The defendant, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Society), allows, under section 12 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, an authorized agent of the Society power in certain circumstances to seize, hold, destroy or dispose of any animal.
In August 1985, the former shelter supervisor, acting on information received, attended at the house of the plaintiff. Because of what they there, three other inspectors and an R.C.M.P. Constable, then returned to the plaintiff’s and seized 89 cats which they took to the Society’s shelter in Victoria.
There the cats were examined by a veterinarian, and acting upon his recommendation, 61 cats were euthanized. The remaining 28 cats were quarantined and treated. On the evening of August 14-15, 1985 the Society’s shelter was broken into and 24 of the cats were stolen. On September 1, 1985 the Society’s shelter was again broken into and the remaining 4 cats, together with 34 other cats and 9 carrying cages, the property of the Society, were stolen.
On August 14, 1986 the plaintiff commenced action against the Society. The Society applied for an order dismissing the plaintiff’s claim. The issue facing the court was whether the agents of the Society act in good faith when they entered upon the premises of the plaintiff, seized the cats which there were in her possession, held some and destroyed others.
The court found that the agents of the Society acted in good faith when they entered on the premises of the plaintiff and seized the cats. In addition, the court found that the agents of the Society acted in good faith when they destroyed 61 of the seized cats.
The court went on to state that there was no doubt that the plaintiff was attached to her cats. However, the attachment blinded her to the reality that she did not have the resources to enable her adequately to care for them. In conclusion, the application was granted, and the plaintiff’s claim dismissed.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: British Columbia