Owner gets lifetime animal ban after starving dog freezes to death
American Staffordshire terrier had horrific death inside decrepit doghouse, says SPCA
Michael Dwayne Simmonds can never own animals again after allowing his dog to starve and freeze to death as it lay chained in its dog house outside his North Preston, N.S., home in December 2013.
Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief inspector for the Nova Scotia SPCA, called the case "horrific." She said the dog "had frozen literally into the ground."
"The officers actually had to use a type of shovel or pick to try to remove the dog," said Landsburg.
The American Staffordshire terrier or Amstaff was found dead inside a decrepit dog house, Landsburg said, and it had a large chain around its neck. It was starving, and eventually succumbed to hypothermia, she said.
'It must have had a horrific death'
Landsburg described the dog as emaciated.
"There was no fat on its body whatsoever. This type of breed has no hair coat to sustain itself in cold temperatures and it must have had a horrific death," she said.
The SPCA had charged Simmonds with:
- Failing to provide his dog with reasonable protection from injurious cold.
- Failing to provide adequate food and water.
- And for causing an animal to be in distress.
The trial had been set for May 10, but Simmonds changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced in Dartmouth Provincial Court.
Chief inspector wishes man had been fined
Landsburg said the man was also told to surrender any animals already in his custody to the SPCA within 72 hours after sentencing, she said.
Simmonds was also put on probation for a year and is required to be on good behaviour, keep the peace and report to a probation officer. Landsburg said the judge should have gone one step further.
"Considering the dog suffered a horrible death, I would have liked to have seen some fines implemented."
SPCA doesn't have the staff to follow up
Landsburg said the SPCA will be relying on community members to let them know if Simmonds breaks any of these conditions.
"Because our resources are limited and our call volumes are very high. We do our absolute best to try to keep up with the people that are prohibited from owning animals. But again we also rely on the community to alert us."