P.E.I. woman sentenced in dog starvation case, banned from owning pets
WARNING This story contains images than some may find disturbing
A P.E.I. woman has been banned from owning or caring for any pets for five years after pleading guilty to charges involving dogs that were seized because they were believed to be starving.
Rhonda Lea Kerr, 40, of Wood Islands pleaded guilty in Georgetown provincial court Thursday to two charges under P.E.I.'s Companion Animal Protection Act of causing or permitting a companion animal to be or continue to be in distress.
The two dogs were tied up outside, but didn't appear to have any food, water, or adequate shelter, and seemed severely malnourished, said Jennifer Harkness, the Society's development co-ordinator.
We just couldn't save them in the end- Jennifer Harkness, P.E.I. Humane Society
"You could see all of the bones in their body.They appeared to be starving so they were in severe distress," she said.
However, despite efforts to socialize the dogs, and find placements for them, both had a number of behavioural issues that could not be fixed, she said, including severe separation anxiety, showing aggression to members of the public and to other animals.
"Basically it came to a point where they were a public safety risk," said Harkness. "We really did try very hard to rehabilitate them and get them adopted, but we just couldn't save them in the end."
In addition to being banned for caring for any pets for five years, Kerr will be on probation for two years and was ordered to pay the Humane Society's vet bill of $2,876.
According to facts read out in court, Kerr told investigators that the dogs had escaped and had been missing for several months, and had returned just days before being seized. Court also heard the woman told investigators she planned to take the dogs to the vet, but didn't have the money.
Court heard investigators considered this a serious case of neglect. The vet reported the dogs scored the lowest possible for physical condition and were considered quite frail. The night they were seized in December, the temperature was well below freezing.
Jennifer Harkness says anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they can no longer care for their animals, should surrender them to the Humane Society, "because no animal should have to suffer."
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