R v Komarnicki, 1991 CarswellAlta 670, 116 A.R. 268

Mr. Komarnicki had 17 cats and 2 dogs residing in his home. A complaint was investigated and the animals were found to be ill, not receiving proper care, and living in unfit conditions. The accused took steps to remedy the situation but then allowed the situation to deteriorate. Another complaint was made later and the animals were found to be living in the same conditions.

The animals were then seized and examined by a vet who found the animals to be emaciated, had various infections and, overall, were quite neglected. The accused admitted to allowing the animals to live in distress but argued that a medical condition he had (wherein he couldn’t lift anything over 10 pounds) caused the situation in which the animals were found.

This was not accepted by the Court. The offence was found to be one of strict liability, so proof of the prohibited act was all that was needed together with a lack of proof that he took reasonable care. Both of these elements were proven in this case and the accused was found guilty.