R v Deschamps, 1978 CarswellOnt 3757

Deschamps killed a stray cat that was tampering with garbage on his property, shooting. The cat was being fed by a nearby family. Since the cat was not a domestic animal being kept for a lawful purpose, s. 401 couldn’t apply.

Charge is dismissed, since ‘kept for a lawful purpose’ as per s. 401 contemplates a keeper and a measure of control to be exercised by the keeper.

Examination of the word “kept” and held the cat was not a kept animal and accused was therefore acquitted.

NB: This case was incompetently prosecuted. The court acknowledged that a successful claim could have been made under s. 402 of the Criminal Code, but it wasn’t.

R v Brown, 2008 OJ No 2263

Accused charged with cruelty to an animal. It was alleged that he wilfully caused unnecessary pain to a dog by kicking and dragging it by its collar (breathlessness).

The Crown contended that the accused was frustrated and angry at being asked to leave the grounds of an apartment building by a security officer, and that he took out his fury on his girlfriend’s dog by forcibly kicking it under the tail and then dragging it by the collar, choking, down the street. The defence argued the guard and other officers in his company made the allegations as an ongoing pattern of harassment Accused convicted of unnecessary pain by kicking and dragging a dog. Crown’s theory was that he was frustrated about being asked to leave by a security officer and took it out on his girlfriend’s dog. There was no obvious physical findings of injury.

The trial judge believed the security guard and found the accused was untruthful in his testimony with a palpable animosity towards the security guard. His actions were wilful and taken without a legitimate
purpose and without legal justification or excuse. Based on the facts, unnecessary pain had been caused to the dog.

Accused acquitted.

R v Amorim, 1994 CarswellOnt 7366

The accused was the owner of a pet pup which he kept chained in the backyard with a four-five foot heavy chain. He had a dog house, was on a chain, could be found on a concrete stoop, and had a dish for food (not usually filled with dog food). Amorim’s neighbours complained to the SPCA about the excessive barking coming from the yard. The neighbours found the barking to be abnormal, describing the sounds as: howling, whimpering, whining, crying, hysterical, painful, plaintive, agitated and distress-like. Dog was seized.

Court adopted a definition of suffering [para 2] that meant “to undergo, suffer, endure pain or distress etc.” Adopted the definition of unnecessary in Menard and he was convicted.

Amorim was found guilty of allowing his dog to suffer.

R v Boote, 1988 CarswellOnt 2983

Boote, an elderly breeder of trumpet swans, shot two dogs on his property that were near his swans. The dogs belonged to members of the community that he had previously warned to stay away. Instead, the dogs were loose and chased after a wolf. Accused is charged with pointing a firearm, killing a dog and wounding a dog. The accused breads trumpeter swans. He has had incidents of dogs killing the swans in the past. He has signs on his property telling people not to bring dogs onto his property. A couple was hunting coyote with with hunting dogs. The accused told them his issue with dogs on his property. He found the dogs near his swans. He shot and killed one dog and shot and wounded the other dog.

Judge found he had a defence under the Livestock and Poultry Protection Act as the dogs were straying and not under the immediate control of their owners.

Charged is dismissed, since the dogs were not under proper control and were in proximity to Boote’s swans. This gave him a legal entitlement to kill the dogs, to protect his fowl. Accused acquitted.

R v Villeneuve, 1996 CarswellOnt 3295

In this case, the cat had shelter, food, and protection from an individual – but was allowed to wander through town freely. It was killed by Villeneuve while straying on his property. The court deemed that the degree of control exercised over the cat was insufficient, and that it constituted a stray.

The accused was charged with killing an animal under section 445 which requires the animal to be a kept animal. The Court accepted the dictionary definition of kept as “Keeping and harbouring both necessarily imply an intent to exercise control over the animal and to provide food and shelter of at least a semi-permanent nature.” If an ingredient is lacking then the animal is not a kept animal. The victim cat was an owned cat but was let out on a daily basis to wander the streets. [para 13] “To the eye of the ordinary beholder, the cat, while on the loose was just another cat milling about in this community with dozens of others of its kind throughout the town of Wawa.” The accused had shot the cat with a pellet gun because the cat had strayed onto his property. The cat was found to be a stray and not deserving of protection of the criminal code.

Charge is dismissed, since ‘kept for a lawful purpose’ as per s. 445(a) contemplates a keeper and a measure of control to be exercised by the keeper.

R v Racicot, 1998 CarswellOnt 5959

Sentencing after guilty plea.

A house fire revealed the accused had dozens of dogs (88), cats and other animals. She was hoarding them. Many died in the fire. The conditions were horrible. The conditions of the house were described as very filthy, unkept and unsanitary, with a strong smell of decay. Many dogs were filthy, and many were in dirty cages. A veterinarian said that the animals’ condition was due to a long term of varying degrees of chronic and extreme neglect. Many dogs were very thin and malnourished. Racicot’s father testified that his daughter always loved animals, but that about two to three years earlier, she became frightened and neurotic and was afraid to call the Humane Society. He said that the situation got out of hand, but that she did her best, and the neglect was not purposeful. Since the fire, Racicot had sought medical assistance for extreme stress and anxiety. She was 27 years old, and on medication. She quit school in grade 10 and helped with the care of her mother and grandmother. She had very little contact with other people. She had no criminal record and no addictions. She was on social assistance.

Held: Racicot was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment to be followed by three years of probation. She was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service work and pay $10,000 to the Humane Society. She was prohibited from having custody or control of an animal for five years. General deterrence and denunciation were considered. Racicot was not a worst offender.

R v Fernandez, 2001 CarswellOnt 8351

Guilty plea, facts of the case aren’t clear but appears an animal starved to death joint submission for conditional discharge and 12 months probation.Accepting responsibility to take care of animals, and allowing them to starve, die at birth etc. It is clear from the short statement on facts that the accused delegated this responsibility to a 3rd party.

[para 1] This is a sad case. Anyone who takes responsibility for looking after animals accepts the responsibility to care for them and when somebody delegates that responsibility and the animals end up starving, dying at birth, not being looked after, not being cared for, then it is no wonder that the Criminal Code calls this cruelty to animals.

R v Purdy, 2006 CarswellOnt 4205

Purdy, a farmer in dire financial straits, neglected his animals’ basic needs. He showed callous disregard for their wellbeing. Many of the cows and pigs were dying of starvation, and were forced to rely on snowfall for water.

Accused found guilty.

R v Teeple, 2002 CarswellOnt 5794

Teeple, a dog owner, decided to perform a castration procedure on her dog. She did this without consulting a veterinarian’s opinion. The procedure involved an elestrator device used for bulls. Obviously, she caused her small dog significant pain and hardship.

Accused found guilty.

R v Monster, 2000 CarswellOnt 972

Monster kept eighteen dogs for the purpose of dog fighting. The Crown brought an application before the Justice of the Peace for an order granting custody and ownership of the dogs to the Ontario Provincial Police. The Justice of the Peace dismissed the application on the grounds that she did not have jurisdiction. The court evaluates the case and determines that she did, in fact, have jurisdiction – referring it back.

Referred back to a Justice of the Peace.