R v TB, [2003] OJ No 6250 (ON Ct J)

The accused, T.B., was charged with numerous counts. In regard to animals: it was alleged that he committed an assault on two individuals, using a weapon, to wit, a dog, contrary to s. 267(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada. It was also alleged that he did unlawfully commit an aggravated assault by wounding, maiming or disfiguring a person contrary to s. 268 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Additionally, it was alleged that he unlawfully did willfully cause unnecessary suffering to a dog, by bringing the dog to an overly crowded situation, and enticing the dog to attack, wherefore the dog had to be beaten in order to fend off its attacks, contrary to s. 446(1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The court addressed specifically whether or not a dog could be a weapon. This issue was dealt with by Mr. Justice Toy in the R v McLeod, [1993] YJ No 170, decision in the Yukon Court of Appeal. It was an agreed statement of facts that the defendant in that case had “sicced” her dog, a pit bull, upon a dog owned by the complainant. The dog had followed a command given to it by its owner. In that case the legal dispute was whether or not inanimate objects could be weapons. Justice Toy concluded that when Parliament employed the word “anything”, that word included both animate and inanimate bodies, and that a dog can be used or can be intended to be used as a weapon.

The accused was found guilty on all counts regarding the dog and the convictions were registered as conditionally stayed.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Ontario

Topics: assaultattackCriminal Code of Canadadogguiltypit bullunnecessary sufferingweapon

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