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Retired Halifax vet worried province's animal cruelty appeal board is 'broken'

A dog found tethered outside in the freezing cold in Spryfield last month was returned to its owner before the case went to trial
(SPCA Logo)

HALIFAX - A retired Halifax veterinarian is wondering why the province's animal cruelty appeal board is handing animals already seized by the SPCA back to their owners before cases are heard in court. 

A 34-year-old man from Spryfield was charged last month with animal cruelty after a pitbull-type dog was found freezing and tethered outside during a cold snap. 

The SPCA says the dog was seized from the property and taken to the SPCA for treatment, but the owner filed a seizure appeal form and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture's Animal Cruelty Appeal Board overturned the decision, ordering the dog be returned. 

Retired vet Hugh Chisholm tells News 95.7 he's worried animals are being put back into the cruelty the SPCA helped them escape. 

He adds the board giving back the animal also makes the case more difficult to fight in court. 

"It's going to be really difficult for the SPCA to build a case and say 'this is really cruel,' when this quasi-judicial board decided to give the animal back," Chisolm said. "The judge and jury will look at situations like that and say 'well if the animal cruelty appeal board gave the animal back, how can it be a case of cruelty?" 

Chisholm calls the system broken and says the appeal board appears to be undoing a lot of the SPCA's hard work and in turn causing animals to suffer. 


Katie Hartai

About the Author: Katie Hartai

In addition to being a reporter for NEWS 95.7 and, Katie is the producer of The Rick Howe Show
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