More on Jasper
One issue that was never fully addressed in court was the matter of my dog, Jasper, and his care while with the SPCA. In the assessment form supplied by the SPCA, Jasper’s initial weight was over 100 lb. By February 6, 2011, at his next weigh in, he had dropped to just over 70 lb.
The SPCA vet testified that the dog’s kennel area was covered with faeces and no water could be seen. Pictures provided by the SPCA showed a large area of clean ground and straw and one small area where the dog ‘did his business’. When one APO was asked if it was reasonable to expect people to chisel frozen poop in minus 24 degree weather, he thought that it was reasonable. It is common knowledge that many people don’t clean up frozen dog poop, but wait until closer to spring for such chores.
The vet also testified that she did not go far into the 16 foot by 24 foot enclosure and that a water dish could have been there for the dog and she just didn’t see it. There were three electric water dishes outside at the time of the seizure and all had appeared to be working prior to the investigation. APOs, however, testified that all three were malfunctioning that day. Picture proof was not supplied. One APO said that “we were there until 8pm that night. We were tired and wanted to go home. We can’t be expected to take evidence for everything.” Well, hey, by all means, go take a nap. You have been given the same powers as the police with the same consequences, so a thorough investigation isn’t needed.
At the time Jasper was released (April 14, 2011), the SPCA said he was bright, healthy and perky and was doing so much better than when taken from my house. That same day, Jasper went to a vet and the results were as follows:
- Weight: 57 lb.
- Suffering great pain from a bleeding ulcer as a result of the SPCA giving him a medication to which he had a history of being toxic and sensitive. Medication was then prescribed for the pain, another to coat the stomach, another to slow gastric juices and a fourth drug (an antibiotic) for the stomach ulcer.
- X-rays showed that he was severely impacted with stool and perhaps had not had a bowel movement for quite some time. The vet had to manually remove some of the stool in his bowel.
- A urine analysis showed a severe urinary infection with lots of bacteria in his bladder. This required three separate courses of antibiotics to cure.
Jasper suffered many nightmares in the first few months after returning home. He also suffered severe separation anxiety and would not go outside alone for bathroom breaks unless I went with him.
His is back to his more normal weight of 95 lbs. The nightmares still occur but at a much lower frequency. He did surprisingly well this winter with the arthritis in his knees. In fact, he did much better than expected.
Given the damage done to the turtles and the obvious neglect of Jasper, it is apparent that the SPCA should not be monitoring themselves. They don’t appear to hold themselves to the same standards as they demand of others. As a single person living alone, I realize that it is easy to become complacent in my standards. As seen, I didn’t worry about doing dishes or picking up laundry as I didn’t expect anyone in my house. Inspections can certainly serve the purpose of keeping a person from becoming too complacent. That being said, all SPCAs should be inspected as well and by an independent body, to prevent cases such as this from happening again. The idea that SPCAs are incapable of harming animals because they are the SPCA is extremely naive and unrealistic. They should be held accountable for their standard of care as much as anyone else should be held accountable. No agency should stop striving for improvement, including the SPCA. Inspections can certainly help show weaknesses within their own walls.