Statement of Account (AWS)

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Caselaw.Ninja, Riverview Group Publishing 2021 ©
Date Retrieved: 2024-07-20
CLNP Page ID: 1856
Page Categories: [Animal Control (POA)]
Citation: Statement of Account (AWS), CLNP 1856, <https://rvt.link/76>, retrieved on 2024-07-20
Editor: Sharvey
Last Updated: 2024/02/15

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Ishankova v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector, 2022 ONACRB 3 (CanLII)[1]

[13] The appellant did not contest the above facts, the circumstances on the day of the cats’ removal, the conduct of the inspector, nor the Statement of Account. The appellant submits that she does not have the ability to pay the Statement of Account.

[14] The appellant submitted that she had recently been divorced without receiving any money from this, was on ODSP and was losing her apartment. She provided a statement showing her monthly payment of ODSP being $1,169.00. Her income in 2019 was $7,136.66 for 2019 and $12,675.76 for 2020.

...

[17] The appellant submitted that she rented a UHAUL vehicle and cages for the cats and was trying to navigate a difficult situation related to her housing difficulties. She states that the picture painted by the AWS notes are not accurate to the extent that they infer that she was had ill intents with the animals. She submitted that she loves cats and intended no harm. She was financially strained due to her divorce and housing difficulties. She sought help from members of her community, but despite her efforts she did not succeed. She also submitted she had a language barrier. Despite the Statement of Account being otherwise reasonable – in that it was accurate and reflected actual costs incurred – the appellant submitted that her ability to pay (based on the disclosure provided) warrants a variation of the amounts owed.

[18] The AWS submitted in response that they cannot be responsible for absorbing costs of this nature. There were significant health concerns for the cats. They did not seek to punish the appellant, and the Statement of Account represents the cost of care for the cats while under AWS care at the shelter. In their submission, the wellness of the animals is to be considered on a plain reading of the act and capacity to pay is not found as a criterion to consider under s. 39 of the Act. According to the AWS, the legislative intent of the Act is therefore to prevent neglect and cruelty and to provide a framework for accountability through removal of animals and accounts to relieve distress. The AWS submits that accounts should only be varied where distress was not demonstrated.

[19] The appellant did state there were relevant cases from the Board where the ability to pay was considered. This criterion has been applied by the Board, such as in Jackson v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector, 2021 ONACRB 4, where member Foot considered the reasonableness of the amounts charged in the context of the appellant’s ability to pay and the source of income of the appellant.

[20] I find that while the Act does not specifically state how the ability to pay is to be considered, it does not specifically bar it from being considered. The power accorded to the Board is to confirm, revoke or vary a Statement of Account. I find that this power has to be applied with a view to the legislative intent but also to the case-specific elements of the case.

[21] The most important consideration in this case is the distress experienced by the cats. This was not contested, and the evidence showed that it was serious and affected many animals. Thus, it would not be appropriate to revoke the Statement of Account entirely.

[22] Secondly, in considering the appellant’s circumstances, I find that she has accepted the harm done, has shown that she does receive a very limited income through ODSP payments and has demonstrated difficulties in navigating this situation. Her willingness to pay something was clear at the hearing, but her inability to pay everything was also clear.

[23] Thus, I find that the Appellant cannot satisfy the Statement of Account, even if she was given a substantial amount of time to pay. I vary the Statement of Account to ensure that the appellant contributes to the alleviation of the animals’ distress that were under her care and control. I vary the Statement of Account to $150 dollars a month for one year.

[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ishankova v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector, 2022 ONACRB 3 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/jlrvc>, retrieved on 2022-01-29