R v Savova, 2012 ABPC 121

The accused went to the vet for special food for her cat, who she thought was pregnant. The vet suggested she bring the cat in, which she did. The vet said the cat was sick and either had to have surgery or be put down. The accused said she was going to another clinic to get a second opinion. She did not do this. The vet called the Humane Society who contacted the accused saying she had to act quickly. The vet performed surgery but the cat died on the operating table.

The accused was charged with causing distress and failing to provide adequate care. The Crown and Defence suggested a common law peace bond for one year requiring the accused to get psychiatric counseling and prohibiting her from owning a pet. She did not want to attend counseling. The court considered if they could and should make such an order.

The court found it did not have jurisdiction to impose the peace bond for a provincial regulatory matter. The court cited concerns that contravening the peace bond would open the accused to criminal sanctions when she had not been charged with a criminal offence in the first place. The court went on to state that even if it had jurisdiction, it would not impose a peace bond because it is clear that the accused does not want to attend counseling and it is not appropriate to order this in a probation order. In addition, the condition was not connected to the offence but to her “rude emotional outbursts”. It was also noted that if granted, it would be filed in the federal CPIC database and have serious implications on her freedom to travel and obtain employment.