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Halifax man sentenced with animal cruelty after abuse of dog gets caught on video

Halifax man sentenced with animal cruelty after abuse of dog gets caught on video

A 31-year-old man from Halifax has been sentenced with animal cruelty on Aug. 14 after he pleded guilty to abusing his dog.

As a result, Adam DeCoste has been sentenced to a three-year prohibition on owning animals along with paying a fine of $1,000.

“This case is very important for animal welfare law because it is the first case in Nova Scotia we have secured a conviction for causing pain, suffering and undue anxiety to an animal,” said Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief inspector at Nova Scotia SPCA, in a media release.

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In October 2018, SPCA officers received a call from a complainant indicating that he had security footage that showed a man abusing a dog. SPCA officers attended the apartment complex and viewed the video showing the alleged abuse.

As a direct result, SPCA said the dog was seized and taken into custody.

According to the organization, in Nova Scotia, when an animal is seized by an enforcement agency, including the SPCA, the owner has a right to an appeal by the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board.

On Oct. 25, 2018, an appeal hearing was held in Dartmouth, but on the next day, the board upheld the SPCA’s decision.

“In animal welfare enforcement, it is sometimes difficult to prove physical pain as well as anxiety. In this case, we were able to obtain a written report from an animal behaviour and animal welfare scientist from British Columbia,” said Landsburg.

“This expert witness was able to give scientific evidence that the dog, Sophie, suffered psychologically as a result of the abuse,” she added.

Landsburg said Sophie is doing well and has been adopted to a new home through the Nova Scotia SPCA.