Dog owner with ‘degree in herbal medicine’ ignored vet’s advice: trial


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Faced with potentially high veterinary bills, Andrico Reid treated his sick dog with tea tree oil and oil of oregano

Front entrance to the Calgary Courts Centre. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

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If Calgary dog ​​owner Andrico Reid had followed veterinary advice for treating his pet she would not have suffered severely before having to be euthanized, a prosecutor said Friday.

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And Jo-Ann Munn Gafuik said proper care for Seiko, a four-year-old Dogo Argentino-type canine, would have likely saved the animal’s life.

But the lawyer for Reid, Parbinder Bhangu, said his client attempted to care for his pet using alternative methods and never intended Seiko to suffer.

Faced with potentially high veterinary bills, Reid turned to treating Seiko’s severe skin disease with things like tea tree oil and oil of oregano.

“This is not a dog owner who’s neglected an animal,” Bhangu told provincial court Judge Peter Barley.

But in seeking a conviction on two Criminal Code charges of animal cruelty and one under the provincial Animal Protection Act, Munn Gafuik said Reid simply decided he knew best how to care for his dog, which led to excruciating pain for Seiko before she was euthanized in July 2020.

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The prosecutor noted the dog was grossly underweight in February 2019, the last time Reid took her for veterinary care after the Calgary Humane Society initially intervened.

His attitude was “he knew what was best for Seiko,” she said.

Munn Gafuik said Reid told Dr. Iain Chynoweth “that he had a degree in herbal medicine and that was the medicine he believed in.”

By the time humane society officers seized the dog on July 5, 2020, after a citizen spotted the dog on Reid’s balcony and called authorities, Seiko was severely emaciated.

Kimberly Grouette, who saw Seiko at Reid’s 44th Street SE fourplex, described the dog as “skin and bone.”

“Essentially just skin on a skeleton,” Munn Gafuik told Barley. “She was completely emaciated to the point where she could barely stand.”

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The prosecutor said that while Reid told authorities he was regularly feeding his dog, it was certainly not adequately.

The veterinarian who examined Seiko when she was ultimately seized, Dr. Margaret Doyle said if the animal had been completely starved it would have taken four to six weeks to get to the shape she was in.

“Seiko would’ve felt hungry all the time,” Munn Gafuik said. “In Dr. Doyle’s words, her suffering was immense.”

Doyle said the dog’s skin problem was an autoimmune disease which would likely have resulted in a full recovery 80 per cent of the time if she was properly prescribed steroids.

Barley will hand down a verdict on July 15.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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