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The SPCA's mission is to prevent cruelty to animals, help animals in need, and prosecute offenders.

The owner of a North Preston residence where a dead dog was discovered frozen during December's cold snap is facing animal cruelty charges, according to the Nova Scotia SPCA.

The SPCA began its investigation after receiving a report on Dec. 23 about a dog that froze to death on Simmonds Road in North Preston.

When investigators arrived on the scene, they found the body of the dog frozen to the ground. They seized the carcass and sent it for a necropsy at the Department of Agriculture in Truro.

The necropsy revealed the dog died of severe malnutrition and hypothermia.

“It never goes away from me, whenever I see any kind of cruelty, neglect of an animal. I'm always disturbed,” said David Ross, the SPCA’s chief inspector in Nova Scotia.

“If you're in a shelter from which you cannot leave in severe cold weather and you have very, very little muscle mass on your body and the water in the shelter is frozen, I would say it's quite severe what the dog suffered."

The owner of the residence where the dog was found has been charged with failure to provide an adequate source of food and water, failure to provide reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold and causing an animal to be in distress.

If convicted, the accused could face a lifetime ban on owning or having custody of animals, a maximum fine of $10,000 or six months in jail.