|These pictures show some of the skin damage Kia had when Jessica Cudahy found her on Nov. 4, and then nursed her back to health. PHOTO SUPPLIED
While visiting a vacant property on Russell Road on Nov. 4, Jessica Cudahy found a dog that was being kept in a caged pen and in obvious distress. The evidence of neglect included a collar so tight that the animal’s neck was cut, an infected bleeding chest, a very red/raw stomach, overgrown nails, yeast infected swollen paws and cuts on the pads.
According to Cudahy, the dog, which is an American Bulldog, was very weak and could barely walk.
All the dog had for sustenance was extremely dirty water and there was garbage everywhere, all of which Cudahy found to be evidence of severe neglect and animal cruelty so she immediately called Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) and asked if she could take her. They told her it was okay to do so as long as she could take the animal to a vet.
After freeing the dog, Cudahy immediate-ly took it to the Colonial Veterinary Hospital in Navan where they not only diagnosed the evident skin issues but also a UTI, and a recent miscarriage.
After the dog, which Cudahy named Kia, was cleaned up, she purchased the recom-mended medication and took Kia home to a safe environment where could heal over the course of the following four weeks.
After providing PAWS with the address where she found the dog, Cudahy waited for a response. It came in the form of a call from the OPP in early December, during which they informed her that a warrant had been issued for her arrest on charges of break and enter and theft over $5,000.
|Kia after Jessica Cudahy had nursed the dog back to health. PHOTO SUPPLIED
It was only after she called PAWS back and sent them pictures of Kia as she appeared when she was rescued, that the charges were dropped. PAWS then began a formal investigation during which Kia was taken from Cudahy and put into a PAWS shelter.
Remarkably, Kia was eventually given back to the owner. According to Cudahy, PAWS told her that there were no indications that dog had been abused in spite of the pictures she had provided them. Cudahy also tried to explain that the reason there were no signs of abuse was because she had nursed the dog back to health during the four weeks she had her.
Cudahy has tried to seek help from local politicians to rescue the animal, but no one seems to have any authority over PAWS which is an agency within the Ministry of the Solicitor General. At the very top of their website are the words, “Abuse and neglect of any animal is not tolerated in Ontario.”
The agency’s response to Cudahy’s com-plaint has called into question their actions.
In a letter to Conservative MPP Andrea Khanjin, whom Cudahy had asked for help in the matter, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General states... “In regard to this specific case, please note that this investigation is now closed, and follow-up inspections have been completed. The owner is in compliance with the PAWS Act and the animal was observed to be in good condition; no charges were laid.”
For legal reasons we can’t publish the name of the dog’s owner. However, the public is invited to visit a website Cudahy has set up at linktr.ee/jesscdhy where she has posted a video of Kia as she appeared when she found her, along with an online petition seeking “Justice for Kia” which has so far received over 5,956 signatures.