A grisly find in a park west of Toronto has sparked an investigation into animal cruelty.
On Sunday afternoon, a dead cat was found in a garbage bin at Smyth Park in Etobicoke. Its limbs had been tied and the body wrapped in a pillow case and a cloth bag. The cat had also been doused in an unknown purple substance.
“It was reported to the police and the police asked us to investigate,” said Alison Cross, communications manager at the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“It’s ongoing. The cat’s been sent to Guelph for a necropsy,” she said.
Animal cruelty is a crime in Canada. The Ontario SPCA, a registered charity, has a legal mandate to investigate cases and enforce animal cruelty laws in Ontario.
While the agency has police-like powers, the penalties meted out in cases it prosecutes rarely reach the maximum two-year prison sentence provided for in the legislation.
A North York man recently pleaded guilty under the Ontario SPCA Act to causing an animal distress after he confined a raccoon to a live trap for more than two weeks without providing the animal food, water or proper shelter.
Giovanni Marchese was handed a $1,000 fine, two years probation and a lifetime ban on using live traps.
Raccoons were the victims again, in late May, when a Toronto man allegedly attacked a family of them with a shovel.
In that case, Dong Nguyen was charged with cruelty to animals and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. While his case has yet to be heard, it has sparked both condemnation and sympathy from Toronto residents.
Anyone with information on the Smyth Park cat case is urged to contact the Ontario SPCA at 1-888-668-7722, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or Toronto Police Detective Falconer at 416-808-1200.