By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – After leaving her cat Bandit in the streets injured, drooling, unable to eat, and missing a piece of his tongue, a Cornwall woman has been banned for life from owning or caring for animals.
On August 26, Melissa Donais pleaded guilty to permitting an animal to be in distress under the Ontario SPCA (OSPCA) Act by failing to provide the care necessary for the animal’s general welfare.
On July 15, the OSPCA received a tip from concerned neighbours that Bandit was in dire straits of assistance.
An OSPCA officer arrived at the residence and spoke to Donais who denied owning the feline.
Attempts to locate Bandit were initially unsuccessful until later that evening when the OSPCA received another call stating he was back in the area. Neighbors identified Donais as Bandit’s owner.
He eventually returned to the residence, was caught by Donais, and then placed in a carrier supplied by the OSPCA for inspection.
Agents noted Bandit was drooling, his lower jaw was hanging open, and there was an odor of infection and rotten flesh coming from his mouth. He was thin, dirty, and unsteady on his feet.
Donais finally admitted she was, in fact, Bandit’s owner before voluntarily surrendering him to the OSPCA.
The cat was immediately taken to a veterinary hospital and examined. Among other issues, Bandit was dehydrated, emaciated, and had an oral infection.
Sadly, Brad Dewar, investigation and communications officer for OSPCA, confirmed that Bandit was euthanized due to the severity of his injuries.
Donais was sentenced and received a lifetime prohibition from owning, caring for or living with any animal. She was also ordered to pay $100 restitution to the OSPCA and placed on two years probation.
The OSPCA was granted access to her property to ensure compliance.
“There is no reason an animal should have to suffer without the care necessary to its general welfare,” says Steve Toy, OSPCA senior inspector. “The OSPCA is always available to assist with any concerns an animal owner may have.”
Reporting animal cruelty is as simple as dialing 310-SPCA or e-mailing your concern to email@example.com.