Chilliwack residents Peter and Camille Devries have been charged with five separate counts of animal cruelty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) and the Criminal Code following a BC SPCA investigation.
The charges come after BC SPCA constables seized a large number of neglected animals from the couple’s property on Yale Road East, including 47 fowl, 22 fish, nine birds, six dogs, five horses, three cows and one cat.
“These individuals are chronic offenders as they have previously been convicted of animal cruelty on two separate occasions, in 2003 and 2005,” says Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the BC SPCA. “Unfortunately, they did not receive lifetime bans on owning animals in either case, and thus, the BC SPCA has had to spend valuable time and resources rescuing these poor animals. We can only hope that this time the courts will see that the only way to stop the abuse in this case is to prevent them from ever having animals again.”
In addition to living in dirty and substandard conditions, many of the seized animals were thin or emaciated and were suffering from infections and other medical issues. “We issued numerous orders regarding food, veterinary treatment, grooming and sheltering, but ultimately the Devrieses did not make sufficient changes to protect their animals,” says Moriarty. All of the seized animals have now been successfully rehomed by the SPCA.
A first court appearance for the accused couple has not yet been set. If convicted, they face a fine of up to $10,000, up to six months in jail and a ban on owning or taking care of animals for a period of time determined by a judge. The couple is also awaiting trial on a separate animal cruelty charge and will go to court on that charge on April 21, 2011.
The BC SPCA conducts close to 6,000 cruelty investigations a year and is reliant on donations from the public to carry out its work. Your gift to the Heroes Fund for Animal Protection can help officers continue to investigate and rescue animals, and bring abusers to justice. Please donate today.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.