YCJA – 2113, 2021 QCCQ 6023

On May 13 and 14, 2020, a wildlife protection officer reported that while investigating local wildlife regulations, he was assigned to supervise a cottage where the accused was located. He observed the accused shoving and kicking a small puppy that appeared to only be a few weeks old, and heard the puppy cry out on these occasions. He also saw the accused throw the puppy down the cottage porch stairs and then into a cold river of 5-12 degrees C from arm’s length while he and his friend laughed. The accused was charged with wilful injury and causing unnecessary pain and suffering of the puppy under the Criminal Code.

The accused denied this and claimed that he took good care of his dog, and that the puppy only cried when he was tied up at the side of the cottage for disobeying. His friend testified in the accused’s defence that he had not witnessed any mistreatment of the dog.

The tribunal was unconvinced by this testimony, referring to it as “vague and unconvincing” (para. 33), however were forced to acquit on the first charge after the prosecution failed to prove wilful injury of the puppy beyond a reasonable doubt. They did find the accused guilty of the second charge of causing unnecessary pain and suffering.

The PDF version of the judgment is in French; the CanLii link below is an English translation.