R v Wagner, 1986 CarswellNS 626

Wagner liked to shoot his gun wildly out of his backyard. He shot and killed his neighbour’s dog. Because there was not sufficient evidence that Wagner knew he was shooting at a dog, his act was deemed not to be "wilfull".

R. v. McLellan (November 15, 1989), Doc. S.C.C. 02127 (1989)

The accused damaged the complainant’s property during a heavy drinking binge with friends. The complainant found a machete on the property and noticed a cut on a calf’s leg. There was evidence at trial that the cattle had been disturbed that night and that there were hairs on the machete consistent with bovine hair. The evidence, however, did not establish which of the men, if any, inflicted the damage to the calf. The circumstances, while highly suspicious, did not meet the test of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

R. v. Whelan, 2013 CanLII 38685 (NL PC)

Lady, the dog, was emaciated. Her ribs, spine and hip bones were easily visible from a distance. She had lost a whole layer of body fat and her muscle was wasting. Lady was infested by fleas. Two people independently of each other saw Lady chained to a wire behind her owner’s house. The veterinarian testified that the dog weighed 35 pounds. She determined that an appropriate weight for the dog would be somewhere between 50-55 pounds.

R. v. J.S., [2003] N.J. No. 225

The defendant and her cousin J.S. shot a crow with a pellet gun. After the bird fell down, they dragged it along the ground to their backyard. They threw it in the air so that the dog would catch it in its mouth. The crow was still alive and was making painful sound. J.S. testified that he was not on the beach and that the first time he saw the crow was in the yard. It was unclear whether J.S. or her cousin who was the person who mistreated the crow. Judge also clearly highlights that the words pain, suffering or injury are SEPERATE from one another and the crown need not prove all three (must only prove one of them).

R. v. Higgins, [1996] N.J. No. 237

This was an appeal from an acquittal on a charge of causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal. The respondent, Higgins, discovered that his cat knocked over a garbage can in his kitchen. He swung a broom at the cat and chased it into another room. The cat broke its leg in the chase. The trial judge acquitted Higgins on the basis that he did not intentionally cause the injury. His only intention was to scare the cat. The Crown appealed the acquittal. The Crown argued that the trial judge erred in interpreting the requirement of wilfully causing injury. It argued that the trial judge failed to consider the reckless nature of Higgins’s actions and the likelihood that he knew that the cat would be injured.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Newfoundland and Labrador) v. Harding, 2002 NFCA 14 (CanLII)

A dog struggled on the operating table, while being anaesthetized which led to his veterinarian being charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, for allegedly stabbing Remington in the nose with a needle and punching him in the ribs.

Harding v. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2000 CanLII 20379 (NL SCTD)

A dog struggled on the operating table, while being anaesthetized which led to his veterinarian being charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, for allegedly stabbing Remington in the nose with a needle and punching him in the ribs.

R. V. Clarke, 2001 CanLII 12453 (NLPC)

A volunteer of the SPCA found several dogs in pens or chained on the property of the accused (Mr. and Mrs. Clarke) without food or water. The circumstances were allegedly unchanged on a third visit to the site, so the volunteer had all dogs seized and placed in new homes, including the healthy dogs. No explanation had ever been given to the Clarkes as to why the dogs were seized. According to the judge, the volunteer was in no position to conduct a proper investigation under the criminal code and should not have been given this authority by the SPCA.

A veterinarian’s examination of the dogs showed that one was too thin but not necessarily underfed, and the others were generally in good condition with no evidence of dehydration. Mr. and Mrs. Clarke were charged with cruelty to animals with little to no supportive evidence. Both were then acquitted as the evidence was insufficient in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that either Mr. or Mrs. Clarke willfully allowed or caused their animals to suffer. The mere fact that the dogs were thin was not proof of cruelty in and of itself.

Baird v Nicholl, 1980 CarswellNfld 105

Nicholls, convicted of an offence under s. 402(1) (c) of the Criminal Code for wilfully neglecting domestic animals. Baird, an officer of the SPCA, appeals under s. 762 of the Criminal Code. She argues that provisions of the Animal Protection Act should apply, vesting ownership of the animals in other parties than Nicholls.

R. V. Bennett, 2010 CanLII 40388 (NL PC)

According to the veterinarian the dog “looked well cared for.” However, there was a serious injury to her neck. Her skin was broken and the injury circled around her entire neck. Dr. Martyn testified that there was an “extremely noticeable smell” coming from the dog as a result of infection. Dr. Martyn described the wound as being “quite infected.” She testified that the injury could have been caused by a rope being placed tightly around the dog’s neck and cutting into the dog’s skin. Dr. Martyn indicated that the injury was approximately eight days to two weeks old.Mr. Bennett agreed that he had placed a rope around the dog’s neck, but denied that he had secured it “tightly” or that he saw any signs of the dog being in pain or discomfort.