The accused, Nancy Hollett, is charged with being the person having the control of a domestic animal, a female Afghan dog, and wilfully neglecting to provide suitable and adequate care for such animal, contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Code, and similarly with respect to a male Lhasa Apso dog. Several other charges are in respect to numerous Lhasa Apso puppies.
Although the Court was satisfied that the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had the custody and control of all of the dogs and that she then failed to provide suitable and adequate care for them, the Court quoted Dickson J. in R. v. Sault Ste. Marie and acquitted the accused.
This was based on finding mere negligence on part of the accused, and “where the offence is criminal, the Crown must establish a mental element, namely, that the accused in committing the act did so intentionally or recklessly, with knowledge of the facts constituting the offence, or with wilful blindness toward them. Mere negligence is excluded from the concept of the mental element required for conviction.” — Dickson J.
Source: Case Law