R v Zhou, 2018 BCPC – Sentencing

The accused was found guilty of causing or permitting an animal to be, or continue to be, in distress pursuant to section 9.1(2) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (the “Act”). For a summary of the judgment see here.

Aggravating factors noted in this case were that the accused was given plenty of opportunity by the SPCA to comply, and she failed to understand the gaps in her knowledge that had caused the issues.

Mitigating factors were that the accused had no criminal record, her ability and education were lacking and she did not intend to hurt the animals (liability under the Act is strict).

Sentencing as follows:

  • Suspended sentence for two years
  • Prohibited from residing in a residence where domestic animals are kept for 2 years
  • 100 hours of community service
  • Required to attend and complete a type of program or counselling as deemed necessary by probation that deals with animal welfare and the proper treatment of dogs and cats
  • Prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for or having custody of any domestic animal for 7 years
  • $50 victim surcharge