Animal cruelty probe underway at Ontario property

Ontario’s animal welfare organization says a hoarding issue may have contributed to a situation at an abandoned rural property where local rescue groups say they’ve found dozens of cats, both dead and alive.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it is in the midst of an animal cruelty probe, which began in December, involving a home and a barn in Beamsville, Ont., in the Niagara Region.

No charges have been laid in the case but the OSPCA said it has been working with a woman who they said used to rent the home on the property.

“It did appear to be a hoarding situation,” spokeswoman Alison Cross said Monday. “We were there, feeding animals, going back daily, addressing any concerns of animals that might have been appearing — they are roaming outside, so it’s not easy to find them all.”

The woman who lived on the property may also have been collecting dead animals “from roadkill and other things,” and putting them in barrels that have been found at the site, Cross said.

Local animal rescue organizations recently became involved in efforts to care for cats found alive on the property.

Pam Huson, who runs the Beamsville 4Paw Rescue, said the animal control organization in the area asked her and several other rescue groups on July 19 for help dealing with the situation.

“It was a nightmare,” she said, noting that cats had overrun the property.

Huson said her organization saved about 70 cats from the site and another group, Project Save A Cat’s Life, said it rescued about 30 cats.

The groups also found dozens of dead felines, Huson said.

The dead cats were found inside the home near windows and doors, which were riddled with scratch marks, Huson said.

“The stench was so awful that we were throwing up,” Huson said.

The groups also found the bodies of dead cats inside rain barrels on the property, Huson said.

“We followed the flies and the maggots and the birds and the stench and that led us to the barrels,” she said. “It was shocking.”

In all, Huson said rescue groups have counted 153 dead cats and four dead dogs found on the property so far.

Just Posted

WATCH: A Russian new year party in Red Deer

Hundreds fill the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for the 10th Russian Children’s New Year Party

Car hits moose north of Red Deer, driver in hospital with life threatening injuries

One person was airlifted to hospital, and another taken by ambulance after… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages to close in 2018

This will be the last Christmas for Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages.… Continue reading

Celestial light show can be seen over Red Deer this week

Local students stay up to watch the meteor shower

Businesses to gather to talk about crime

Red Deer Downtown Business Association understands challenges

Watch: Man plays flaming bagpipes while riding a unicycle in a ‘Star Wars’ costume

The sight of Darth Vader, riding a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes,… Continue reading

Dying man’s wish to see new ‘Star Wars’ movie coming true

A dying man’s wish to see the new “Star Wars” movie is… Continue reading

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month