Sooke man disputes charge of animal cruelty

A Sooke psychiatrist is disputing a charge of animal cruelty in connection with the death of his dog.

“I’m really surprised and angry,” said Dr. Philip Ney, responding to the charges. “There was absolutely no intention to cause distress to this dog.”

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Ney, 82, said he took his six-year-old dog, Star, to the Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital in January when she was having trouble giving birth. The veterinarian told him the dog had a dead fetus stuck in her birth canal and would need a $4,800 surgery or would have to be euthanized.

“I said: ‘If the dog is going to die, it’s going to die at home where all my other dogs have died,’ ” Ney said.

Ney said he doesn’t believe that euthanasia is a more humane form of death and he could tell his dog was very uncomfortable in the veterinary hospital.

“She was terrified — she hates the place,” he said.

Ney said he couldn’t afford the surgery because he has a commitment to donating money for orphans in Central Africa.

Ney, a registered physician, said he gave Star antibiotics at home and made her comfortable in her heated dog house.

He said he then let the dog out to get some water and she disappeared. Ney was able to find her and bring her back, but she disappeared again.

“In my mind, she was doing everything to avoid me because she didn’t want me to take her back to that veterinary clinic,” he said.

An SPCA officer arrived at Ney’s Sooke home and Ney said the dog had run away. Ney and the animal rescue group FLED spent five days looking for Star. The FLED volunteers found the dog’s body. A necropsy found that at the time of death, her abdomen was filled with pus and she had a ruptured uterus.

Ney said the charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act make the presumption that the dog suffered while she died. “[The SPCA] never actually saw the dog in pain and suffering,” he said.

Ney is scheduled to appear on Aug. 3 at the Western Communities courthouse.

Original story

A psychiatrist and former school board trustee has been charged with animal cruelty in connection with the death of his dog, which died of a ruptured uterus.

Dr. Philip Ney, 82, has been charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. He is scheduled to appear on Aug. 3 at the Western Communities courthouse.

Ney’s six-year-old dog, Star, died in January after whelping puppies. Erika Paul, B.C. SPCA senior animal protection officer, said the dog had a dead fetus in her birthing canal. At the time of her death, her abdomen was filled with pus and her uterus had ruptured, Paul said. “She would have suffered an extremely painful death due to the lack of veterinary care.”

The dog was taken to a veterinarian’s office and was examined, but was taken away before she could be treated, the SPCA said.

The vet reported the incident to the SPCA, which is required under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

“If someone declines care for their pet and [the vet] believes the animal is in distress and they’re not taking steps to provide proper care, they have to report it to us,” Paul said. However, the law does not allow veterinarians to detain a dog if they are worried it will not receive proper care.

An SPCA officer who investigated was told the dog had run away. An animal search team called FLED searched for the dog for five days. She was dead when they found her. A necropsy confirmed the presence of the dead fetus, Paul said.

Ney, who lives in Sooke, was a Greater Victoria school board trustee for two terms in the 1970s and has been an independent candidate in federal elections.

He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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