Judge Patrick Kennedy will hand down his decision Dec. 10 in the case of the two Hillview residents who are charged with animal cruelty.
Murlin Price and Jacqueline Cooper are charged with unlawful animal suffering and willful neglect of an animal in relation to the case of Max, a German Shepherd mix breed seized from their home by the SPCA in March of this year.
The trial began last month with testimony by the RCMP officer and SPCA special constables who went to the couple’s home in Hillview and seized the animal.
A couple of days after the German Shepherd was brought to the SPCA, the dog was euthanized on the advice of a veterinarian. It was determined he was too ill to recover.
During the court proceedings on Tuesday of this week, Murlin Price was called to testify.
While Price was on the stand for questioning, a video of Max was played. Max could be seen walking on his knuckles instead of the pads of his paws, and with much difficulty.
Judge Patrick Kennedy asked Price if Max was walking like that when the SPCA picked him up, to which Price replied, “Pretty much, yeah.”
Kennedy rephrased his question, asking Murlin if Max was walking on his knuckles, to which Murlin replied, “No, he was not.”
Price’s father, Harvey, also testified at the trial.
He told the court he visited the couple two or three times a week and when asked about Max’s physical condition, he said, “He could walk, he could eat, but I knew he was old.”
He told the court Max’s legs were giving out, but said it was something that happens to all German Shepherds.
Raymond Price, a distant relative and neighbour of Price and Cooper, was also questioned.
Raymond said Max was “Murlin’s buddy.”
When defense attorney Randy Piercey asked whether Max was fed often, Raymond said, “I never saw the bowl empty.”
Raymond said he never saw Max walk on his knuckles, but said his legs were shaky in the last few months before the SPCA seized him.
“He was an old dog and he looked like an old dog,” he said.
Judge Kennedy told the court he requires time to review the case.
He will hand down his decision on Monday, Dec. 10, at 1:30 p.m. in provincial court in Clarenville.