Couple jailed over ‘very shocking’ abuse of dog

A Milton couple is going to jail in what animal care workers are calling a “very shocking” animal cruelty case.

The Oakville and Milton Humane Society said incarceration is very, very rare in animal law.

“The sentencing is one of the most severe in our history,” said media relations officer Brenda Dushko. “It really gives us hope about the future of animal welfare.”

Laura Mackasey of OMHS found Mea, a 5-year-old Victorian bulldog/ Sharpei cross, emaciated and tied to a string in an unheated garage in January.

The dog was without food or water, and had severe glaucoma in her eye, which later had to be removed.

“(Mackasey) sees these things all the time, but she was quite shocked when she opened the garage door and saw the shape of the dog,” Dushko said.

Charges were laid in January, but because of the “legal process,” Mea was placed back in her owner’s care for a time while the case was ongoing.

In addition to a fine of $5,000 and probation, owner Natasha Janajevic will spend 45 days in jail on weekends after she was found guilty of one count of causing distress to an animal, and one count of permitting distress to an animal.

Her partner, Steven Lopez, will spend 30 days in jail for the same charges. He was also fined $5,000.

The couple is also banned from owning, caring for or residing with an animal for 10 years.

After today’s sentencing, Mea was placed back in the care of the Humane Society and was taken to a local veterinary clinic for assessment.

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