Esquimalt First Nations Chief Andrew Thomas and his wife, Mary Anne, have been charged with animal cruelty. It is alleged by the BC SPCA that the couple failed to provide veterinary care for their dog Chewy, a Shih tzu, causing pain, suffering or injury to an animal and neglecting or failing to provide necessities. In July, the BC SPCA responded to a call about a dog tethered outside a home, though the organization was unable to contact the owners. The next day, someone took the dog to the vet, and while the injuries were treatable, the owners chose to have Chewy euthanized. It was badly matted, filthy and suffering with an infection in his eye that had been left untreated, causing a rupture, they report. If convicted, the maximum jail sentence is five years. A maximum fine of $10,000 could be levied, as well as a ban on owning animals for as long as a lifetime. Currently, the couple is not allowed to possess animals.
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