A Hillview couple was found guilty today in provincial court in Clarenville of cruelty to animal charges.
Harvey Murlin Price, 42, and Jacqueline Cooper, 38, have both been found guilty on charges under the Canadian Criminal Code for Cruelty to Animals, under sections 446 and 445 A1.
A sentencing hearing has been set for Jan. 18.
The charges were laid following a March 2 incident in which RCMP officers and the Clarenville area SPCA removed a dog from the couple’s Hillview home.
The dog, a mixed-breed shepherd named Max, was emaciated and was placed into the care of the SPCA, but died a few days later.
Police said at the time that when they removed the dog from its home he was in bad shape. The doghouse was rickety and didn't provide adequate shelter, and the dog had no food and had only a bucket of frozen water. He was also tied to a tree with a heavy chain that was digging into its skin.
As an adult he should have weighed about 90-lbs, but only weighed 53-lbs when he was recovered.
According to a news release from the SPCA, in court today, the judge restated the facts in the case, highlighting the evidence presented during the trial.
The judge noted Max was a shepherd dog which had lived to the age of 18 years. In the last few weeks of his life, his quality of life deteriorated. Both Price and Cooper knew Max was getting old, was deteriorating and going downhill.
Price admitted in his own testimony that he called a veterinarian four weeks prior to the removal of Max to determine the cost of having the dog euthanized. Price was told the cost, but took no action.
The judge felt there was a “reckless inaction” and both accused were “willingful blind to his condition.”