Binnersley v BCSPCA, 2014 BCSC 2338 (CanLII)

The petitioner, Binnersley, sought an order for the return of the dog, Bandit, and applied for a judicial review of a decision of the British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board (“FIRB”).

The dog was hit by a car and suffered a leg injury. The petitioner took the dog to a veterinarian and was told that the dog needed surgery and pain control, however, Binnersley left the veterinarian with the dog. After failing to receive confirmation that the dog had received the necessary treatment, the veterinarian submitted a complaint to the BCSPCA.

An agent of the BCSPCA obtained a warrant after the RCMP observed Bandit walking around on three legs. The warrant was executed and Bandit was taken into BCSPCA custody, and a course of veterinary care began.

After conducting a review of the decision to take custody of Bandit on application of the petitioner, the chief prevention and enforcement officer of the BCSPCA concluded that (1) the seizure of Bandit had taken place in accordance with the PCAA, (2) Bandit would not be returned to the petitioner, and (3) the boarding expenses ($365.00) and costs of BCSPCA-directed veterinary care ($2,248.87) were to be paid by the petitioner. The FIRB then heard the petitioner’s appeal from the BCSPCA decision and dismissed the appeal.

The petitioner submitted that the FIRB decision ought to be set aside for the following reasons:

1. The adjudicator erred in her interpretation of s. 11 of the PCAA or, in the alternative, in failing to refer a question of law in this regard to the Court for determination.

2. The adjudicator erred by failing to find that the search warrant was invalid or by not deciding this issue or, in the further alternative, by failing to refer a question of law in this regard to the Court for determination.

3. The adjudicator failed to conduct a fair hearing, in particular by admitting into evidence affidavits from BCSPCA personnel over the objection of the petitioner.

The Court ordered that the amended petition be dismissed, but struck out the liability of Mr. Binnersley to pay $2,588.69 to the BCSPCA.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: appealcarcomplaintcustodydistressdoginjuryLegseizeSPCAsurgeryveterinarian

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