TILLSONBURG, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 22, 2016) - Beth Hoekema, 38, of Tillsonburg, ON has been found guilty of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act for causing distress to an animal and has been banned from owning animals for five years.

On January 25, 2016, investigators with the Ontario SPCA executed a search warrant at a residence in Tillsonburg to check on compliance of Ontario SPCA Act Orders issued during a previous visit. Investigators found two dogs - an Australian Shepherd mix and a Spaniel mix - confined to the same small cage in disrepair that the Orders stated were not acceptable to house the dogs. The dogs were forced to stand and lie in their own feces and urine, without proper bedding. There was also no food or water present and both dogs had extremely thin body conditions.

The dogs were seized by the Ontario SPCA to provide them with the proper care required, which included a strict feeding regiment to increase their low body weight. They were later surrendered to the Society and have since been adopted into new homes.

Hoekema pled guilty in Woodstock Provincial Offences Court on September 15, 2016 to causing distress to an animal and received five years prohibition from having custody or control of any animal and two years probation. The Ontario SPCA also has the right to perform inspections without notice to ensure she is complying with her prohibition.

"The welfare of animals is our top priority," says Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief, Ontario SPCA. "We incorporate humane education to try to address situations like this wherever possible, but we do enforce the law when it's necessary to ensure the well-being of animals."

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.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. 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:

Media Contact
Ontario SPCA
Melissa Kosowan