Esquimalt First Nations Chief Andrew Thomas and his wife, Mary Anne Thomas, have been charged with animal cruelty after failing to provide necessary veterinary care for their Shih tzu, Chewy. The couple has been charged with two counts each under the Criminal Code of Canada.
On July 22, 2015, the BC SPCA responded to a call about a sick dog tethered outside a residence.
“Chewy was badly matted, filthy and was suffering from a severe infection in his eye that had been left untreated. The infected eyeball had ruptured, causing an open weeping down his face,” said BC SPCA senior animal protection officer Erika Paul. “The vet suspected that, given the severity of the infection, the injury had gone untreated for a number of weeks.”
The couple was charged with causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal and neglecting or failing to provide necessities. They were released on the condition that they not possess animals and make their first court appearance on Oct. 22.
If convicted they face a maximum jail sentence of five years, a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.
While Chewy’s injuries were treatable, the couple chose to have him euthanized.
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.