R v Lacroix, 2020 ONCJ, OJ No 545

The Accused was intoxicated (marijuana or crack cocaine – unclear) and after getting frustrated by his video game, he killed his mother’s cat by squeezing the cat’s neck. The Accused confessed his actions to both his mother and law enforcement, but did not seem to believe his acts were criminal.

The Court reviewed relevant case law on sentencing for animal cruelty and ultimately sentenced the accused to a jail sentence of 9 months plus 2 years probation. The Court ordered a prohibition against owning, residing with, or having care or control of an animal for 15 years, as well as weapons prohibition. The dominant sentencing principles for the Court were denunciation and deterrence.

Aggravating factors for the Court:
– 6 years prior to this offence, the Accused killed another cat, Accused also hurt another cat after the incident
– Killing of a family pet is a breach of trust.
– The Accused experienced pleasure in controlling the cat.
– The Accused has a prior criminal record for violence and breach of court orders.
– Accused has a moderate to high risk of re-offending.

Mitigating factors for the Court:
– The Accused took responsibility for his actions (to a limited extent) and expressed remorse.
– The Accused has a history of being bullied.
– The Accused has addiction and mental health issues that he has demonstrated he is seeking treatment for.