SURREY — A woman who tortured a Surrey family’s pet dog in 2015 has received two years probation.
Lindsey Susan Hirtreiter plead guilty to causing an animal to continue to be in distress in Surrey Provincial Court Monday morning. She was banned from ever owning an animal in addition to probation.
A charge of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal was stayed. The judge accepted the defence’s argument that Hirtreiter had been in a psychotic state during the attack, reported CTV News, and that she apologized repeatedly in court.
SPCA animal cruelty investigator Eileen Drever described the incident, which took place in Surrey’s Chimney Hill neighbourhood, as “absolutely horrific.” Ryder the labrador was stabbed repeatedly with either a knife or scissors, had a wedding ring shoved into one eye, while the other eyelid had been punctured with earrings. Lighters, pendants and other jewelry had been forcefully shoved down his throat, leaving cuts in his mouth.
More than $20,000 was raised online to help pay for Ryder’s surgeries and the dog is still recovering from the injuries.
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(Ryan Westaway and his son Ethan give Ryder some much-needed TLC at Avon Animal Hospital as Ryder recovered from the “horrific” attack.)
The dog’s owner Ryan Westaway spoke to the Now after the incident, which occurred on Valentine’s Day in 2015. His three-year-old son Ethan was used to unlocking the door and letting their labrador, Ryder, outside. But this time, the pup didn’t return.
After midnight, police responded to a call that a 24-year-old Surrey woman covered in blood had approached her landlord saying a dog had attacked her. She lived just a few blocks away from the family’s home.
Police say it was clear the dog had not attacked her and she was arrested under the Mental Health Act.
Her four-year-old daughter was with her at the time and was taken into custody of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.