R. v. Ranger, 2012 ABPC 240

On January 26, 2012, the accused was convicted of 21 counts on a 28-count Information relating to offences committed on February 22, 2010. Convictions for driving offences (including criminal flight), drug offences, property offences, and crimes against the administration of justice. Because Defence counsel had identified an issue involving unreasonable use of force early on, the case was scheduled for a sentencing hearing.

During the sentencing hearing, the accused testified that at the time of the arrest he had ran for about seven to eight minutes in the snow before being apprehended. He testified that he was in an open area, exhausted and with nowhere to go, and that he came to a halt and waited before police dog Quanto was dispatched to detain him. He swung the dog back and forth, attempting various techniques to get the dog to release. In the police officer’s testimony, he stated that he observed the accused with an arm around the dog, and appeared to be choking or trying to hurt PSD Quanto’s jaw or neck.

The accused claimed that he had been drinking that night and confirmed that he was aware that police were pursuing him, but that he couldn’t hear them because of high adrenaline and testosterone levels in his system. He claimed that this had a disinhibiting or blackout effect. This claim was not supported by any medical evidence. The accused had a large amount of a variety of serious drugs, as well as trafficking paraphernalia and large amounts of cash. He also had stolen property and identification documents, some of which had been altered to include the accused’s photograph; even after being apprehended, the accused misidentified himself to avoid criminal liability.

The accused was issued a global sentence of 9 years and 6 months in federal prison. No portion of the sentence was related to any harm to the police dog.

Note: The German Shepherd police dog in this case would become the inspiration for Quanto’s Law, the Justice for Animals in Service Act which came into force in July 2015 after Quanto was killed while on duty on October 7, 2013 and created a new Criminal Code offence that specifically prohibits the killing or wounding of animals that have been trained and are being used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Quanto had been in service for four years, with over 100 arrests to his name.