FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Colborne, ON (December 18, 2018) – A 58-year-old woman has pled guilty under provincial animal welfare legislation following an investigation relating to the welfare of 57 dogs and four cats that were removed from her care by the Ontario SPCA.

Karen Nixon pled guilty in a Cobourg Provincial Offences Court on December 17, 2018 to permitting animals to be in distress. The Justice of Peace sentenced Nixon to a lifetime ban on owning, having custody of or caring for dogs. 

An Ontario SPCA officer executed a warrant on March 21, 2018 at a home in Colborne after receiving a concern relating to the health of a large number of dogs on the property. Upon entering the house, the officer discovered a large number of Golden Retriever-type dogs in poor body condition that were living in unsanitary conditions.

Orders were issued under the Ontario SPCA Act to have the dogs examined by a veterinarian, develop a nutrition plan with a veterinarian and to improve sanitation and ventilation within the home.

The Ontario SPCA attempted to work with the owner to gain compliance of regulatory standards of care outlined under provincial animal welfare legislation. However, ongoing concerns for the welfare of the animals necessitated their removal. The Ontario SPCA executed a warrant on June 13, 2018 and removed 57 dogs and four cats under the certificate of a veterinarian. The animals were subsequently rehomed through the Ontario SPCA and Affiliate humane societies.

“This individual found herself in a position where she had more animals than she could properly care for,” says Bonnie Bishop, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “We educate wherever possible, but we will enforce provincial animal welfare legislation if animals are not receiving the care they require under provincial animal welfare legislation.”

To report animal cruelty, contact the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722).



Melissa Kosowan        
Ontario SPCA


The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is a registered charity, established in 1873. The Society and its network of animal welfare communities facilitate and provide for province-wide leadership on matters relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals and the promotion of animal well-being. Offering a variety of mission-based programs including community-based sheltering, animal wellness services, provincial animal transfers, shelter health & wellness, high-volume spay/neuter services, animal rescue, animal advocacy, Indigenous partnership programs and humane education, the Ontario SPCA is Ontario’s animal welfare charity.