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'Very special day' as dogs at centre of abuse case reunite with SPCA staff
HALIFAX -- There was a happy reunion at the SPCA in Dartmouth as two dogs at the centre of a high-profile animal abuse case met with the people who rescued them and helped them on their road to recovery.
“Today was a very special day for us,” said Jo-Anne Landsburg, chief provincial inspector for the SPCA. “We got to see two of our friends come and visit us. It was very exciting to see them in good health.”
Meeka and Biscuit were seized from a home in Pictou County on Valentine’s Day, along with a dead dog and Meeka’s seven dead puppies.
Meeka sustained serious injuries, including head trauma, and Biscuit has been in palliative care since February.
Tuesday’s event celebrated their successful rehabilitation and offered a chance for SPCA staff, veterinarians, and other people involved in their rescue and recovery to reunite with the pups.
“The whole purpose of today was to bring everybody together under one roof who has not seen both of these animals in a very long time, so it’s important now to see that they’re healthy, they’re in good homes, they’re taken care of, they’re both doing very well, and we’re bringing light to all of that hard work that brought us here,” said Dr. Rhonda MacDonald, an emergency veterinarian.
“All of us at one point had something to do with her case and we all fell in love and that’s why we’re here.”
MacDonald said Meeka is doing well, but the abuse she suffered left her blind in one eye, and with nerve damage on the side of her face. She also faces some behavioural challenges.
“You can tell she’s a very caring dog, but she’s also very cautious of who she meets,” said MacDonald. “So there’s that personality trait that I don’t think is ever going to go away.”
Meeka spent some time in foster care before being adopted by the same veterinarian who cared for her.
“She is thriving. She is 100 per cent loved, she’s a very sweet dog, and she’s just doing amazing in her new home,” said MacDonald.
As for Biscuit, he remains in palliative care.
“He’s an older dog and does have some long-term medical issues, so he is with someone who is able to care for him and take care of those issues appropriately,” said MacDonald.
Landsburg said removing the dogs from the property in Sylvester, N.S., was a traumatic experience for the SPCA officers and noted that animal abuse is reported quite often in Nova Scotia.
“Having both Meeka and Biscuit come in today was very uplifting,” she said. “Our job is incredibly difficult on most days, you know, dealing with animal abuse and neglect, so to see the other side of things, see them come back in and visit us in such good health and good spirits, it was really uplifting for all of the staff today to see them come in.”
David Oakley has pleaded guilty to three animal-cruelty charges in connection with the case.
He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 12.