No jail time for B.C. man who starved young dog
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014 3:14PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:32PM PDT
The man found guilty in what the SPCA called one of the most horrific cases of animal cruelty in B.C. history will not spend any time behind bars.
Molly, a starving 18-month-old shepherd-cross, was found tied to a porch at a Port Hardy home in November 2013. The pup had a gaping wound on her neck and SPCA staff wasn’t sure that the animal – which weighed just a fraction of what she should have -- would live through the night.
The dog’s owners, Rupert Wilson and Crystal Bee, were charged with animal cruelty and faced a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
The Crown also asked for a jail sentence of six months, but a provincial judge instead handed Wilson a three-month conditional sentence during proceedings Thursday.
He’s also banned from owning animals for the next 10 years and must complete 25 hours of community service.
Wilson has been ordered to pay $150 of the $607.10 vet bill incurred by the RCMP officer who seized Molly from the rural property. The other $2,406 vet bills incurred by the SPCA are being ignored, because the judge believed Wilson would not be able to pay them.
A pre-sentence report concluded that Wilson has a “lower average range of intelligence” and longstanding issues with drugs and alcohol.
Bee’s trial is slated to begin in October.
Almost 60,000 people signed a Change.org petition that urged Molly’s owners to face the maximum penalty for animal cruelty under B.C. law. It also requested that Wilson and Bee pay the costs of the dog’s rehabilitation.
The SPCA was flooded with offers of adoption and financial support after Molly’s story went public last year.
Tina Heary, senior animal protection officer, said Molly’s heart-breaking story – and incredible recovery – galvanized British Columbians.
“People were shocked her condition and heartbroken that she was left to die. But then the fact she was saved, rehabilitated and adopted is a real happy story – a success story,” she told CTV News.
Molly is now living with the Mountie who alerted the animal welfare agency to the horrific conditions she was living in.