Ontario SPCA

Ontario SPCA

April 08, 2015 10:00 ET

Bracebridge Man Pleads Guilty After Three Animals in His Care Were Found in Extremely Poor Condition

BRACEBRIDGE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2015) - On March 20, 2015, Shawn O'Brien, of Bracebridge, Ontario, pled guilty to two counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act after three animals in his care were found in extremely poor condition.

The charges included:

  • Permitting distress to an animal
  • Failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water

On May 22, 2014, an Ontario SPCA Officer attended Mr. O'Brien's residence in response to a report regarding the welfare of two dogs. He stated that he owned two of the four dogs present.

It was noted that the two dogs owned by Mr. O'Brien had an emaciated body condition with hip bones and ribs prominent. One dog was confined to a crate without any water or bedding. Orders were made to have the dogs examined by a veterinarian.

On May 28, 2014, Ontario SPCA Officers returned to Mr. O'Brien's residence. Mr. O'Brien had failed to comply with the order, but indicated he would do so when he got paid. The order was subsequently extended.

On June 5, 2014, Ontario SPCA Officers returned to Mr. O'Brien's residence to check compliance. It was found that he no longer lived at that residence. Officers were able to determine his new address. Upon arriving at his new residence, it was confirmed that the sickly dogs were present.

On June 27, 2014, a warrant was issued and three animals, one rabbit and two dogs, were removed after being found in distress.

The animals were examined by a veterinarian and found to be in extremely poor condition. The rabbit and two of the dogs were found to be extremely underweight and one of the dogs was dehydrated.

"There is no excuse to let an animal go without proper veterinary medical attention," says Alison Green, Regional Inspector. "To report cruelty please call 310-SPCA or email your concern to cruelty@ospca.on.ca."

Mr. O'Brien was sentenced and received two years probation, was ordered to complete a training course in animal care and received two years prohibition from owning, caring for, or living with any animal. He was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the Ontario SPCA. The Society has been granted permission to inspect the property to ensure compliance and Mr. Obrien must notify the Ontario SPCA of any address change.

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.


Adopt • Learn • Volunteer • Donate

Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Inspector Brad Dewar
    Investigation & Communications Officer
    Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office