SPCA re­ceived com­plaint in 2007…

Cape Breton Post - - news - chayes@cb­post.com

Wil­liams said the SPCA won’t re­veal the iden­tity of the dog’s owner un­less charges are laid.

Bar­ra­chois res­i­dent Joe Bona had the po­lice called af­ter find­ing the dog dead on the log­ging prop­erty near his home. It ap­peared to Bona that the dog had frozen to death. Bona said he be­came wor­ried about the an­i­mal, which ap­peared to be a watch­dog for a wood­cut­ting op­er­a­tion, a num­ber of years ago.

He called the SPCA in 2007 af­ter ob­serv­ing that the dog’s chain was of­ten tan­gled up in stumps and bushes so that it couldn’t reach its dog­house and there didn’t ap­pear to be food or wa­ter reg­u­larly avail­able for the an­i­mal, said Bona.

A dog­house on the prop­erty ap­peared to of­fer lit­tle shel­ter from the weather, he said.

Bona said the dog’s sit­u­a­tion didn’t ap­pear to have im­proved at all when he re­turned af­ter the SPCA visit.

Af­ter call­ing the SPCA a sec­ond time to again re­port on the dog’s con­di­tion, Bona said he gave up on the agency.

Bona said he called the man he thought owned the dog but was told to mind his own busi­ness. A po­lice of­fi­cer warned him af­ter that con­ver­sa­tion not to call again, said Bona.

He said the SPCA didn’t do an ad­e­quate fol­lowup job to en­sure the dog was not be­ing mis­treated.

Bona said when he first saw the body of the dog Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, there was a chain around its neck but when he re­turned with news re­porters and pho­tog­ra­phers later, it was no longer around the an­i­mal’s neck, sug­gest­ing to him that some­one had been there be­tween his vis­its.

Wil­liams said the dog was found ly­ing on pine trees within about three feet of a dog­house wear­ing a thick black col­lar but no chain, although there was a chain nearby fas­tened to what ap­peared to be an old bus.

The dog, which was about medium size for the breed, weighed about 60 pounds, which was very thin for a dog of that size and breed, she said.

There were two dog­houses on the prop­erty — one was in very poor con­di­tion and the other was in rea­son­able shape but with wa­ter in­side that was frozen.

Wil­liams con­firmed the SPCA did re­ceive a com­plaint about the owner of the dog and the prop­erty in 2007, but the owner agreed to re­move the an­i­mal from the prop­erty and so the case was closed.

An SPCA in­spec­tor did a fol­lowup visit just be­fore Christ­mas at which time there were no con­cerns with the dog and its en­vi­ron­ment, she said.

She said the case un­der­lines the way in which the SPCA re­lies on the pub­lic to re­port pos­si­ble cases of an­i­mals in dis­tress.

The SPCA will work with po­lice of­fi­cers who were also on the scene when the body of the dog was taken away, she said.

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