R v Villebrun, 2013 ABPC 130451032P1

Ms. Villebrun was on a recognizance order to keep the peace and be of good behaviour when she randomly attacked a dog who was sitting with his owner.  Accused was under the influence of drugs/alcohol and said “It was an alien”.  The owner tried to defend the dog and was assaulted.  Villebrun has a criminal record with assault and many breaches.  Pre-sentence report (PSR) completed, shows “traumatic circumstances” in Ms. Villebrun’s past, including FASD and foster care.

Villebrun pleaded guilty to assault, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, and trespassing.

Crown’s position: four months on Count 2 for animal cruelty. The early guilty plea, past criminal record and the totality principle should be taken into consideration. Incarceration is appropriate, plus 20-25 years of animal ownership prohibition.

Defense’s position: leniency for Gladue factors & PSR, which show a difficult and troubled past for the accused. No probation (Villebrun can’t comply). Treatment for addictions and mental health.  Wants accused to keep cat so no animal prohibition.  No suspended sentence but global gaol sentence.