R v Smith, 2019 NLPC 0118A03568 – Judgment

UPDATE: The sentence was handed down on September 16, 2019, which the Crown then appealed. Details of the sentence and appeal can be found here.

The accused had let her two large dogs off their leashes at a public tennis court when they escaped through a hole in a fence and subsequently killed a cat. She was charged with failing to keep her dogs penned or tethered and allowing them to cause a hazard pursuant to the Animal Health and Protection Act.

In her defence, the accused stated that she had brought the dogs to the tennis court so that she could take them off their leashes in an enclosed space, and had done so recently without incident. She did not realize there was a hole in the fence until after her dogs had escaped. She also enlisted help to find the dogs by alerting the City, her friends and making phone calls and internet posts to have them returned as quickly as possible.

The Court was not satisfied that the accused had exercised reasonable care or due diligence in maintaining control over her dogs, and found her guilty on both counts.