BRACEBRIDGE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - A Muskoka man has been charged with two counts under the Ontario SPCA Act after a cougar escaped from his property in July 2012. The cougar was later shot by local police for public safety purposes.

The charges include:

  1. Failing to provide a pen or other enclosed structure or area for wildlife kept in captivity and any gates or other barriers to it, including moats, which must be designed, constructed and locked or otherwise secured to prevent animals escaping from the pen or other enclosed structure or area by climbing, jumping, digging, burrowing or any other means.
  2. Hindering, obstructing or interfering with an Inspector or Agent of the Society in the performance of his or her duties under the Ontario SPCA Act.

This was a joint investigation between the Ontario SPCA and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

"If your bylaws allow you to own and house exotic animals, then the responsibility is on you as the owner/care giver to meet the law's requirements for care and appropriate housing," says Steve Toy, Senior Inspector. "If you are having difficulty in meeting the needs of the animal in your care then contact your local Ontario SPCA or Veterinarian for options."

The Ontario SPCA reminds pet owners that if you have concerns for the welfare of your animal there are other alternatives than allowing an animal to go without adequate care. Contact your local Ontario SPCA and we can discuss what services are available. To report cruelty please call 1-888-668-7722 or email your concern to

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Ontario SPCA is mandated under the Ontario SPCA Act to enforce animal welfare legislation and the Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

Contact Information:

Provincial Media Contact
Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office
Brad Dewar
Investigation & Communications Officer