R v Minions, 2022 BCPC 148

The accused was found guilty of violating sections 9.1(1) and 9.1(2), therefore committing an offence contrary to section 24(1) of the province’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act after 29 dogs were seized from her property where they were deprived of ventilation, space, water, care, and veterinary treatment.

Eight dogs were found in a vehicle inside the garage, another two were found in a small SUV, and a further five dogs were found in the laundry room with no food or water; the home smelt very strongly of urine and feces and the temperature in the laundry room was found to be 27C. Veterinary evidence showed that numerous dogs had dental issues, overgrown nails, matted fur around paws and eyes, feces matted onto fur, and one dog had a festering ear.

The accused testified that the eight dogs in the vehicle in the garage belonged to a friend: they were picked up in the morning and she was going to groom them for free later. The defence provided no explanation regarding any of the other dogs.

The judge found that the conditions in the home, specifically with respect to the odour from the urine and feces covered newspapers being exposed to such hazards would likely cause the dogs to be in distress as they were deprived of adequate ventilation or care and being kept in unsanitary conditions. The judge also rejected the defence’s argument for leaving the 8 dogs in the vehicle in the garage, finding that it was likely that the accused used vehicles as “kennels” for dogs based on the damage to the interiors of the vehicles and if that damage was done in the course of a day, it further illustrated that the dogs left in vehicles were in distress as they were deprived of adequate space, water/food, and ventilation.

The accused was found guilty on both counts.