R v Rodgers-Langille, 2019 NSPC

Rodgers-Langille plead guilty and waived his right to a trial. This was a sentencing matter.

Rodgers-Langille has a criminal record from when he was a youth (11 convictions total). Currently as an adult, he has 9 convictions prior to this matter. Some of these convictions involve violence and domestic abuse between him and his ex-girlfriend who brought forward this animal abuse claim under Criminal Code s 264.1(1)(c).

Rodgers-Langille threatened to kill his cat that he once shared with his ex-girlfriend. These threats were sent to Rodgers-Langille’s ex-girlfriends’ father, via Facebook. Rodgers-Langille sent three short videos (a total of 30 seconds) of him harming his cat to his ex-girlfriend. One video showed the cat being choked (breathlessness) by Rodgers-Langille while he dangled the cat off a seventh-floor balcony.

The Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty seized the cat two days after the videos were made and a veterinarian exam was conducted. No obvious damage was found.

Dr. Rebecca Ledger, an animal behavior welfare scientist who interprets pain and suffering endured by animals during traumatic events wrote a report on Rodgers-Langille’s cat. Since there was no obvious physically injury from the choking, Rodgers-Langille’s ex-girlfriend wanted Dr. Rebecca Ledger’s report to be read in court as part of her victim impact statement expressing the pain and suffering endured by the cat from Rodgers-Langilles abuse / choking. Dr. Rebecca Ledger wrote that choking an animal causes severe unpleasant sensations and has the greatest potential to compromise animal welfare. She wrote that the cat suffered from fear, anxiety, breathlessness, panic and physical discomfort from what she could see in the videos.

Cat has been rehomed to Rodgers-Langille’s ex-girlfriend and seems to suffer no long-term effects from the incident.

While in custody Rodgers-Langille took some anger, management courses and substance abuse courses and did express some remorse for his actions.

Sentence: 150 days incarceration (75 days for uttering threats, 75 days for animal cruelty), 10-year animal prohibition.