Napanee’s Count Your Blessings Farm back in court

Amanda Dowdall and Ryan Leduc who operate Count Your Blessings Farm seen here on Beechwood Road in Napanee, are charged under Section 23 of the Provincial Offences Act. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell/Kingstonist.

The case of a local horse farm facing a number of charges under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act came back very briefly before the court Wednesday, Jun. 7, 2023.

Amanda Dowdall and Ryan Leduc, who operate Count Your Blessings Farm on Beechwood Road in Napanee, are charged under Section 23 of the Provincial Offences Act.  The June 7, 2023 hearing was scheduled a month ago in order to facilitate a discussion between the prosecution and defence attorneys.  The couple did not attend the court in person.

The courtroom was empty but for Inspector Lori Lamb, who laid the charges, and members of the court, though more than 20 observed online.

The defence attorney for Dowdall and Leduc, appearing virtually via Zoom video conference, told the Justice of the Peace that he had not yet completed developing resolutions on the matter with the couple, and anticipated they would be finished by tomorrow, Thursday, Jun. 8, 2023.

A judicial pretrial date had already been tentatively set for July 11, 2023, at 9 am. It was agreed by the two parties to reconvene at that time with another date added for July 12 at 9 a.m. in case it is needed.

The charges laid by Inspector Lamb of Animal Welfare Services allege that, between June 14, 2022, and September 19, 2022, the co-accused couple, “being the person who owns or has custody or care of an animal,” each committed six violations of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

The six charges include:

  • permitting an animal to be in distress;
  • failure to comply with the prescribed standards of care for horses;
  • failure to comply with an order served on July 6, 2022;
  • knowingly or recklessly causing an animal to be exposed to undue risk of distress;
  • failure to provide a pen or other enclosed structure or area, where any surfaces, structures and materials in it, are made of and contain only materials that are, of a texture and design that will not bruise, cut or otherwise injure the animal;
  • failure to produce any animal or thing required by the Inspector in the course of the inspection, and providing any information relevant to the inspection in response to the inspectors’ questions.

Kingstonist will continue to provide coverage of this matter moving forward.

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