North Okanagan man whose dog overdosed on Ivermectin won't get animal back | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan man whose dog overdosed on Ivermectin won't get animal back

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A North Okanagan dog owner who refused medical care for his dying dog has lost an appeal after the dog was seized by the B.C. SPCA.

According to a Nov. 15 B.C. Farm Industry Review Board decision, Armstrong resident Romeo Leduc ignored professional medical advice and refused to acknowledge that treating his dog Rufus with the drug Ivermectin, was making the situation worse not better.

The decision said in earlier September, Leduc took Rufus to a vet because the dog was vomiting and not moving properly.

The vet told Leduc that Rufus needed immediate medical attention, but Leduc refused to hospitalize Rufus or provide the suggested care at home.

The vet released Rufus to Leduc on an "Against Veterinarian Medical Advice" basis.

Five days later the vet contacted the B.C. SPCA because it was concerned about Rufus.

The B.C. SPCA visited Leduc's Armstrong property that day and found Rufus walking with a wobble, had tremors and appearing disoriented.

"Rufus was drooling excessively, was lethargic, and his abdomen and back end were extremely sensitive," the decision read.

Rufus was then taken to a veterinarian hospital where he received lifesaving, emergency medical treatment for Ivermectin toxicity.

Rufus made a full recovery and was released into the care of the B.C. SPCA.

Leduc then appealed to have his dog returned.

The decision said Leduc's sister, Toni Leduc, testified that Rufus had eaten grapes from their vines which had then fermented in the dog's stomach. Toni said this was why the dog was walking with a wobble and had a sore abdomen.

Toni argued the dog would heal naturally and that they had no plans to take Rufus to a vet and that she does not believe in chemical interventions.

Neither sibling explained why if they didn't believe in chemical interventions they were happy to give Rufus Ivermectin.

The animal antiparasitic drug Ivermectin made headlines during the pandemic and was touted by some as a treatment for COVID-19 against the advice of the medical world.

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In their defence to get Rufus back, Toni argued that Canada is a corporation and that Canadian laws only apply to employees of that corporation and that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act didn't apply to them as they were not "part of the corporation."

Toni also accused the vet of fabricating her medical notes, without any evidence to support this.

Unsurprisingly, their appeal to get Rufus back didn't go well.

"At every point after that initial appointment, (Leduc) has ignored the medical advice that he has received from professionals and has refused to acknowledge the harm that he compounded by continuing to treat Rufus with Ivermectin," the review board said. "(Romeo) and Ms. Leduc have focused their efforts in this appeal on questioning Canadian laws, the veterinary medical system and the credibility of doctors."

The review board points out that Romeo and Toni have "continually refused" to accept expert medical opinion and said that Rufus’ condition came from the fermentation of grapes in his stomach.

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"This Panel is not satisfied that the (Leduc) will address Rufus’ medical needs in the future. In fact, the evidence in this appeal has shown that the interventions by (Leduc), if such a situation arises, may well add to rather than reduce the distress experienced by Rufus," the board said.

The review board found that Rufus couldn't be safely returned to Leduc as he had failed to take any responsibility for Rufus' distress.

Leduc will also have to pay $1,866 to cover vet bills and SPCA expenses since the dog was seized.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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