Farmer didn't break law shooting dog: OSPCA
Massey is pictured in this undated handout photo.
A farmer who shot a neighbour’s pet dog — said to have mauled several of his pigs — didn’t break any animal cruelty laws, the OSPCA said Wednesday.
The investigation was launched Aug. 2 after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was made aware of the July 31 incident on an East Gwillimbury farm at Hwy. 48 and Boag Rd.
According to the province’s Protection of Livestock and Poultry from Dogs Act, it’s legal for farmers to shoot dogs that attack or kill their livestock.
“We have concluded our investigation on the dog that was shot and it does not appear that any laws were broken under the Ontario SPCA Act,” spokesman Melissa Kosowan said Wednesday.
The Town of East Gwillimbury’s animal control and bylaw enforcement officers had responded to a report July 31 that livestock was attacked on private property. Officers found Massey, a terrier-cross, dead and brought the dog’s body to its owner.
Farmer Josh Blanchard posted on his Facebook page that he shot the dog and shared seven graphic images of his bloodied and wounded swine.
“I am the one who witnessed two mutts mauling my mini potbellies, not to mention two of them were pregnant and had baby’s [sic] the next day. No, I don’t feel bad for shooting the dog,” his post says. “These dogs have been around for two years killing and slaughtering my animals for sport, from chickens to my Horned Dorset sheep herd and Flemish rabbits ... The other dog they have needs to stay away and I guess, be fed, as it suggests his dog bowl is empty 24/7.”
Neither Blanchard nor Massey’s owner, Jodi Hak, could be reached Wednesday for comment on the OSPCA’s decision.
On Tuesday, Hak told the Sun she wanted to wait until the investigation concluded to speak with the media, and wouldn’t elaborate on the case, including how her dog was found roaming on Blanchard’s property.
“When there’s animals roaming at large in an unfenced property, you’re not allowed to shoot the dog or coyote,” she contended. “If anyone went over to that property, you would see that it is unfenced. And when it comes down to it, we had to fence our property to keep his livestock out.”
According to the act, any person may kill a dog that is found killing or injuring livestock or poultry or “that is found straying at any time, and not under proper control, upon premises where livestock or poultry are habitually kept.”
York Regional Police also investigated the incident the same day the OSPCA launched its investigation. No charges were laid.