Criminal charges are being recommended against a Colwood couple in a case alleging the beating of their family dog back in April.
A pit bull cross named Bryn that came into the care of the B.C. SPCA on April 1 had her head split open, a tooth broken off, a front leg broken and a deep laceration under its front leg.
“It was pretty horrific. It was blunt-force trauma to the head,” SPCA spokesperson Lorrie Chortyk said of the injuries. “When she first came in, we were concerned she wouldn’t be able to walk again, but they have done a lot of veterinary treatment now. Unfortunately, animal abuse is not rare, but the level of brutality in this case was quite shocking.”
Joseph White and Elizabeth Johnston will hear the charges against them when they make their first appearance in the Western Communities Courthouse at 9 a.m. on June 26.
The charges relate to the attack itself, letting the dog suffer without medical attention and wilfully neglecting providing care for the dog, said B.C. SPCA constable Erika Paul.
Criminal code convictions on animal cruelty charges have punishment ranging from fines to prohibition of owning animals to jail time or a combination.
Paul couldn’t release all the details of the case, but confirmed the alleged attack was carried out with an instrument. She said the owners called an animal control agency to collect the dog, but the worker tipped off the SPCA to the injuries to the canine, estimated in age at three or four.
Bryn could hardly stand or move and medical attention was not sought for the injured animal until the SPCA became aware and rushed her to emergency, almost 24 hours after the initial injuries occurred.
The dog has since undergone dental surgery to remove the damaged tooth, with one more surgery to come. She is being cared for at a foster home.
“She is on the long road to recovery, but she hasn’t made the finish line yet,” Paul said. “We are told she is an absolute sweetheart and a popular dog in the neighbourhood where she is being fostered.”
Bryn has not been medically cleared yet, despite more than two months passing since the attack, but will be available for adoption once she is back in good health.
“When there are cases of sheer physical violence on an animal, those cases are scary. When you see (those) situations you know that humans are at risk as well,” Chortyk said.
The B.C. SPCA investigates about 8,000 cases of animal abuse a year, including several hundred on Vancouver Island.