Victoria woman charged with animal cruelty after cat dies from flea infestation

SPCA constable encourages owners to keep pets' fleas in check

A Victoria woman has been charged with animal cruelty, after a heavily flea-infested, sickly cat rescued from a Gorge Road residence died in March.

A veterinarian who arrived at the home after being called by a family member was told the three-year-old Persian hadn’t eaten in four days and was lying in her box howling in pain, according to the vet’s report. The cat, which was lethargic and unresponsive, died of cardiac arrest a short time after the intervention, having lost blood and suffered other complications due to the flea infestation, said B.C. SPCA special constable Erika Paul.

She admitted the case may not have been uncovered had the veterinarian not been called to check on the problem with the cat. The charges were based on evidence from the veterinarian.

“Most of our investigations are complaint driven,” Paul said.

While fleas are common around Greater Victoria, serious infestations can be easy to spot, she said, by the animal constantly scratching, as well as humans sustaining numerous flea bites.

Infestations leading to death are more common in younger animals whose immune systems are not as developed, Paul said.

Maureen Silva, charged Tuesday after an investigation, makes her first court appearance Aug. 29 to face animal cruelty charges under the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

If found guilty, she faces a fine of up to $10,000, a maximum of 18 months jail time and a prohibition on owning animals.

In general, it costs about $20 a month for dogs and $18 for cats to keep flea problems under control, Paul said.

“The bottom line is if they have a pet, take care of them,” she said. “If (the animal seems) uncomfortable, address that. There’s very effective flea products out there.”

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Oak Bay teen targets 1,000 toys

Toy drive for Stan Hagen Centre For Families is Dec. 15 and 16 on Oak Bay Avenue

Saanich residents deliver notice to Capital Regional District

Grange Road residents fear the loss of up to 50 trees

Victoria Police investigate stabbing in restaurant on Douglas Street

Police were called to the 800-block around 1:30 p.m.

‘Fix Canada First’ posters found at Victoria bus stops

At least five posters found along Douglas Street

Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

Municipality accused of caving to small minority of park users

WATCH: Hundreds of gifts go out to Victoria’s Our Place patrons

The Angel Gifts Program saw 700 Christmas presents go out to the community

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Vancouver Island man named Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay’s Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Most Read