R v Habermehl, [2013] AJ No 446 (AB Prov Ct)

The accused in this case was charged with wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a cat contrary to Section 445.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. He pled not guilty.

Ms. Manning and the accused, Mr. Habermehl, were living together in a house that she rented with her cat and her dog. The accused took exception to the cat’s behaviour – it climbed on the counters, scratched the furniture, and defecate or urinate in the house inappropriately. Over the time that they resided together, there were a number of incidents where the accused took issues into in own hands in regard to the animals’ behaviour. On one occasion the accused stated that the cat bit him on the finger and would not let go even when the accused lifted it off the ground, let it fall to the floor and yelled in its ear. When it finally did let go the accused chased it into the bathroom and held its head under water.

On September 21st the relationship was apparently ending, the accused phoned Ms. Manning that morning and informed her he was moving out. She waited until the afternoon and returned with her mother to get her animals. The cat was inside the litter box which was cracked and had a hole in it. Ms. Manning noticed the cat had a lump on her side the size of a tennis ball and it was hot to the touch. The cat was lethargic, struggled to walk, and appeared to be in distress.

Ms. Manning could not afford the medical bills and so surrender the cat to the SPCA. The veterinarians examined the cat at the SPCA – x-rays were taken and clearly showed a break on the right side wall where the intestines were herniated through the break and were sitting under the skin. With part of the intestines outside the wall and under the skin it was causing excruciating pain to the animal making it difficult to walk and painful to the touch. The cat was euthanized.

The court found that the accused had exclusive opportunity to cause the injuries to the cat. Based on all the evidence and in all the circumstances, the court was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused caused the injuries to the cat which caused unnecessary pain and suffering, therefore finding the accused guilty as charged.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Alberta

Topics: animal crueltyBlunt Force TraumacarecatCriminal CodedeliberatedistressdogeuthanizedLumpOpportunitysevereunnecessary painunnecessary suffering

Report a Broken Link