SUDBURY -- A court case continues for a Sudbury man charged with animal cruelty after a video surfaced allegedly showing him pulling a German shepherd off the ground by its leash.

The 62-year-old local man was arrested and charged on Oct. 25 in connection to a video that went viral on social media, but was later released.

At his latest scheduled court appearance on Feb. 12, the case was put over once again until May.

The case has not yet gone to trial and the charge has not been proven in court.

Pollyana Reed is the Northern Animal Welfare Unit inspector for the Sudbury District.

"Regarding the case that is currently before the courts, the Greater Sudbury Police Service lead their own investigation and the Northern Animal Welfare Unit was not involved," said Reed.

Since the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) ceased its services on Jun. 28, the Northern Animal Welfare Unit has taken on the responsibility for animal welfare investigations in the northeast region of Ontario, as the province transitions to its new enforcement model.

The Northern Animal Welfare Unit is overseen by Timmins and District Humane Society and has inspectors stationed in municipalities around the region.

In a statement to CTV News, Reed explains the current investigation process:

"Animal Welfare investigations are typically initiated once a call of concern is placed to the Ontario Animal Protection Call Centre. The call is then dispatched to the appropriate region for investigation.

Currently, the Northern Animal Welfare Unit enforces the OSPCA Act. Under section 14(1) of the OSPCA Act, animals can only be removed in order to provide food, care or treatment to relieve distress when:

  1. A veterinarian has examined the animal and has advised that the health and well-being of the animal necessitates its removal;
  2. The inspector has inspected the animal and has reasonable grounds for believing that the animal is in distress and the owner/custodian is not present and cannot be found promptly; or
  3. An order respecting the animal has been made under section 13 and the order has not been complied with."

Reed says it is the court, not the animal welfare inspector or police that decides the person's sentence and whether they should be prohibited from owning or living with any animal for any length of time.

"Typically, in police lead investigations, the Northern Animal Welfare Unit can provide assistance, support and resources to the police. However, the direction that a case takes is solely up to the discretion of police," said Reed.

CTV News will continue to follow the case.


On Jan. 22, the case was put over again until Feb. 12.