doesn't even know its age. 
"I have no idea what I'm in for in the future," she said.  
Michelle Robichaud of Lower Sackville bought a cocker spaniel puppy from the same seller two weeks ago. She regrets not going to a reputable breeder, who would have given her registration papers, a health guarantee and a record of vaccination and deworming.  
"I kick myself, because I really screwed up," she said Monday. She had just returned from the vet, who told her the pup was severely malnourished. 
She's not sure if it will survive. 
Benoit didn't come under the news media's radar again until 2007 - The SPCA put put out a notice asking anyone in Nova Scotia who bought a puppy from a parking lot to contact their local shelter, following a seizure of 10 animals the group says were dirty and sick.

Gail Benoit was again charged with animal cruelty for these 10 puppies who were seized very sick - but luckily made a good comeback and were able to be adopted out.

She also received an additional charge during the seizure of the puppies from her home when she assaulted an SPCA cruelty officer - which funnily enough - when she was convicted of this charge - she received the only jail time she's ever had to suffer through.

The trial for those poor puppies was very interesting - on the stand Gail admitted that since she'd started her puppy flipping business she'd probably sold more than 30,000 dogs!  In a blog post I had figured out that:

In their testimony on November 3rd they both testified that they are on disability and living off the proceeds of CPP - yet they also testified that they have sold more than THIRTY THOUSAND PUPPIES in the 16 years they've been in the business of selling puppies. 
If you do the math of that 30,000 x a very modest $350 per puppy = $10,500,000.00(that is ten million, five hundred thousand dollars, people...) divided by 16 years = $656,250.00 per year for the last 16 years. (They are telling us that they have sold 1,875 puppies per year for the last 16 years - that's 156 puppies per months or 39 puppies a week).

That was in 2008 - I'm writing this post in 2017 - so she's had another 9 years to sell more puppies and cats - so you figure out the math of how much more money she's had to make in that time.

She was found guilty on all charges for these offences - sentenced to 21 days in jail for the assault on the cruelty officers and prohibited from owning or possessing animals for a term of 8 months - by the point she was sentenced on these charges she was facing new charges for selling more sick and dying puppies so the judge figured that the prohibition order didn't need to be too long - she'd have another one coming up for those puppies. Boy was he wrong.

It was in 2008 that all hell went loose in regards to Gail Benoit selling sick and dying puppies - she had done a deal with a kennel up in New Brunswick and bought a very large amount of puppies that were taken from their mother way too early - Gail thought she had hit the motherlode when it came to making sales - but it was the exact opposite - they were dying just way too fast on her - she was lucky to sell them before they died - and if they died rifht after people bought them - well then, that was just too bad.

You have to read the whole article from July 28 to make any semblance of what was going on at the time.

In August 2008 the city was warning about a parvo outbreak - and it was all because of the puppies that Benoit had been selling - it had become just that bad.

It only got worse in August for the Benoits when ever more dogs and their owners came forward saying that they'd been sold sick dogs by them - there were almost too many to mention - it was a huge amount of puppies who were sold sick and most of them died unfortunatetly

There was a time during the summer of 2008 when the Benoit's were on the news almost every night - and because of all the sick and dying puppies that they sold that summer - they were once again charged with cruelty to animals.

As a very sad and awful side note to the summer of 2008 when the Benoit's were in the news for selling the sad puppies who were dying of parvo and being taken from their mother way too young - (The Chapmans sold 27 3 weeks old puppies to the Benoits) it brought a puppymill from New Brunswick into the news called "Chapman Kennels" - they were a kennel that had about 300 kennels so they were a very large scale breeder - registered, inspected and approved by the New Brunswick SPCA.

They sold their puppies to pet stores around New Brunswick but because of all the negative publicity around the Benoit scandal they lost a lot of business and decided to close their kennel.  They felt that no one would want any of their breeding dogs so they did what they thought was the proper thing - and SHOT 175 of them in the head to get rid of them.  What kind of a disconnect does a person have in their brain that they can go from kennel to kennel and shoot one dog after the other in the head.

And that story was only carried by a small newspaper in New Brunswick - that a kennel operator had shot 175 dogs in the head in order to close his puppy mill - all because Gail Benoit had bought 27 puppies from them at too young an age so most of them died shortly after she was able to unload them on unsuspecting customers. Unbelievable - but it's true.

It only came to light because Benoit sued the Chapmans - but Benoit lost the court case.

Benoit was charged with 4 counts of animal cruelty for 4 puppies that had died and the SPCA had necropies done.

The animal advocacy community was overjoyed that it would seem that the NS SPCA and the crown procecutors would have such a solid case of cruelty - Benoit was finally going to get what advocates were always hoping for - a prohibition on owning animals so that she couldn't continue on with her career of hurting animals.

And then in December of 2010 - what happened?  All charges were dropped and Benoit went free.

Why?  We in the public will never know.  The Crown and the NS SPCA never released any information except for the Crown Attorney presiding over the case saying it was a "point of sale issue" as opposed to a cruelty issue.

In 2009 there was a paradigm shift in the online presence of Gail Benoit when the website made its way onto the internet - it is an aggregator site for all things Gail Benoit and is a compilation of news stores about Gail, as well as blog posts that I've written about her over the years - there is nothing there that isn't factual and doesn't have a link to an external source - which is biggest reason I think she's never sued me :)

It also meant I bought the domain name - I wanted this blog to be at the top of anything or anytime people searched her name - and previous to the implemnation of this blog - her name did not come up in any meaningful way - and I wanted to change that - I wanted to have as much information available in one spot as I could - and that's what it's about - it's not confronting, or mean - it is simply de factor the truth and speaks to her history.

We didn't hear anything more about her until 2013 when she was outed for trying to take a litter of women's puppies that she had advertised as "free to a good home" - and then got them delivered to her for free as well.

EDIT - I wrote this post and published it - but then I remembered - the reason we didn't hear anything about her is because this is the time that there was an interaction between Gail and an elderly woman that she supposedly defrauded, took over her life and stole money from her.

There is a CBC news article about it at "Vulnerable aunt loses money in cautionary tale"

As well - in 2013 - Gail was accused of, and convicted of - stealing 2 dogs that she was told she would dog sit for a woman in New Bunswick - she brought them to Nova Scotia and immediately sold them.  They were found and returned to the owner.

Finally 2016 was her final fall-down - and it's because of enhanced regulations to legislation that was passed in 2014 that the SPCA and crown prosecutors were finally able to put her out of business - and kudo's to them for finally being able effect some resolution so that no animals will be harmed for the next five years.

From 2001 when the Benoit's were convicted of animal cruelty - but because of the way that the SPCA did their investigation - helping the dogs who were in obvious distress was the thing that got the cruelty case thrown out - to 2016 with the SPCA using our newly enhanced regulations to finally convicting Gail Benoit for not having required veterinary certificates when she sold a kitten - we've come a long way in Nova Scotia in regards to animal cruelty legislation - and it finally stopped Gail Benoit - and that's a good thing.