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Squamish resident found guilty under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

North Vancouver court judge rules the 29 dogs seized were kept in unsanitary conditions that caused distress.
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Neddy Tsin-Minions was charged with two counts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

A Brackendale resident has been found guilty of causing dogs to be in distress.

Neddy Tsin-Minions was charged with two counts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The first charge alleged that in November 2016, Tsin-Minions failed to take care of dogs, which included failing to protect them from circumstances that would cause distress.

The second charge states that during that time, she caused or permitted the dogs to be or continue to be in distress.

On March 25, Judge Joanne Challenger issued a written decision on the matter, where she summarized her reasons for finding Tsin-Minions guilty.

In her recounting of the evidence put before North Vancouver Court during the trial, Challenger said that almost six years ago, officers responded to a complaint of neglected dogs in Brackendale.

After Tsin-Minions denied officers entry, they returned with a search warrant on Nov. 30, 2016.

A total of 29 dogs were located on the property and all were seized.

"The photographs of the home show it was generally in disarray," wrote Challenger in her decision. "There were newspapers on the floor in a number of locations, many of which were heavily soiled with urine and dried feces.  The home was observed to smell very strongly of urine (ammonia) and feces."

As one example of the dogs' living conditions, Challenger said eight dogs were found in a small SUV in the garage in a state of distress.

It was dark, there was no food or water, and the windows were left two to three inches open, but condensation was noted inside.

"The inside of this vehicle had also been clawed and chewed and was soiled with urine and feces," she said. "The dogs were also smeared with feces. There was a very strong odour of urine and feces in the vehicle.  There was insufficient room in the vehicle to allow any of the dogs to rest and they were seen to be climbing all over each other when located."

In her defence, Tsin-Minions had called upon her husband, Robert Minions to testify to the court.

In Challenger's summary, Robert said the eight dogs in the vehicle belonged to friends, though he was unable to provide the last names of these friends, nor did he account for what happened to them after their dogs were taken by the SPCA.

Challenger said Minions told the court that his wife arranged to groom the dogs for free. He had picked up the animals and left them in the vehicle on their property at around 7:15 a.m. before going to work.

Challenger said Robert had recounted that his wife was aware of the arrangement.

"The Crown suggested that the dogs in the worst shape were intentionally put away in the dark garage in case the SPCA returned to inspect the premises," the judge wrote.  "Sadly, I suspect this proposition is likely correct. For the purposes of these reasons, it matters not if Mr. or Ms. Tsin-Minions simply used the vehicles as 'kennels' or if they were attempting to hide those dogs they recognized to be neglected and in distress." 

She also said the conditions of the home, especially with respect to the odour, urine and feces, likely caused the dogs to be in distress due to being deprived of adequate ventilation and care.

As a result, Challenger stated that she found Tsin-Minions guilty on both counts.


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