AR-News: Largest animal cruelty fine in Ontario's history for puppy mill operator

Barry Kent MacKay mimus at
Sat Mar 20 08:14:12 EST 2004

March 19, 2004
 From a press release
NEWMARKET, ON - The largest fine ever for an animal cruelty offence in 
Ontario was imposed yesterday when Sandra Quinn, now of Burlington, 
Ontario received a fine of $12,000 after pleading guilty in the Ontario 
Court of Justice, Norfolk County, to a charge brought under the Ontario 

Quinn was charged in February last year by the Ontario SPCA following 
the removal of 125 dogs from Cherry Valley Kennels near Waterford, 
Ontario. She was the first person to be charged under the Act as 
amended in December 2002 to address offences by breeders of dogs and 
cats for sale. The amendments set out standards of care that breeders 
of dogs and cats for sale must adhere to, and enable much stiffer 
penalties than in the past. In addition to the fine, Quinn also 
received a ten-year prohibition from breeding and selling dogs and cats.

William Quinn, also charged in this investigation, is scheduled to 
appear in court in May.

When the dogs were removed on Valentine's Day last year they were in 
appalling condition - emaciated, dehydrated, severely matted and 
encrusted with feces, and had numerous medical problems. Two of the 
dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized. One dog was 
found frozen to death and two half-burned carcasses were found in a 
fire pit. Care was provided to the dogs - Chows, American Eskimos, 
Pomeranians, Keeshonds and other small breeds, at several Ontario SPCA 
Branches and affiliated humane societies, and all except the two that 
had to be euthanized were adopted into loving new homes.

"This is the first case brought under the amended Ontario SPCA Act to 
reach a sentence," said Ontario SPCA Senior Inspector Darren Grandel. 
"The sentence marks a significant shift in the seriousness with which 
crimes against animals are viewed in the province, although it is well 
short of what is allowed in the Act."

The Ontario SPCA would particularly like to have seen the sentence 
include a period of probation which would have prohibited owning of 
pets in addition to breeding and selling, and also given the Society 
inspection rights to monitor compliance with the ban.

"It is certainly a welcome move in the right direction however," 
commented Society Chief Executive Officer, Judy Marshall. "I would like 
to congratulate everyone who supported our campaign to secure 
amendments to the Act which better enable us to stamp out puppy mills - 
especially the nearly quarter of a million people who signed the 'Honey 
Needs You' campaign petition."

"I also congratulate our provincial politicians, including Julia Munro 
who introduced the Bill containing the amendments to the provincial 
parliament. I would strongly urge their federal counterparts to follow 
suit and pass the animal cruelty amendments to the Criminal Code of 
Canada that have been stalled in Ottawa for over four years and are now 
before Parliament again as Bill C-22."

The Ontario SPCA does not receive any part of the $12,000 fine. The 
cost of the investigation, removal, treatment, care and rehabilitation 
of the dogs - in excess of $100,000, has put a great strain on the 
resources of the Ontario SPCA which is a registered charity relying on 
donations. Funds are urgently needed to help stamp out puppy mills. 
Call 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 322. Your support with a 
donation is greatly appreciated. Photo of one of the rescued Chows 
(left) and her puppy, born while at the Ontario SPCA, after they had 
both been adopted. Photo available for download at

A word about the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals (Ontario SPCA):
The Ontario SPCA, with 27 Branches and 32 affiliated humane societies 
and SPCA's, is unique amongst animal welfare organizations in Ontario: 
the Ontario
SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and 
provides society investigators with police powers to do so. The Society 
is a registered charity, relying on donations to fund animal 
protection, care and rehabilitation for all animals, government and 
industry advocacy and public education. The Ontario SPCA is a member of 
the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) and is affiliated 
with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).


  Barry Kent MacKay
  Canadian Office
  Animal Protection Institute  

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