UPDATE: Couple found guilty of animal cruelty gets probation, fines

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Max, a shepherd cross, is pictured in this file photo after the Clarenville area SPCA and the RCMP took the dog from its home in an emaciated condition. The dog died soon after.

The Packet — Clarenville

A Hillview couple was sentenced to two years probation and 50 hours of community service today in provincial court in Clarenville.

Harvey Murlin Price, 42, and Jacqueline Cooper, 38 had been found guilty under charges under the Canadian Criminal Code for Cruelty to Animals, on Dec. 10, 2012.

They also received fines — $1,000 for Price, and $500 for Cooper — and a combined fine of $510 for restitution to the Clarenville SPCA.

Price received a higher fine breaching a similar section of the Animal Cruelty act in 2002.

In March of 2012 the SPCA and had been called to investigate neglected animals found on Price’s property.

Their dog, a mixed-breed shepard named Max, had been living in a dilapidated dog house, without food and his water dish was frozen.

The SPCA found the animal to be underweight, with significant muscle loss, some broken teeth and visible ulcerations.

The animal was euthanized several days after being taken into the SPCA’s care.

Justice Patrick Kennedy said a mitigating factor was that the animal only suffered the last couple weeks of its life and the decision not to euthanize was out of pity due to losing a member of the family.

“There was no brutal attack or torture. However, Max did suffer for at least two weeks and the accused did nothing to improve conditions,” said Kennedy.

“If an animal trusts you, the community trusts you will care for the animal.”

----- Earlier story --

A sentence of monetary fines paired with a period of probation has been issued for a couple found guilty, in December 2012, on two counts of cruelty to animals — one for neglect and one for causing injury.

The convictions were based on treatment of their pet dog, a Sheppard cross mix named Max.

The dog was removed rom the couple’s home in Hillview in March 2012.

“Upon removal, Max was extremely emaciated, had lost all muscle mass, and was no longer able to walk on his own,” notes a statement issued by the Clarenville Area SPCA following the sentencing.

The SPCA took part in removing the dog from the home and housed the animal before, after a few days, it was put down to prevent further suffering.

The sentence in the case was handed down this morning in a courtroom in Clarenville.

The names of the two individuals sentenced will be published by The Telegram once confirmed with the court.

According to the SPCA statement, the first individual involved was given a $500 and two years probation. She was also ordered to pay $255 to the Clarenville SPCA to cover their costs in removing and caring for the dog.

The second individual was issued a fine of $1,000 and two years probation. He will also have to pay $255 to the SPCA.



Organizations: Clarenville Area SPCA, The Telegram

Geographic location: Hillview

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Recent comments

  • Judy
    March 22, 2013 - 13:11

    Yes, I also noticed the male laughing on their way to their vehicles. That's how much compassion and remorse he feels for his actions towards poor old Max. Then again, with the sentence they got, why wouldn't he laugh? Obviously Judge Kennedy didn't feel much compassion either. Max, my darling, like someone else stated "I hope there is such a place as a Dog Heaven." Surely someone driving by must have noticed Max and could have reported it.

    • Sarah West
      March 24, 2013 - 16:57

      This is blatant " passive cruelty" Its about time the Canadian public SPCA's Humane Societies the media, cops public and courts recognized this Please check out our site www.cfwr.org The Animal Cruelty Syndrome"

  • towny
    March 22, 2013 - 10:55

    disgusted!! that's bay men for ya and I'm not just talking about the suspects, that judge got to go! wasting every ones time and tax money!! shame on you is right ...I bet if someone took you and tied you up in the freezing cold without food and water you would think twice about the sentencing you gave these ppl, at least you could use your brain and to try to get out of the that situation but the poor dog don't no the difference on how to escape this. this is just pure negligence from both sides

  • Marilyn
    March 22, 2013 - 10:02

    On the News last night when these two were walking out to their cars after courrt, the male individual looked back at the camera laughing and waving. He obviously showed no remorse whatsoever, and certainly must have no conscience. Judge Kennedy's sentence will be a great joke among them and their friends and family for a long time to come. Further, for anyone in the community or areas who knew about poor helpless Max and did nothing, you're almost as guilty. Oh my heavens, I can't fatham what Max went through, even more so in his old age. What a sin, and unnecessarily. I am heartsick over Max.

  • James
    March 22, 2013 - 01:16

    I wonder how Justice Patrick Kennedy would feel if he had no food, water or shelter long enough that he lost all muscle mass and was unable to walk. Would he consider it torture then? In a fair and perfect world, he (along with the two dirtbags) would all suffer the same fate as Max.

  • Wanda
    March 21, 2013 - 15:16

    There are some heartless people on this Earth, and these are two of them. Poor Max.

  • Leah
    March 21, 2013 - 14:58

    Judge Kennedy (as if you are going to read this) I am extremely furiated and disappointed in you. How can you even say this dog wasn't tortured? He most certainly was. What would you call frozen and starved, so much so that Max couldn't even stand up because he had lost muscle mass. These two cruel individuals must be laughing at you. Poor innocent, precious, darling dog. I certainly hope that there is such a place as a "Dog Heaven" Max.

  • Animal Lover-
    March 21, 2013 - 14:21

    I have read the article about this poor animal and mitigating factor was that the animal only suffered the last couple weeks of its life and the decision not to euthanize was out of pity due to losing a member of the family.What an excuse.Folks who love there pets treat them like family members. I am totally discussed with their sentence. I certainly hope that someday they will suffer the same misery and pain they allowed that poor animal to go through. Animal's are innocent creatures and people are suppose to know the difference.Animal's do not do the things that people do.

  • Denise
    March 21, 2013 - 14:04

    Well, that was a waste of time and money! I'm disappointed in you Mr. Kennedy! Shame!

  • tom
    March 21, 2013 - 13:50

    Same people complaining about these guys eat fish that is suffocated and rabbits caught in snares. Too funny. I think this is hideous but people take better care of their dogs than their next door neighbor.

  • Jet Mahon
    March 21, 2013 - 13:22

    Hi I am heartbroken. This poor loving dog tied on and starved. These people are should be ashamed of themselves. I just cannot understand why others in the community did not report them much earlier. This is too much.

  • Very Disappointed
    March 21, 2013 - 13:00

    The message that this judge has sent out is not in favor of those innocent helpless creatures like Max. Surely, it isn't a voice for Max and those who fall in the hands of these animal abusers. So sad to learn that these people aren't prohibited from owning another animal as the man had been convicted of animal cruelty before. What does it take for the law to take a meaningful stand as this conviction will not deter this from happening again to another innocent helpless animal. It's a sad day for this decision that was rendered. I hope these people are frowned upon for the rest of their lives.

  • Jeannette
    March 21, 2013 - 12:47

    Where do these people come from!!! Maybe they should suffer at the very least for two weeks. Put them in a dilapidated unheated house without food and water. These people make me stomach sick.

  • Jeanette
    March 21, 2013 - 12:43

    The fines are a joke, and 50hrs community service...unless it's hard labor ourdoors without food, water and shelter, that's a joke too...These type of "people" don't care..IMO if you can let an animal suffer, you wouldn't be much better towards another person..GET TOUGH ON THE BENCH.

  • Donna Farrell
    March 21, 2013 - 12:26

    Seems to be a trend lately.....don't want it just leave it alone to die? Are you freaking kidding me? The judge says it wasn't attacked therefore a fine and community hours? How about community hours at the SPCA to drive it home how to look after an animal? This makes me sick. Second offence? Back in 2002 did he learn anything? How about he come stay with me for awhile. I have a nice open ended shed way in the back of my property....I will give him a popsicle to keep him hydrated and only tie him up for 2 weeks.....

  • james
    March 21, 2013 - 12:07

    again, not enought...anyone who does such things to animals will do it to humans if it were not for the harsher sentencing. either these people require psycological help..or they should be thrown in jail and... not just for 30 days!!!

  • Herb Morrison
    March 21, 2013 - 12:05

    I was raised on a farm and developed a great love and respect for animals. This type of sentence will not act to deted animal abusers.

  • Alana
    March 21, 2013 - 12:01

    Wow, this is a sad excuse for a sentence. Gee, why didn't the justice system just punish them by taking away a golden star from their point strips, or by giving them a time-out. This type of punishment pretty much gives violent people a green light to go ahead and mistreat animals. "Yeah, cool, you can go ahead and mistreat animals, as long as you're willing to pay a few bucks and do a bit of volunteer work afterwards." This news hurts my heart.

  • Irish Setter
    March 21, 2013 - 12:00

    A slap on the wrist . Not sure who should be more embaressed , the Judge , or the two who commited this , god forsaken act . Shame on you all !!!!

  • Christine
    March 21, 2013 - 11:54

    All you have to do is look in the court dockets (Clarenville)!! The names are there clear as mud! http://www.court.nl.ca/provincial/courts/adult/dockets.html

  • Leanne
    March 21, 2013 - 11:50

    What a joke of a justice system. There is no justice in this province for all of the abused animals and this is the second time this guy has been charged with animal cruelty, first time was in 2002.....he should be thrown in jail. I wonder do he treat his children the same way he treats his pets....disgraceful!

  • Geri
    March 21, 2013 - 11:20

    Not much of a deterent in my mind. These fines may never get paid and what exactly does the two year probation sentence entail in a situation like this? That poor creature (Max) must have suffered immensely at their hands. In my opinion, people who are so cruel to a helpless animal would also do the same to a human being. Shame on you both, I hope Max haunts your dreams for years to come until you grow some 'feelings' for other lives on this planet.

  • Poor Max
    March 21, 2013 - 11:18

    That is all?? A fine?? I feel the justice system has done a complete injustice to poor Max and all abused animals! A rediculous sentence.

  • Bill
    March 21, 2013 - 11:03

    Not enough! These people should serve jail time!! What they did is disgusting! RIP Max... you didn't deserve what happened to you!

    • Sharrie
      March 21, 2013 - 13:27

      I cannot understand this. Why did this man have an animal in his care in 2002 and then bring this dog into his life just to starve it. Secondly, how can the judge say that "...There was no brutal attack or torture. However, Max did suffer for at least two weeks and the accused did nothing to improve conditions..." I cannot see how the judge can determine this. Honestly these people should not be allowed to own a dog or cat. All animals should be loved and wanted.