The accused, intoxicated, was seen by a police officer yelling and screaming at a dog that he was holding on a leash. He then pulled the leash so hard that it made the dog yelp and then cower and shake uncontrollably. The accused then began to whip the dog with the leash several times, causing the dog again to yelp and cower in extreme fear. The police officer yelled at the accused and he eventually stopped. The police officer noted that in trying to get to the dog, the dog was was extremely timid, shaking, appeared to be malnourished and was hiding or cowering under the police vehicle when the animal protection officers arrived.
The accused pled guilty to one count under Section 445 Criminal Code.
In mitigation, the defence pointed out that the accused had been adopted then fostered, had an unstable upbringing, and was abused by his foster parents. He had a history of alcohol abuse which he attributed to the limited contact with his family.
The Crown submitted a statement from the police officer expressing his extreme concerns for Marley the dog.
In sentencing the accused to 3 months for the section 445 offence (to run consecutive to other sentences imposed for a number of other alcohol-related crimes), the court held:
“As you may have gleaned from the sentences that I have seen or I have been imposing in relation to the other matters, when a person is disadvantaged and is committing offences as a result of having been dealt a poor deck of cards and the like, I tend to be quite sympathetic. When people whip or kick dogs though, I am not sympathetic. Because surely, when you are sober and you look at that taking advantage of the creature that cannot defend itself, the exploitation of others, which frankly you yourself have been a victim of, is not justified and is simply going to be punished because there is no explanation that justifies it. So that is why I would impose a sentence of 3 months consecutive on that.”
The accused was also placed on probation for 12 months and prohibited from owning, possessing or supervising any pet or animal for 5 years.