Court of Appeal Decision, April 2011

April 2011

Its hard to believe that a person can win and lose at the same time but that is exactly what’s happened. Here is the summary of what happened in court.

Saskatchewan Alley Cats won based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The judges did feel that my rights had been violated and my home had been unlawfully entered. Furthermore, the flimsy warrant the SPCA had would never have made it by any of the three judges sitting that day. One judge was also very critical of the SPCA not following the Animal Protection Act which clearly states that first and foremost attempts must be made to contact the owner to allow the owner the opportunity to fix whatever they believe is causing the animal distress. The SPCA came to my home knowing I was in Saskatoon doing a fundraising/adoption display and they made no effort to contact me. It would seem their primary complaints were the dog had finished his water (the heated water bowl was filled when I got home) and the litter boxes needed cleaning. Let this be a lesson to all you who put off your scooping.

The three judges ordered the immediate return of the dog and iguana because they did not believe they had been in distress nor would they suffer being returned to my home. They ordered the immediate return of any owned cats that were still at the SPCA at no charge. One judge stated the charging of a fee to the owners did not sit well with him.

My case is being returned to the Queen’s Bench so that the warrant can be properly thrown out, then my suit against the SPCA can continue for all damages including punitive and court costs.

Sound all good so far, but there is a sad part. The judges did not order the return of the cats or turtles, citing that I can ask for damages for the loss of those animals when seeking punitive damages. I don’t want money for my cats. I want my cats back! What value can you place on a cat you have loved and cared for 16 years or the turtles that I have had since elementary school?

On April 12th, I picked up Jasper and Chubchub from the SPCA. I will say Chubchub has lost weight and is not the social animal he was before the SPCA took him. I hope he will heal physically but the damage to his personality will take much longer to repair.

The dog is another matter altogether. Jasper, according to SPCA records was 103 lbs. (49 kg) when he was stolen from me Jan. 12th. By Feb. 6th, their scales weighed him at 72 lbs. (32.6 kg). He had lost 32 pounds in the first three weeks of SPCA care and continued to lose more in the time after. His weight after coming home from the SPCA was 29 kg. Copies of medical records showed he received no medical care during those first three weeks at the SPCA and only after the courts upheld the order preventing any euthanasia until this matter was done in the Court of Appeal. Starting Feb. 8th, they placed Jasper on meds for his arthritic knees. Had they allowed me to see him or discuss his medical history, I could have told them the meds they were about to give him would, in fact, harm him. As a result, Jasper is now being treated for many conditions. He has a bleeding stomach ulcer from the meds given to him by the SPCA. He has a serious urinary tract infection that he is on antibiotics for, meds to stop and repair the bleeding in the stomach, and pain meds. X-rays were taken the same day he was released showed large volumes of stool impacted in his bowels which imply he hadn’t had a bowel movement for days or possibly weeks. The x-rays were painful to obtain, given that his vertebrae were protruding. Lying on his back with no muscle or fat for padding was uncomfortable, to say the least. While he didn’t eat for the first day, Jasper is now eating and special diets have gotten his digestive tract going again. His knees, which previous x-rays showed were mildly arthritic, are severely compromised now and I am awaiting word as to whether the original surgery technique will work or if some other procedure will have to be performed.

Jasper, Dec. 2010Jasper, Dec. 2010
Jasper, April 2011
Jasper, April 2011
Jasper, April 2011Jasper, April 2011

I have formally asked the Saskatoon Police to investigate the SPCA for animal abuse and neglect. The looks from the officers suggested I had asked them to tracked down aliens. There is this idea that the SPCA is incapable of abusing or neglecting animals. Then we must also believe that doctors never abuse their patients, government subsidized daycares would never neglect their children and the police are incapable of corruption or breaking the law. That world does not exist. So who is policing the SPCA? Who is policing the SPCA when they abuse the animals in their care? Based on copies of medical records from many of the cats that were released by the SPCA, no cats or the dog received medical care until the first or second week of February because they were waiting for permission from the courts to simply put all the animals down. It was never their intention to “save” the animals but to simply shut down SAC. What animal welfare agency allows animals to go uncared for in their cages for weeks on end?

What needs to change? There needs to be an appeal board so persons who have their animals taken have a chance to have an impartial group of persons decide if the seizure was legitimate. Not everyone is blessed with an incredible lawyer willing to go all the way to the Court of Appeal at no charge. There must be some agency or group separate from the SPCA to police SPCA policies and actions so cases of abuse aren’t swept under the carpet. So that animals like Jasper don’t lose 32 lbs in three weeks while no one does anything about it.

The media, which covered this story quite heavily in January, will most likely brush this win under the carpet showing the same distinctive bias as the police showed to the SPCA. Only those that read this website will know what has been really happening.

I will remind everyone again that as we still have many cats at the shelter and in foster care, your support of money and litter is greatly needed. Please don’t abandon the animals now that they need you the most. I know many people have called to say they can never support the SPCA again, and I have to agree with them. The abuses of people rights as well as the willful neglect of animals in their care is inexcusable. Continue watching the site for future updates.