A resident of Oyama, a community north of Kelowna, has been convicted of animal cruelty after the BC SPCA took custody of his injured lab-cross dog in an investigation in September 2011.
Mario Russo was fined $500 for allowing his dog “Bear” to suffer without veterinary care for a broken leg after he was hit by a car.
“We’re pleased that he was found guilty of the charges, but we are disappointed that he only received a $500 penalty,” said BC SPCA constable Linda Walker, who conducted the investigation. “Bear had been suffering with an untreated broken leg for a month and the veterinarian we took him to confirmed that he would have incurred significant pain from his injury.” She adds that Russo admitted that it was the second time that Bear had been hit by a car.
“People need to understand that they have an obligation to provide proper care for their animals, including access to veterinary treatment when they are sick or injured,” said Walker. “The vet told us that Bear’s injury would have been easy to correct when it first occurred but because no treatment had been provided and it hadn’t healed properly, amputation of the back leg was necessary.” After further consultation it was determined that the most humane option for Bear was euthanasia because of a poor prognosis for recovery and quality of life issues.
“It is very frustrating and sad to see a situation where an animal has to be euthanized to prevent a life of pain when the injury would have been treatable had the owner taken appropriate action,” said Walker. In addition to a fine, Walker says the SPCA would have liked to have seen a ban of owning animals for a period of time as part of Russo’s sentence.
The BC SPCA conducts more than 7,000 animal cruelty investigations and cares for more than 32,000 abused, neglected, injured and homeless animals each year. All SPCA activities are funded through public donations. Find out how your support makes a difference.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.