A 50-year-old woman from Yarker, ON. has been sentenced to a lifetime ban on owning animals after being convicted of nine counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act as a result of an investigation into the treatment of three horses in her care.

The Ontario SPCA received a report on March 30, 2016, about animals in distress at a residence in the village of Yarker, located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Greater Napanee. An officer attended the property and found three emaciated horses living inside a dark, manure-filled barn. The animals had no access to food or water and were observed shivering. The horses were examined by a veterinarian and found to have very low body condition scores, as well as wounds on their legs that required treatment.

On April 26, 2017, Theresa Orr, 50, was found guilty in a Napanee Provincial Offences Court of nine counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act:

  • Failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water
  • Failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention
  • Failing to provide care necessary for general welfare of the animals
  • Failing to provide adequate and appropriate resting and sleeping area
  • Failing to provide a space to enable the animals to move naturally and exercise
  • Failing to provide appropriate sanitary conditions
  • Failing to provide adequate ventilation
  • Failing to provide adequate and appropriate light
  • Failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for the animals.

Justice of the Peace Donna Doelman sentenced Orr to a lifetime prohibition from owning any animals. She also received two years probation, a $900 fine and was ordered to pay $7564.45 in restitution to the Ontario SPCA.

The three horses were surrendered into the care of the Ontario SPCA and have since been re-homed.

“There is no excuse when it comes to failing to care for your animals,” says Bonnie Bishop, Senior Inspector, Farm Animal Welfare, Ontario SPCA. “If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to care for your animals, contact your local animal centre or humane society to discuss your options.”

To report animal cruelty or neglect, call the Ontario SPCA’s 24-hour, province-wide dispatch centre at 310-SPCA.