Victoria resident charged with animal cruelty after flea-infested cat dies - BC SPCA
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Victoria resident charged with animal cruelty after flea-infested cat dies

July 24, 2012

A Victoria woman whose cat died after suffering from heavy flea infestation has been charged with animal cruelty under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Maureen Silva makes her first court appearance on Aug. 29.

A veterinarian was called to attend Ms. Silva’s three-year-old Persian cat Princess earlier this year because the cat had stopped eating, was lethargic and unresponsive and was howling in pain. Princess was immediately transported to a clinic for treatment of her heavy flea infestation but went into cardiac arrest and died, despite immediate intervention.

“The medical reports suggest blood loss and complications from the extraordinary number of fleas on her body contributed to her death,” says Erika Paul, special constable for the BC SPCA. “This is an unusual case, but it highlights how critical it is for all pet guardians to provide their animals with proper flea prevention and to follow up with immediate treatment and veterinary intervention if an infestation occurs. Failing to seek treatment can have devastating consequences.”

If convicted of the charges, Ms. Silva faces a fine of up to $10,000, up to 18 months in jail, and a prohibition on owning animals.


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.

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