Laura Avery failing to provide suitable & adequate care to her cat Brampton, Ontario Canada June 13, 2005

On February 6, 2007 Laura Avery, of Brampton, was convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice, Peel of failing to provide suitable and adequate care to her cat under the Criminal Code of Canada.

On June 13, 2005 the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) Provincial Office received a call from Brampton Animal Services. An employee with the Brampton Animal Services stated that a woman brought her cat into the shelter and that the cat had to be euthanized to end its suffering.

During the Ontario SPCA's investigation it was discovered that when the cat was brought to Brampton Animal Services it would have been inhumane to keep the cat alive because of the obvious smell of rotting. The cat was described as having several large open wounds on the bottom of its jaw and chin area, which were infested with maggots. Maggots were also present on the cat's front paws and in the cat's mouth. The area under the chin was swollen and lumps and lacerations were in the process of decaying.

On June 15, 2005, an Ontario SPCA investigator transferred the body of the deceased cat to the University of Guelph for a necropsy. A University of Guelph pathologist concluded that Avery's cat was very thin and very dehydrated. As well, many fly larvae were present in the cat's jaw and neck area.

Documentation from Brampton Animal Services indicated that Avery had taken her cat to a veterinary clinic, but when contacted, the clinic said there was no record of the cat being brought to them.

"Pet owners have a responsibility to provide their pets with appropriate medical care," says Hugh Coghill, Ontario SPCA Acting Chief Inspector. "Failing to seek veterinary attention for an ill pet, as in this case, can lead to legal charges and a conviction - it is a very serious matter."

Laura Avery was sentenced to a two-year prohibition from owning animals, 12 months probation, and 45 hours of community service as a result of not providing veterinary care to her cat.


The Ontario SPCA