R v Gouin, 2020 ONCJ 114 – Judgment

UPDATE: Sentencing hearing was held on February 2, 2021, details of which can be found here.

Mr. Gouin (“the Accused”) agreed to care for Ms. Johnson-Lumapas’ small dog after she learned she could not keep it in her new apartment. The dog had a history of being wary of men after being abused, and showed signs of stress acclimating to her new environment.

When Ms. Johnson-Lumapas returned to the accused’s apartment after going out, she saw her dog lying in the corner with blood coming out of its eyes. The dog was “barely breathing” and her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. The accused claimed his cats had scratched the dog’s eyes and attempted to dissuade Ms. Johnson-Lumapas from seeking medical attention for the dog.

Medical examination by veterinarians showed the dog’s injuries were consistent with multiple, repeated blunt force trauma that “would not have been possible from a cat”. Due to the extent of the dog’s injuries and suffering, the dog was euthanized. Ms. Johnson-Lumapas repeatedly asked the accused what happened to her dog, but the accused denied having anything to do with the dog’s injuries.

Based on a lengthy analysis of the evidence presented in the case concerning the accused’s growing frustration with the dog’s behaviour and his failure to seek medical attention for her, the Ontario Court of Justice found the accused guilty of injuring an animal contrary to s. 445 of the Criminal Code and wilfully causing, or permitted to be caused, unnecessary suffering to an animal, contrary to s. 445.1 of the Criminal Code.