James John Cairns is charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is scheduled to make his first appearance in Victoria provincial court on June 12.
“I think the lesson here is that just because something is safe for people doesn’t mean it’s safe for animals,” said Lynsay Bailey, the special provincial constable who investigated the case.
Cairns’ dog, a pit bull terrier named Scottie, was given naproxen, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory used to treat pain in people. Sold under various trade names, including Aleve and Midol Extended Relief, naproxen is extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure and death.
“He ignored the orders of a veterinarian and decided to medicate his dog himself,” says Bailey.
Earlier, Bailey had issued Cairns an order to seek veterinary care for Scottie after the dog was observed unable to walk due to pain and inflammation in his hind legs. Cairns took Scottie to a vet, but ignored the vet’s recommendation to give Scottie the veterinary pain reliever Metacam.
Instead, Cairns gave Scottie naproxen. SPCA constables obtained a search warrant and seized Scottie, but his condition had become critical with kidney failure and he had to be humanely euthanized.
“This didn’t have to happen,” says Bailey. “He made an assumption with tragic consequences.”
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.