SPCA em­ployee hit with an­i­mal abuse charge

Fort McMurray Today - - LOCAL NEWS - VIN­CENT MCDER­MOTT vm­c­der­mott@post­media.com

Wood Buf­falo RCMP have charged an em­ployee at the Fort McMur­ray SPCA with an­i­mal abuse.

Po­lice say they re­ceived a com­plaint from a wit­ness re­gard­ing the abuse of a dog at the shel­ter at ap­prox­i­mately 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 18. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched and an in­di­vid­ual was charged.

In a state­ment, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ari­anna John­son says the em­ployee has been sus­pended pend­ing the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

She also says the shel­ter im­me­di­ately con­tacted po­lice when they learned a wit­ness had posted a de­scrip­tion of the al­leged in­ci­dent on so­cial me­dia.

“When these al­le­ga­tions sur­faced on so­cial me­dia, we con­tacted the RCMP to re­quest an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion be con­ducted,” she said. “The safety, well-be­ing, health and hap­pi­ness of ev­ery an­i­mal in our re­gion, and par­tic­u­larly those in care in our fa­cil­ity, is our para­mount con­cern.”

Lesleigh Louise Rus­sell, 27, has been charged with one count of caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing. She has been re­leased from po­lice cus­tody and is sched­uled to ap­pear in Fort McMur­ray Pro­vin­cial Court on Dec. 5, 2018.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is asked to con­tact Wood Buf­falo RCMP at 780-788-4040. Anony­mous tips can be sent to Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-9477 (TIPS) or tib­sub­mit.com

CULLEN BIRD/FORT MCMUR­RAY TO­DAY/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

The of­fice of the Fort McMur­ray SPCA near Ma­calpine Cres­cent in Gre­goire on Fri­day, Jan. 20, 2017.

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