Charges laid against owner of dog abandoned at Kelowna shelter

Charges of animal cruelty have now been laid against a Kelowna man who abandoned his critically ill dog last month.

Dave Schamerhorn faces charges under both the Criminal Code of Canada and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act after his female Labrador-cross dog was dumped in the Kelowna SPCA parking lot at 4:30 a.m. on March 14.

Schamerhorn was later identified with the help of local media and the public.

The beige and white dog, who was seen on SPCA shelter security cameras being taken from a dark-coloured truck and pulled across the parking lot, was muzzled and left tied to the front of the shelter. When SPCA staff arrived to work they rushed the critically ill dog for veterinary care but she had to be euthanized later that day due to a severe neurological condition.

“It is clear from viewing the video footage that her condition deteriorated dramatically from the time she was abandoned to when we found her,” said Sabrina Fedorak, manager of the Kelowna SPCA Branch.

“We wish we could have saved her life but it just wasn’t possible given her level of suffering and distress. At least we have the comfort of knowing that we were able to seek justice on her behalf.”

Fedorak said that Schamerhorn had many other humane options he could have taken rather than abandoning his sick dog. “The SPCA is here to help and there are veterinarians who offer reduced rates and so many other options for people to seek help,” said Fedorak. “To just leave your animal alone in critical condition, knowing no one will find her for hours, is just not acceptable.”

BC SPCA constable Linda Walker, lead investigator for the case, said the SPCA is hoping Schamerhorn will be prohibited from owning animals if convicted.

Schamerhorn’s first court appearance will be on May 16, 2011 at 1:30  p.m.

The BC SPCA conducts more than 7,000 cruelty investigations a year and is reliant on donations from the public to continue its work. To find out how you can help, please visit


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