SPCA seeks help identifying animal cruelty suspects

Video footage reveals suspects dumping three kittens in garbage at Departure Bay Ferry Terminal.

The Nanaimo and District SPCA is looking for help identifying two individuals caught on video abandoning three kittens in a garbage can.

The individuals dumped three kittens into a garbage can at the Departure Bay ferry terminal on July 27. B.C. Ferries provided video footage of the suspects to the Nanaimo SPCA. It can be viewed at www.spca.bc.ca/nanaimo.

Leon Davis, Nanaimo SPCA branch manager, said the kittens were found by a B.C. Ferries employee when emptying the garbage can. One of the kittens had to be euthanized due to extensive injuries including a pelvic fracture and fractures to its femur bone.

The other two were emaciated, dehydrated and had fleas, but have recovered and are now available for adoption. The kittens are about six weeks old.

Davis said it’s the first time since taking over the branch he’s seen cats abandoned in a garbage can but, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon around the province.

“It’s irresponsible pet ownership and animal cruelty,” he said.

Deborah Marshall, B.C Ferries spokeswoman, said the corporation is co-operating with the SPCA to identify the individuals.

“This is a terrible act of cruelty to animals and we hope they find them,” she said.

Animal cruelty charges carry a maximum two-year jail sentence and $5,000 fine.  Davis said the SPCA would recommend against the individuals owning any animal for life. In light of the Whistler sled dog case, animal cruelty laws are being examined and Davis expects to see tougher sentences in the future. Currently jail time is rare in sentencing, he said.

Davis said the incident reinforces the importance of responsible pet ownership and having pets spayed and neutered. He said sometimes people find themselves with a pregnant cat and don’t know what to do. However, people can always turn to the SPCA and there are several programs in place to help pet owners who don’t have the financial means to cover costs.

Anyone with information is asked to please call the SPCA at 250-758-0351 or special constable Julie Hitchcock at 250-268-2684.