Cornwall women plead guilty to animal neglect; receive fines, ownership bans

Entrance for the SD&G Provincial Offences Act courtroom at 26 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Two Cornwall woman have been fined, banned from owning animals and will have to perform community service as part of their sentence for causing distress to a couple of dogs.

Darlene Bender, 52, and Sara Bender, 30, both pleaded guilty to causing distress to an animal under the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act during an appearance in Cornwall Provincial Offences Act (POA) court last week (Oct. 9).

Darlene Bender will have to pay $250 restitution to the OSPCA and will be on probation for six months. During that time she has to perform 10 hours community service.

She is not allowed to own or care for animals for five years. However, the court did make an exception that she may keep a dog and three cats she already owns. But she has to get rid of a litter of kittens by the end of this month (October 2018).

Sara Bender received a harsher sentence. The younger Bender is ordered to make $500 restitution and will be on probation for two years. She has to perform 25 hours community service. She is banned from owning or caring for animals for 10 years.

The humane society found two severely emaciated dogs – both Boxer mixes – at a city home in October 2016 after receiving an anonymous tip. The dogs – a black-coloured male and red-coloured female – were treated by a veterinarian.

A third person accused in the case, Roy Langevin, had his charges withdrawn by the Crown in January. The series of events outlined by the OSPCA in 2016 suggest Langevin had no direct involvement in the dog’s care. The dogs have been moved to his home in an attempt to cover up the neglect from the OSPCA during its investigation.

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