R v DL, [1999] AJ No 539 (AB Prov Ct)

The young male, D.L. was 17 years old when he was charged that he wilfully and without lawful excuse killed, maimed, poisoned or injured a cat that was kept for a lawful purpose, contrary to Section 445(a) of the Criminal Code. In addition, he was charged that he did unlawfully and wilfully cause unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a cat, contrary to section 446(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

Sisters, D.S. and C.S. lived with their mother and had adopted a stray cat and assumed ownership and control of it. D.S. and C.S. testified that they had decided that they could no longer afford the

expense of feeding the cat. The sisters asked D.L. and C.A. to get rid of the cat. In the kitchen, C.A. began to strangle the cat with his hands around its neck. The accused young person, D.L., went outside sometime after the cat was strangled and before it was ultimately thrown outside. C.A., after strangling the cat, hit the cat’s head against the closed glass patio doors approximately three times. He then put the cat on the floor and kneeled on its back. The sound of the cat’s bones breaking could be heard by those in the kitchen. He then opened the patio door. D.L. was by this time outside the patio door holding a broken hockey stick he had found by the house. C.A. called to D.L., “batter up”, grasped the cat by the neck, and threw it out the open door. The cat was thrown in such a way that it flipped over in the air two or three times. While the cat was still in the air, D.L. struck the cat with the hockey stick as one would a baseball with a baseball bat. The cat fell to the ground. D.L. went to the cat, and struck it in the head four to six times. Only after D.L. was through beating the cat’s head was the cat dead.

The court was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that D.L. knew what C.A. was doing to the cat, that C.A. said “batter up”, and that D.L. was waiting by the patio door with the hockey stick for the sole purpose of hitting the cat in the fashion described.

Based on the evidence given at trial, the court found that D.L. and C.A. were authorized by the cat’s owners to kill it, and therefore acted with lawful excuse insofar as the charge under section 445 is concerned. Finding D.L. not guilty of the offence charged under section 445 of the Code. However, D.L. was found guilty of an offence under section 446(1)(a) of the Code because he wilfully caused unnecessary pain, suffering, and injury to the cat both through his own direct acts, and by being a party to the acts of C.A. which caused unnecessary pain, suffering, and injury to the cat.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Alberta

Topics: animal crueltycatCriminal Codeharminjurykillminorpainpoisonsufferunnecessary harmunnecessary suffering

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