R v Wicker [2007] AJ 566 (ABPC)

Mr. Wicker pled guilty to a charge of wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal, his cat, contrary to s. 446 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The accused’s fiancé, RLM, walked into the bathroom and observed the cat lying in scalding hot water in the bathtub and not moving to get out. The accused was standing over the cat holding a cat carrier, making no attempt to remove the cat from the bathtub. RLM removed the cat from the tub and towelled him off. The cat, Tigger, had a bleeding nose, a cut on his right ear, a scrape over his right eye and a cut over the left side of his mouth. The cat also had obvious injuries to his paws, and his right eye was reddened to the extent that the pupil was not visible. Tigger was unable to stand without falling over.

RLM took Tigger the Calgary Humane Society where the cat was examined by a veterinarian, who diagnosed first and second degree burns to both back paws and one of the front paws of the cat. These burns were caused by the cat being held in contact with very hot water for an extended period of time. The veterinarian also noted that the cat had a swollen and very painful tail and a quarter inch laceration to its lip.

The cat’s condition deteriorated and he was returned to the Humane Society from his foster home. The veterinarian noted that the cat had gangrene on almost the entire length of his tail, and that there was hair loss on all legs up to the elbows. There was tissue damage to the left hock, which included a severing of the achilles tendon. The right achilles tendon was coated by severely infected tissue and exposed for 1.5 centimeters. All toes on the left front paw were severely infected and sloughing. One of the toes on the right rear paw was also sloughing. Due to the deterioration of the cat’s general condition and to relive further suffering the cat was humanely euthanized on February 27, 2006.

The court stated that an appropriate sentence was 4 months incarceration, reduced to 90 days to credit Mr. Wicker for his timely guilty plea, acceptance of responsibility and expressions of remorse. The court decided that the sentence may be served intermittently, following which Mr. Wicker will be on probation for 2 years, and a 2 year ban upon Mr. Wicker’s ownership, custody or control of animals.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Alberta

Topics: animaburncatcrueltyeuthanizedextremeharmImprisonmentinjurypainremorseseveresuffering

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