Animal Justice Seeks Leave to Intervene in Alberta Animal Cruelty Sentence Appeal

Animal Justice is seeking leave to intervene before the Alberta Court of Appeal in a case about sentences for the criminal offence of animal cruelty.

In the case, R v Chen, the individual pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering after admitting to beating his dog Cinnamon, who was seized and later adopted into another home. He was prohibited from owning animals for 10 years, and sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served on the weekends.

On appeal to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the jail term was set aside and he was instead sentenced to serve a conditional sentence in the community (commonly known as house arrest).

The prosecution has been granted leave to have the sentence reconsidered before the Alberta Court of Appeal. Animal Justice is applying to become an intervener in the case, to provide submissions about how courts should apply sentencing principles in animal cruelty cases. It is rare for appellate courts to consider animal cruelty cases, so this case has the potential to become leading judicial guidance on animal cruelty sentencing.

Animal Justice will make submissions in support of its intervention application on Wednesday, March 31 at 9:30 am MT before the Alberta Court of Appeal. The case will be broadcast online, and members of the public are welcome to watch by visiting the Court’s website.

Animal Justice is represented by Peter Sankoff of Bottos Law Group in Edmonton, and Chris Rudnicki of Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross & Angelini LLP in Toronto.

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