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Judge to rule in Cape Breton animal cruelty case

ESKASONI, N.S. — An Eskasoni man could learn his fate in September after being charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

Edwin Michael Paul, 22, is charged with causing an animal to be in distress and with failing to provide adequate medical attention to an injured animal.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on Mountain Road between Sept. 3-10, 2015.

Paul was called to pick up a dog that was reported as being aggressive with other dogs.

In fact, Emma, a black and white coloured mixed breed, had already killed another dog after freeing herself from her backyard leash.

According to an agreed statement of facts between the Crown and the defence, Paul took Emma to the woods along Mountain Road, tethered her inside a cage and fired two shots. Paul was filling in for his father, who was responsible for dog control, but was away fishing on the day in question.

Believing the dog was dead, Paul left the animal in the woods untethered and uncaged.

Three days later, Emma came limping back into the community, showing up on the doorstep of her owner.

“We cried for days in seeing her come back to the house,” said Lisa Dipietro-Denny, whose older brother Sam was Emma’s main caregiver.

During an interview with the Cape Breton Post, she said the family inherited Emma from another family in the community.

In the statement of facts, it was noted that Emma suffered two gunshot wounds — one through her abdomen that nicked a piece of her liver and the other in the knee.

Dipietro-Denny said if Paul is found guilty, she wants him to pay the vet bill of $350 for having Emma examined after her ordeal.

She said while it wasn’t bad enough to have been shot, Emma was also pregnant at the time and would later give birth to more than a dozen puppies.

She said the injury to the leg caused Emma considerable pain and was crippling her.

“She was constantly limping and in pain,” she said, adding Emma was eventually put down.

“We are still furious today over the whole thing. All she (Emma) ever wanted was to be loved,” said Dipietro-Denny, adding the community now uses the SPCA for animal control.

The court record also indicates that Paul gave a statement to RCMP in which he admits he thought the dog was dead and felt bad in learning the injured dog had returned to the community.

Both the Crown and defence are now scheduled to give closing submissions in the case Sept.12.

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