R v Dondale, 2017 SKPC 58

The accused, Dondale (“D”), raised chickens, cattle, and horses on his property in the Rural Municipality of Torch River. The Saskatchewan SPCA (SSPCA) received a complaint that D was not adequately caring for his animals. The severe neglect included: inadequate food, water, or shelter; inappropriate ventilation, heating, lighting, and ease of cleaning; dangerous levels of Ammonia; and lack of veterinary care.

Over 2 years, one animal protection officer and a veterinarian attended the property on 6 occasions. D did not follow any of the SPCA recommendations or directives, and was eventually charged with 2 counts of causing distress under section 4 of The Animal Protection Act and 2 counts of causing unnecessary pain, or suffering, under section 445.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

Issue of Crown Election: The defence disputed the charges, claiming that the D cannot be found guilty of any charge that fell outside the six-month charging timeframe. However, the judge quickly dismissed this argument, as all charges cited dates within the six-month window.

The Court heard from three Crown witnesses and found them to be credible. After reviewing the years of neglect, D was found guilty on all four charges. Accused convicted.