Huron County woman pleads guilty in animal cruelty case

A 53-year-old woman from Huron County has been convicted of animal cruelty as a result of an investigation into the care of over 60 animals on her property.

On March 7th, the Ontario SPCA executed a search warrant at a residence in Brussels, located approximately 50 kilometres east of Goderich. Investigators found 22 cats living in unsanitary conditions in several small cages. Also on the property were 21 dogs confined to dirty cages and kennels, without food or water.

Two goats were found in a garden shed without windows, lighting, food or water, and 12 chickens were discovered in a coop without food. Three exotic birds and a rabbit were also found living in unsanitary conditions.

The animals were removed from the property by OSPCA to provide them with proper food, water and care. They were then individually assessed by a veterinarian. Several of the dogs were found to have dental issues and one dog had to be euthanized due to its deteriorated condition.

According to Ontario SPCA, many of the animals were thin and were suffering from severe upper respiratory infections.

Gina Platt pleaded guilty in a Goderich Provincial Offences Court on February 10th to permitting distress to an animal and was sentenced to two years probation and a five-year prohibition that limits the number of species and number of animals she can own. The prohibition order also requires that she provide a list of any animals she has to the Ontario SPCA, and permits the Ontario SPCA to contact her veterinarian to ensure her animals are receiving veterinary attention. She is also subject to periodic, unannounced inspections by the Ontario SPCA.

“Caring for a large number of animals comes with an increased risk that the needs of those animals will suffer if circumstances change in the life of their owner,” says Alison Green, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “If you see an animal in distress, contact our 24-hour, province-wide animal cruelty reporting centre at 310-SPCA.”

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