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Rita Mueller, 50, of Bolton, has been charged with killing or injuring an animal, causing or permitting unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal and disobeying a court order, according to police. (Toronto Police Service/Handout)
Rita Mueller, 50, of Bolton, has been charged with killing or injuring an animal, causing or permitting unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal and disobeying a court order, according to police. (Toronto Police Service/Handout)

Woman charged in fatal choking of dog at Toronto Animal Services office Add to ...

A dog shelter owner facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly choking a dog to death turned herself in to the police in the early hours of Friday morning, police said.

Rita Mueller, 50, of Bolton, is charged with killing or injuring an animal, causing or permitting unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal, and disobeying a court order, according to police.

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The charges came after she allegedly used a leash to choke an adult male Shar-Pei named Henry at Toronto Animal Services, located on Sheppard Avenue West, on August 24 of last year.

She is now scheduled to appear in court at College Park on Friday at 10 a.m.

This is not the first time Ms. Mueller has faced animal cruelty charges.

Ms. Mueller, owner of Scooby’s Dog House and Rescue, a dog shelter with locations in both Barrie and Caledon, faced five charges and two convictions last year as a result of violating the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Those charges led to the removal of 19 animals from her property in Caledon, and the surrendering of 10 others, according to Brad Dewar, Investigation Communications officer of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Rescue organizations take in animals from people who can no longer care for them as well as trying to help shelters find new homes for abandoned pets. Some focus on just one breed of dog, while others help a variety.

With a report from Jill Mahoney

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