Dr. Stephen Sheridan, the former chief veterinarian of the Toronto Humane Society, pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to comply with the conditions of a Wildlife Custodian Authorization and was fined $1,000.
The court heard that between July 4, 2007, and October 10, 2008, Dr. Sheridan was ultimately responsible for the violation of three conditions of his Wildlife Custodian Authorization.
Dr. Sheridan pleaded guilty to the release of raccoons on property in the Newmarket area, more than one kilometre from where they were captured. The authorization prohibits releasing raccoons more than one kilometre from point of capture in order to prevent the spread of diseases that they might carry.
Dr. Sheridan also pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Area Manager of the Ministry of Natural Resources of receiving a specimen that is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario list, and to failing to enter required information into the logbook within 24 hours on many occasions.
Keeping proper records and ensuring that the ministry is aware of the intake of Species at Risk in Ontario is necessary to ensure that all wildlife is properly handled by a wildlife custodian, and to enable the ministry to intervene, if necessary.
Justice of the Peace Jay Hong heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto, February 16, 2012.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, prohibits any person from keeping live game wildlife or live specially protected wildlife in captivity except under the authority of a Wildlife Custodian Authorization and in accordance with the regulations. Wildlife custodians are authorized to provide specialized temporary care to sick, injured and orphaned wildlife so that they can be returned to the wild.
To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).