R v McQuitty, 2022 ABKB

This case refers to sentencing on a guilty plea of one count of causing unnecessary, pain, suffering or injury to an animal. Hinata, a 4-month-old kitten, was thrown against a wall by the accused for defecating on his bed. The accused contacted his ex-girlfriend to say that he had ‘freaked out’ and threw the kitten. Hinata was taken to an animal hospital by the ex-girlfriend’s cousin, but she had died as a result of the trauma.

The accused made a partial confession to the police and was initially charged with seven offences that included multiple animal cruelty charges and uttering threats.

A psychological assessment revealed that the accused had been badly abused as a youth and had been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. It was noted that he has had a history of violence towards both people and animals since childhood. This included an admission that he had killed a cat in his youth and abused animals by hitting and kicking them into his adulthood.

Despite the misplacement of two civilian witness statements – according to the agreed facts, Edmonton police lost recordings of the statements given by the accused’s ex-girlfriend and her cousin whom he had contacted immediately after the incident – the sentence obtained was one year imprisonment, 18 months of probation, a DNA order and a prohibition against owning any animals for 15 years.

As with so many animal abuse cases, the decision is unreported and there is no transcript available. This information was received directly from the Crown Prosecutor involved. In addition, an article published in the Edmonton Journal on October 21st contains details of the sentencing hearing.