A man caring for a dog that nearly died from blood loss due to severe flea infestation has pleaded guilty and been fined and banned from owning animals for five years.
Gary Kenneth Bob, 60, was charged in July 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act with causing an animal to continue to be in distress, after Rascal, a terrier under his care, was surrendered to the B.C. SPCA in critical condition. The dog was said to have more than 100,000 fleas on him and lost close to 85 per cent of his blood, subsequently receiving vitamin and iron injections, a blood transfusion and flea treatment medication from a veterinarian.
Basil McCormick, Crown counsel, and Chris Churchill, defence counsel, agreed on a joint submission, with Bob pleading guilty. He was fined $250 and given the five-year prohibition from having custody or control over an animal by Judge Parker MacCarthy in provincial court in Nanaimo Oct. 30.
Churchill said Bob was sorry for neglecting Rascal and prior to sentencing, had donated $750 to the local SPCA, despite having limited financial means.
Rascal, whose owner was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Bob, had left the terrier in his care. Bob said he was unable to care for the animal because he would be leaving on the Tribal Journeys trip and turned Rascal over to an animal advocacy group, which took the dog to the SPCA.
During sentencing, Churchill said the action was “out of character” for Bob, who has no criminal record and is a respected member of Snaw-Naw-As First Nation. Letters supporting Bob were submitted to the court.
Churchill said Bob has worked in construction and was injured at the time of the event. His medical employment insurance had run out and the electricity had been shut off to his house.
When addressing the court, Bob thanked Churchill for his assistance and said he now realizes what the laws are and has learned from the incident.