News Releases

Media Bulletin - Chief Veterinary Officer

April 5, 2013

GULL LAKE COUPLE PLEAD GUILTY TO ANIMAL WELFARE CHARGES



Following an investigation by the Office of the Chief Veterinarian on July 16 and 17, 2010, animal protection officers seized 64 dogs in distress as defined under the Animal Care Act from a property in the area of Gull Lake. 

Judith and Peter Chernecki pleaded guilty yesterday to seven counts of animal abuse under the act.  The charges relate to the reasons for the distress, which include:

  • failure to provide adequate medical attention when animals were wounded or ill,
  • failure to provide adequate lighting, and
  • confinement of animals in a way that impaired their well-being.

Following the seizure, the dogs were taken to the Winnipeg Humane Society where they were assessed and received appropriate care.  As a result of the assessment, 34 dogs were euthanized because of significant physical injuries or behavioural impairment.  Seven dogs were sent to a rescue ranch in the United States with the remaining dogs given to shelters in Manitoba for adoption.

The Winnipeg Humane Society provided invaluable assistance with the initial intake and assessment of the dogs, and later helped to co-ordinate the re-homing of many animals with the help of other shelters, such as Darcy’s ARC.

In September 2010, Manitoba’s Animal Care Act was amended, increasing the fines and penalties that can be imposed for animal neglect.  The maximum penalties are now up to $10,000 per count and/or six months imprisonment and up to lifetime prohibition of animal ownership for a first offence.

Due to the date of the offence, the charges were laid under the previous version of the Animal Care Act.  Under those provisions the maximum penalties are up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 per count and up to five years prohibition of animal ownership. 

Sentencing will be determined on Sept. 17.

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