Nearly a year after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals searched 16 properties following multiple complaints, a Listowel man has been convicted of animal cruelty.

Robert Penner’s property was one of 16 searched in February 2012. Orders were issued regarding changes to animal housing and medical treatment.

After a follow-up visit a week later, 73 dogs were removed on the advice of a veterinarian, due to a failure to comply with the orders.

In a statement, OSPCA senior inspector Darren Grandel said “Our goal is to have the owner take on the responsibility of properly providing for the animals that they choose to own. When necessary our officers will invoke their authority under the Ontario SPCA Act to ensure the animals get the proper care they need.”

Penner was sentenced two years of probation and may not own, have custody, care or control of any animal except for one family pet.

He has also been ordered not to be involved with breeding or selling animals and must pay nearly $8,500 in restitution to the Ontario SPCA.