put a blanket over the kennel so no one could see that he was in there - and left him to starve to death inside that kennel. With the car doors unlocked. With an unopened bag of dog food inside the car. Where the dog could not access the dog food - because he was locked inside the kennel.
The dog had no access to food, water, sun, fresh air, humans, or anything that gives life sustenance and slowly - moment by moment died a slow, tortuous death.
NS SPCA Chief Constable Jo-Anne Landsberg said that in her five years with the organization it's one of the worst cases that she has ever encountered in terms of cruelty to an animal, and I would say that's saying quite a bit.
This wasn't the first time that she had done this - she had done it 2 months earlier when she left Keisha and her boyfriend's german shepherd in the same car when it became buried in snow and was fined $500 for it. After she left Keisha in the car this second time she told her boyfriend that Keisha had been struck by a car and died.
This week Bethany MacLean was sentenced for killing Keisha in the diabolical manner that she did - and Nova Scotians are crying. For the way that Keisha suffered at the hands of Ms. MacLean - and for the sentence she received.
I have written quite a bit here about how the Justice system in this province does not mete out correct sentences for animal abusers - and this is another glaring example of this.
When people abuse animals and are charged - they ARE charged appropriately - we DO have adequate laws. We do have adequate people in place enforcing the laws - the NS SPCA. When cruelty happens, and it seems to happen as much here as it happens elsewhere - but when sentencing happens - we are in the 1800's here.
For the torture that Bethany MacLean gave to Keisha this is what she has received - this is from a CBC article:
"I think the public would be completely outraged if Ms. MacLean were to be given a discharge in these circumstances," Lenehan said in rejecting that sentencing option.
But the judge also didn't subscribe to the Crown's view that MacLean deserved a 90-day jail sentence.
"I don't think it's necessary that I actually cage her for a period of time as she had her dog caged," he said.
MacLean must do four months of house arrests where she will only be allowed out of her parents' home for four hours a week, other than for previously scheduled medical and legal appointments and employment. Twenty months of probation will follow.
She must also complete 75 hours of community service and she's banned from owning any pets for a period of 10 years.
Sparks had argued that MacLean has already experienced enough deterrence because she had been vilified on social media, including death threats.
Lenehan said that was unavoidable. "Be ready for the onslaught; whether you deserve it or not is neither here nor there."
Okay, there's a lot packed into that quote so let's break this down a little bit.
"I don't think it's necessary that I actually cage her for a period of time as she had her dog caged". That is a quote from Judge Gregory Lenehan.
drunk women can obviously consent" - meaning that if you are a drunk woman beyond comprehension and some taxi driver forces themselves on you - you can obviously consent to that and rape never happened. He's also the judge who had 121 complaints against him dismissed (and as an offside - who in any profession anywhere has 121 complaints put on them anywhere?)
I have been around for a long time, and I've got a long memory thanks to this blog - this line from Lenehan reminds me of what a Judge James Burrill said in 2004 about a cruelty case when the SPCA asked for costs to recoup what they had spent on the dogs that they had seized -
"The last thing we want in our society is investigating agencies being funded by the offenders."
Even back in 2004 that was as unbelievable statement to me as it is now.
Our justice system hasn't moved any farther forward since 2004. This case in 2004 was also about huskies - it was against a man named Fred Wayne Wambolt - he had 3 dogs seized - 2 of which made it into homes but one was in such bad shape he had to be euthanized.
We only have to think to the 2009 case in the Valley when Susan Keizer was fined $5 for drowning a litter of kittens because the crown attorney William Ferguson (notice how I like to use actual people's names?) - because he also had a problem with cats on his property - so he could see where Ms. Keizer was coming from
Animals have never had a fair shake in our justice system - we only have to point to Gail Benoit to prove that point. I have written post after post about that. And I don't think anyone would disagree with me on that.
She has a prohibition on owning animals until 2022 - she broke that prohibition and was given a $250 fine - both the Crown and Defence agreed on a $250 fine but the Judge dismissed that and instead fined Ms. Benoit a paltry $25 and gave her a year - $2 a month to pay it back.
Does that sound like a fair thing to do to a repetitive breaker of the law - to someone who regularly thumbs her finger at the Justice system? Who doesn't care one bit about abusing animals? It sure doesn't to me.
What kind of insight did she have that she didn't take him to the SPCA - or contact a rescue - or even just let him loose in the parkade - or basically anywhere?
And this is how the Justice system deals with here - four months of living life large at her parents house.
If you don't think this is fair - contact your MLA - if you don't know who that is - here is a list of all the MLA's in Nova Scotia
Here is the Justice Minister in Nova Scotia currently -
It is really important to contact him - Mark Furey - it is really important that he knows that animals are important to Nova Scotians and the treatment of them in our Justice system is important - that their protection of them in our court system is as important as it is for human cases. Humans should be going to jail for cases that are as violent as this case was. No exceptions.
Please - we love our animals - we love all animals - we are a peace loving people here in Nova Scotia - and this sentence was inexcusable.
Don't let Keisha's death to have been in vain.