WARNING: This story contains graphic images and details not suitable for all readers.
The Hamilton-Burlington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is investigating after a 12-week-old puppy’s ears were brutally mutilated, possibly with a pair of scissors.
“Her ears were inhumanely cut off without anesthetic,” Michelle Kozak told Global News.
“I have never seen anyone do such a horrific, mean, cruel, mutilating thing to any animal.”
Kozak, who has worked in the veterinary field for more than 10 years, said she was contacted last weekend in an urgent effort to get the dog immediate care.
She said she picked up the puppy at an apartment and rushed her to her own vet for antibiotics, much needed pain medication, and ultimately surgery.
The dog, who Kozak said she has named ‘Justice’ because she hopes whoever was cruel to the puppy will see some form of justice, is now healing in the care of a foster family while the SPCA investigates the potential case of animal cruelty.
“I can’t even wrap my head around it, why someone would think this is a great idea,” Kozak said, acknowledging this incident is a potential hack job at a practice known as ‘cropping.’
Ear cropping and tail docking are legal in Ontario, one of only two provinces in Canada that have not banned the cosmetic procedures on dogs.
There is strong opposition to the practice by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, which “opposes the alteration of any animal by surgical or other invasive methods for cosmetic or competitive purposes.”
“I don’t do it. I don’t agree with it. I don’t support it,” Dr. Kathleen Alcock, a veterinarian and owner of Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital, said.
Like many vets in Toronto, Alcock said she is against cropping.
“These have become breed standard, so if you go to a dog show they’re judged on how good the crop is, how good the tail is,” she said.
“What you need to do is ultimately have the rules changes around the breed to withdraw that necessity.”
But Alcock said Justice experienced was not aesthetic cropping.
“This was 100 per cent cruelty,” she said.
“This puppy could have easily bled out because she cut through, or he cut through, the artery that goes to the ear so that would have created a lot a lot of bleeding.”
While the SPCA investigates the potential case of animal cruelty, Justice will remain in the care of a foster family.