Province, police investigating allegations of animal cruelty at Scugog farm
Bryann Aguilar and Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:57PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:50AM EDT
A number of animals are being rescued from a farm in Scugog, where an animal welfare group said they discovered animals in "horrendous" conditions.
Dogs Tales Rescue and Sanctuary posted a video on social media Monday showing mud-covered pigs, tied-up cows, dead and fly-covered animals and bones all over the property.
Both the Durham Regional police and the province's inspector of animal welfare said they are investigating allegations of animal cruelty following the group's call for action.
Cassandra Ferrante of Dog Tales told CP24 another person alerted their group to the situation following the deaths of three calves.
Ferrante said the owner of the farm permitted them to look around and that's when they discovered the "horrendous" living condition of the animals.
Late Tuesday, Dog Tales owner Danielle Eden-Schienberg said she had made a successful offer to purchase five pigs, a calf and two cows who were in most desperate need of proper care.
However she said that still leaves some 20-30 cows on the property.
Reached by phone, Mike Medd, the son of the farm's owner said that the family is "mad" because they feel the video was filmed under false pretenses.
He said that their farming practices are in keeping with regular farming practices and that they would have more to say after a vet had looked at the animals.
"It's different when you don't live on a farm and you see things on a farm," he said.
Ferrante said her group initially alerted the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals but the agency redirected them to a provincial animal cruelty hotline.
Earlier this year, the OSPCA, who has been enforcing animal cruelty laws in Ontario for a century, announced that it would no longer investigate and enforce the laws.
The move followed a court ruling that found the charitable group had improperly been given enforcement powers without proper oversight of their activities. For its part, the OSPCA said that it had been underfunded by the province for years.
In June, Ontario's solicitor general launched a 24-hour animal-cruelty hotline, with new legislation expected to be introduced this fall.
Ferrante said her group had called the number multiple times all day, but they did not get any response.
"It's really horrible that there's no one from animal cruelty ... to check the animals," she said.
Ferrante said the interim measures put in place by the provincial government are not helping.
"This new process is definitely not working. We saw it first-hand today," she said.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the solicitor general said in an email that they are aware of the situation and a provincial animal protection inspector has been in contact with police.
"As this matter is under investigation the ministry is not able to comment further," the statement read. "Our priority remains the protection of animals across this province and we will continue to work with local authorities when animal protection matters are reported to the ministry."
Ferrante said she and Eden-Schienber plan to stay on the property until the animals get proper care and attention.
"We're not going anywhere," said Ferrante.
Police said they have called for a veterinarian will be coming to the farm to check on the conditions of the animal.