Gary Kenneth Bob of Lantzville has been banned from owning or having custody of an animal for five years and fined $250 after allowing his terrier-cross dog to suffer from a near-fatal flea infestation. The senior dog, named Rascal, was suffering from severe blood loss due to thousands of fleas when he was seized by BC SPCA special constables in 2017. The dog was also malnourished, weak and barely able to stand. “Poor Rascal had lost approximately 85 per cent of his blood and his emaciated body was so anemic that he needed immediate blood transfusions and other medical attention to save his life,” notes Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.
Thankfully the blood transfusions stabilized his condition and the feisty terrier made a full recovery after several months in SPCA care. Rascal was fostered during his recovery by a caring couple who have served as long-time volunteers at the BC SPCA’s Nanaimo Branch. When he was ready for adoption, they decided they couldn’t part with him and he became a permanent member of their family.
“Rascal had an amazing life in his new home, despite having some ongoing health issues. He sadly passed away earlier this year from natural causes, but in the final phase of his life he was surrounded by so much love and attention,” said Moriarty. She notes that the case highlights the need for pet guardians to ensure their animals have proper flea protection. “This was a severe case, but people should be aware that fleas feed on blood and it can be extremely dangerous for their pets.”
In May 2018, Rascal received the BC SPCA’s Animal Courage Award for his resilience in the face of suffering.