Animal rescue

Founder of Windsor Animal Rescue Group pleads guilty to animal neglect

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The founder of a local animal rescue organization pleaded guilty to negligence charges involving 10 dogs, including one who died from lack of medical attention.

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Caitlind Levesque, founder and president of Royals Animal Rescue Service, must pay $1,000 in restitution. He was also banned from owning dogs, except for one pet, for two years.

“It was a serious case,” said Humane Society executive director Melanie Coulter, whose organization led the investigation. “I think the fact that there were multiple charges made involving a number of animals, and the fact that it was a rescue group and dogs that were in care and not didn’t get it, that’s what was really sad to see.”

Lévesque declined to comment Tuesday when contacted by the Star.

She pleaded guilty on April 8 to failing to provide adequate and proper medical care to a dog, two charges of failing to comply with an order and failing to provide nine dogs with adequate and proper sanitary conditions and ventilation. .

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Coulter said Levesque pleaded guilty to neglect charges involving 10 dogs, including the one who died.

A Windsor/Essex County Humane Society employee leaves the organization's location on the provincial highway in one of the <a class=animal rescue and rescue vehicles Thursday, January 3, 2019.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HUMANE1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HUMANE1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HUMANE1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
A Windsor/Essex County Humane Society employee leaves the organization’s location on the provincial highway in one of the animal rescue and rescue vehicles Thursday, January 3, 2019. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

When the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society announced the charges in 2019, the organization said it had received complaints about several deceased dogs.

In June and July 2019, animal protection officers brought negligence charges against Levesque in relation to “several” dogs in his care, the humane society said. All charges were laid under the former Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

As part of his guilty plea, Levesque can only own one dog as a pet for the next two years, and animal protection officers can inspect the dog to make sure he is being properly cared for.

“From the outset, the sentencing priority that was sought in this case was a prohibition on continued dog ownership,” Coulter said. “So having that in place, with the exception of a family dog, was a positive outcome in terms of protecting dogs going forward.”

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All the dogs that were removed during the investigation have been handed over to the humanitarian society and will be permanently adopted by the families who took them in.

“It was definitely something that was going on for a long time,” Coulter said. “We were relieved that the remaining dogs were handed over to the humane society, allowing them to stay with the foster families who have cared for them for two years, and they will receive that care for the remainder. of their lives.”

  1. A screenshot of the Royals Animal Rescue Services Facebook page.  A Windsor woman described as the founder of the group is facing charges of alleged neglect of the animals in her care.

    Cruelty charges laid against Windsor Animal Rescue Service

  2. A screenshot of the Royals Animal Rescue Services Facebook page.  A Windsor woman described as the founder of the group is facing charges of alleged neglect of the animals in her care.

    More cruelty and neglect charges brought against Royals Animal Rescue Services

  3. Windsor Essex County Humane Society Law Enforcement Officer Natalie Crerar with Katie, who will be adopted.  WECHS Law Enforcement Officer will no longer enforce animal cruelty laws.

    Changes coming for the Windsor Essex Humane Society and animal cruelty

Coulter added that animal rescue organizations have little regulation in Ontario, and she urged people to do their homework before working with a group.

“I think it’s very important to understand and recognize that there really isn’t a registry of rescues, there’s no screening of rescues,” Coulter said. “Anyone really can call themselves a rescue. It is therefore very important when dealing with a rescue, whether as an adopter, as a foster family, as an owner potentially abandoning your pet, that you review the rescue you are working with.

Anyone concerned about animal neglect or abuse can call 1-833-9ANIMAL.

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