The defendant is charged with two offences contrary to section 55.9.3 of the Animal Health Protection Act: 1) not having ensured the cleanliness of the premises in which the animal she kept for the purpose of sale or breeding was kept; and 2) not having ensured that the installations were not organized or used in any way that could affect the safety or welfare of the animal.
The defendant is the owner of a kennel located on property she and her spouse co-own. A notice of non-compliance had been issued on a previous visit. On the follow-up visit, the inspector noted that most dogs were inside a large building; others were outside, either in pens or cages, or tied to doghouses. The inspector noted a number of shortcomings with regard to the cleanliness of the premises and the way the installations were organized and used. For example, she noticed the presence of feces and urine in a number of places in the kennel and outside a number of cages. She also noted that the walls and floors of certain cages were not firmly secured; there was a hole in the metal wire floor of an outside cage with a dog in it; a broken wire mesh in another cage; and an unprotected heating lamp in a cage in the whelping area.
The defendant indicated, as a defence, that the kennel was being renovated and certain installations were temporary.
The court notes that the kennel was in a general state of uncleanliness at the time of the inspection, and that there is no doubt that the kennel was, at that time, in violation of the Act. The evidence to the effect that renovation work was being done at the time of the inspection, or was done after it, does not establish that the defendant took every precaution a reasonably prudent and diligent person operating a dog breeding facility would have taken to avoid committing the offences with which she is charged. Execution of the work did not exempt the defendant from ensuring that the installations were organized and used, even temporarily, in any way that would not affect the safety or the welfare of the animals in her custody.
The court finds the defendant guilty of both charges and imposes the minimum penalty available under the Act, which is a fine of $400 for each offence, totalling $800. Because the kennel was entirely renovated since the offences, the defendant is exempted from paying costs.
Source: Case Law