The owners of the Beauharnois-based Refuge SPCA Monani-Mo were arrested on August 10 in connection with charges of animal abuse and cruelty.
A warrant had been issued earlier in the week for Maurice Bernard, 51, and Mona Chouinard, 48, who turned themselves in at the Chateauguay police station. The pair appeared the same day at the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield courthouse.
Bernard was charged with three counts of willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering, and injury to an animal, and failing to provide adequate food, water, and care to domestic and wild animals in his care or control. Chouinard was also charged with failure to provide adequate food, water, and care for domestic and wild animals in her care or control.
The incidents are alleged to have occurred at the shelter.
Several municipalities, including many in the Haut-Saint-Laurent, have signed animal control contracts with the Refuge SPCA Monani-Mo. On August 15, the municipality of Beauharnois officially cancelled its animal control contract with the shelter. Copies of the decision by the Beauharnois council were sent to other municipalities that have partnered with the organization.
A statement issued by the municipality of Sainte-Barbe notes that the council is taking the accusations facing the owners of the shelter very seriously. A special working meeting is planned to address the situation and establish concrete measures to ensure the well-being of animals within the municipality.
Around 20 citizens and former employees of Refuge SPCA Monani-Mo protested outside the SPCA building on August 16, demanding the owners close the shelter. (SR)