The neighbours of a man accused of animal cruelty in Pictou County say that they’re still trying to process what they’ve learned.
“How do you get over something like this? Anytime you drive by it’s just an eerie feeling, knowing what happened. It’s not something that you shake off.”
Officers with the SPCA removed seven dead dogs from the property in Pictou County, six of which were puppies. A seventh dog, Meeka is being treated for severe injuries.
The neighbours say the accused contacted them after he was released and explained his version of what happened.
“He hit them in the head with the blunt part of an axe. He couldn’t afford to keep them, nobody would take them. He couldn’t afford to take them to the vet to get them put down.”
A protest in relation to the incident called “Justice for Meeka” has been organized outside the Pictou Courthouse on April 15, the day that the accused is scheduled to appear on charges of causing damage or injury to animals or birds, and causing animals or birds unnecessary suffering.
In their press release on Feb. 17, RCMP reminded the public that “vigilante justice will not be tolerated,” because of the comments that were being viewed on social media.
“People are incredibly passionate about animals and we put the reminder out there to remind people that we are doing our job,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, media spokesperson with the RCMP. “We don’t want people to take matters into their own hands.”
“We’re very fortunate that the foster that’s taking Meeka is one of the vets that has been caring for her,” said Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief provincial inspector for the Nova Scotia SPCA .
Meeka has suffered head trauma and all information on how the puppies and other dog died is being withheld until the results from the necropsies are released.
The accused was released on Feb. 15. He took to Facebook that evening admitting that he “put down” the dogs but denied the other allegations that were made in a widely shared facebook post.
“It’s just an unforgiveable act,” said the neighbor. “I believe he had other options.”
Anyone unsure of what to do with an unwanted litter of puppies are encouraged to surrender the dogs to their local SPCA. The puppies are then spayed or neutered, given up to date treatments and then fostered to individuals who pass background checks.
Another option is the SPCA P.U.P. Program which takes the puppies off the individual’s hands and returns the mother to its owner after being spayed at no cost.