P.E.I. man fined after malnourished, deformed dog seized, euthanized

A Charlottetown man was fined $200 and banned from owning any animals for five years after his malnourished, deformed dog was seized and euthanized.

Humane Society urging pet owners to seek help if they need it

Cruz, a one-year-old American bulldog mix, was seized by the P.E.I. Humane Society in September 2016. He was considered to be severely malnourished and was euthanized. (Submitted by P.E.I. Humane Society)

A Charlottetown man was fined $200 and banned from owning any animals for five years after his malnourished and deformed dog was seized by the PEI Humane Society and euthanized.

Robert James Vey, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in P.E.I. provincial court after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary pain to his dog, Cruz, under the Companion Animal Protection Act.

Cruz, a one-year-old male American bulldog mix, was seized after the humane society got a report from a veterinary clinic where the dog had been brought for treatment on Sept. 29, 2016, court heard.

The society took the dog to the Atlantic Veterinary College to be examined. According to the society, Cruz was found to have severe malnutrition, angular limb deformities and was not able to lift his hind legs or walk.

'A difficult decision'

The evaluation by the college determined that even if Cruz was to recover from the malnutrition, he would need several surgeries, and still might never be able to walk again, according to the society.

"After continued monitoring and supportive care, a difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize Cruz," the society said in a release.

Mike Gilbertson, an Animal Protection Officer with the PEI Humane Society said it was his understanding that the owner had limited financial means, both for himself and for the dog, and had not been feeding the dog enough food.

The court also ordered Vey to pay restitution of close to $700 to the P.E.I. Humane Society to cover its medical costs. Vey will be on probation for a year.

Help out there

Mike Gilbertson, an Animal Protection Officer with the PEI Humane Society says pet owners can get help if they can't afford to feed their pets. (Katerina Georgivea/CBC)
Gilbertson said the humane society is there to help in those situations. 

"One message we'd like to get across is that if folks do find themselves in that predicament — if they're struggling financially dealing with animals, or they've got too many animals — we would encourage them to reach out to us. We can provide some assistance."

He added local food banks often have food available for dogs and cats for those who can't afford it.

"So, again, part of the message is that there is help out there for people and we really encourage people to reach out for that help before we get into these sorts of extreme situations."

Gilbertson said another option is surrendering the dog to the humane society so the dog can be looked after and possibly re-homed.

About the Author

Sally Pitt


Sally Pitt is a producer with CBC and has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in online, TV, radio and print. She specializes in justice issues and also works with the CBC Atlantic Investigative Unit. You can reach her at