PRESS RELEASE: Lower Sackville Man Receives Jail Time for Animal Cruelty

Posted on: Friday, October 21st, 2016

Dartmouth (October 21, 2016) – A Lower Sackville man has been handed jail time after pleading guilty to a charge under the Animal Protection Act. Michael Cairns, of Lower Sackville was charged for confining 19 cats to an enclosure or area with unsanitary conditions, so as to significantly impair the animal’s health; contrary to section 22 (d) of the Animal Protection Act.

On December 11, 2014 the Nova Scotia SPCA received a complaint of a terrible smell coming from Mr. Cairns apartment. On December 12th, 2014, SPCA officers attended the home of Mr. Cairns. Upon entry to the apartment, unsanitary conditions were noted and 4 cats were released to the officers.

On December 12th, 2014, lead investigator Sgt. Nancy Noel, and Sp. Cst. Landsburg returned to Mr. Cairn’s apartment where they removed an additional 15 cats from the unsanitary apartment. The animals were all taken to the SPCA Provincial Animal Shelter where six 6 cats had to be humanely euthanized and the remainder were placed for adoption after receiving veterinarian care.

Cairns was handed a 30-day remand to the Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth on October 20, 2016. Cairns also received a lifetime ban on owning any animals and is prohibited from residing in a home where animals are housed. In addition to the prohibition order, Mr. Cairns received probation for a period of 12 months and is ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2000.00 payable to the Nova Scotia SPCA.

“I am incredibly pleased with the sentence given” stated Joanne Landsburg, SPCA Provincial Chief Inspector.  “This is the first we have seen jail time given for a violation under Nova Scotia Animal Protection Act.” Chief Landsburg goes on to say “The efforts of the SPCA Investigators and Janine Kidd, the Crown Prosecutor, were exceptional and I am grateful that the Justice Department has taken these charges seriously”.

Cairns had previously been convicted under the criminal code for similar offences in 2011 where he received an 18-month prohibition from owning animals and was ordered to pay $1000.00 restitution to the NS SPCA which was never received.

The NS SPCA operates on a policy of zero tolerance for animal cruelty and sets the standard of animal care for the province of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia SPCA urges you to report acts of animal cruelty.

If you witness an act of animal cruelty, please contact our confidential toll free hotline at:

1 (888) 703-7722.



Media Contact
Sp/Cst Jo-Anne Landsburg
Chief Inspector
Tel: 902-835-4798 ext 225
Fax: 902-835-7885 | E-mail: