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The Montreal SPCA says a man in his twenties who beat his dog is now facing a seven-month prison stay after pleading guilty to one count of "willfully failing to provide suitable and adequate care" and two counts of "willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury" to a dog.
The SPCA described the "blood-soaked" scene where, in early 2021, its animal protection officers first found the dog, Angie, in a "deplorable" state with a punctured eye, several broken teeth and an open skull wound. Investigators seized the dog and took her to the Centre Vétérinaire Laval for emergency care.
The investigation into Angie's abuse dates back to January 2020, however, when the SPCA said it received a tip about the situation. Investigators eventually collected enough evidence for a criminal case, leading to the owner's guilty pleas in December 2021.
In addition to prison time, he is banned from owning an animal or even living at the same address as an animal for the next 15 years.
The SPCA described the prison sentence as one of the most severe ever for animal cruelty in the province. But Montreal SPCA Investigations Office Director Chantal Cayer suggested the punishment still pales in comparison to those for similar crimes in other provinces.
Angie, meanwhile, has found a loving home. According to the SPCA, she "now spends her time playing in the snow, sleeping on the couch and enjoying cuddles from her adoptive parents."
In 2021, the society opened a total of 1,898 investigations and rescued 84 animals from the custody of their owners.
A no-kill animal shelter in Vaudreuil-Dorion, SPCA West, says it needs help recovering from a "disaster" after a flood caused major damage to more than 70% of its walls and floors.
"Last thing we expected when coming to work yesterday morning, is to open the doors to 2 inches of water running through and flooding the SPCA. A water pipe burst over night, and [a] huge amount of water made its way through the entire shelter," SPCA West wrote in an email dated August 13.
SPCA West's executive director, Remi Brazeau, told MTL Blog the animals doing well and no one got hurt. Brazeau said another shelter, Auberge Refuge Zen in Laval, stepped in quickly to take the animals to a dry new home.
But Brazeau also said the insurance policy will likely only cover a very small portion of the damages and lost items. According to SPCA West, the damage will be "well into the six figures," but the insurance policy will cover a maximum of $7,000.
"We are insured. The problem we face is more complex than just a call and bang they solve it. It's about establishing responsibility, who did the work and which insurer will cover what and to what extent," SPCA West posted on Facebook.
The post says there's an ongoing debate about who the insurance will deem responsible for the incident: the SPCA, the manufacturer of the burst pipe, the contractor from when the place was built, and so on.
"Meanwhile, we are stuck in the midst of this and need to rebuild while this debate continues and can last weeks or even more, we are told," the post says.
Brazeau told MTL Blog the shelter is "desperately needing financial help to get things fixed up." The team has launched a donation campaign and those wishing to donate can do so online.
Meanwhile, Jessica Prince-Chenier, who works for Refuge Zen, said the shelter has space for the seven dogs and 10 cats it took in from the SPCA West. But she said they could use donations of dog toys and cat litter.
The Biodôme is a coveted spot for Montreal animal lovers, so newborn creatures feel like new members of the Montreal community. It's especially exciting when the new members are as cute as these three baby puffins — two of whom were born on July 17 and one of whom was born on July 25. Awww!
A Biodôme spokesperson, Margaux Delmas, told MTL Blog that the baby puffins will be monitored by technicians to make sure they are healthy. The first few days of care are focused on disinfecting their navels, if necessary, and weighing them, as well as giving them calcium and vitamin-fortified fish, she said.
Espace pour la vie (Eric Charette)
The baby puffins stay with their parents until they are 30 to 35 days old. According to Delmas, that's when they are ready to leave the nest and when they are put into isolation to wean.
They'll join the Biodôme's puffin habitat when they can eat by themselves and have a water-repellent plumage, she said.
Espace pour la vie (Eric Charette)
"The three puffins have a great genetic value that will contribute to the bird colony's sustainability," Delmas said.
A refreshing video of a raccoon enjoying a shower on a hot summer day is making a splash on social media, courtesy of a young Montreal resident and his kiddie pool.
"Yeah buddy, the raccoon is taking a shower in your (kiddie pool)," Elena Parial explained to her son in the video, as the animal appeared to bathe. "He undid the plug and he's now taking a full-on shower."
Judging by the 47-second clip posted July 5, the raccoon was probably hot and thirsty as it drank plenty of shower water.
Unfortunately, the critter's paws damaged the pool's plug while yanking it out: "Luckily, our son's splash table wasn't a splurge price-wise," said Parial.
Naturally, the shower-loving raccoon has made a splash on social media.
"So cute. Sorry about the plug," stated one Facebook fan of the well-groomed raccoon.
Animal takes shower to beat the heat
Parial, who lives in Montreal's Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce borough, told MTL Blog the raccoon has been frequenting her back deck for about six months.
"He had been visiting us infrequently before but we became more aware of him as of December 28, 2020, when he attacked our compost bin in a particularly aggressive and messy manner," she said.
Parial said the raccoon may have found a "lady friend" by the looks of a subsequent video posted July 7, which shows a pair of critters frolicking playfully on her patio furniture.
"I don't have irrefutable evidence that the shower attracted the lady friend, but this is the first time we've seen him with a friend," she said. "It's a gross assumption but it makes for a good social media post."
A possible 'lady friend'
Parial said she does not mind the raccoon taking up residence near her home, as it's been much less destructive than the squirrels who "have eaten [their] patio lights and torn numerous holes in [their] patio furniture," but she does have some concerns.
"I'm worried that we'll unknowingly stroll onto our deck not knowing he's sleeping there and find ourselves in a situation," she said. "More importantly, I worry my son may find himself in a situation because he's got a keen toddler curiosity."
She's also afraid the raccoon could lose its fear of humans. "Currently, he scurries when my husband taps on our patio door. He scurries away and knows we want our space. I'm not sure how long this is going to last before he figures out we're just scared of him and any pests or diseases he may carry."
Kiddie pool has become a water source
Bill Dowd, founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, said Parial's kiddie pool has probably become a water source for the "highly intelligent, very inquisitive" creature.
"My recommendation to the homeowner would be to obviously remove that water source," he said.
"If I was a betting man," he continued, "I would bet that if you see the raccoon that frequently on her deck, I would suspect it's probably living underneath the deck or maybe in her attic or in her chimney or underneath the shed out back."
He said the pair in the video are probably enjoying a platonic relationship as it's not raccoon mating season, which runs from January to June, so they won't be making raccoon babies together anytime soon.
"From the behaviour that those videos show me, I would say they're juveniles are just kind of being teenagers," he said.
"Getting into trouble, being rambunctious and kind of wrestling and fooling around."