A 33-year-old man from Kent Bridge, Ont. has been convicted of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code of Canada following an investigation into a suspected dog fighting operation.

On August 24, 2017, Robert Tomlin pled guilty in a Chatham courthouse to one count under the Criminal Code of Canada of causing pain to dogs. Tomlin was sentenced to four months of house arrest, followed by 24 months probation. He also received a lifetime ban on animal ownership.

In October of 2015, a joint investigation between the Chatham-Kent Police Service and the Ontario SPCA into a suspected dog fighting operation led to the execution of multiple search warrants at an address on Morris Line in Tilbury East Township. As a result, Tomlin was charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

As the case is ongoing against other accused individuals, a publication ban protects evidence heard during the proceedings.

“Animal cruelty is taken very seriously in Ontario and the accused is being held accountable for his actions,” says Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “Dogfighting is a serious crime and we are pleased to see the courts recognize this.”

To report animal cruelty or neglect, call 310-SPCA (7722) immediately.

For more information on how to recognize the signs of dog fighting in your community, visit ontariospca.ca