CALGARY – National animal law organization Animal Justice was granted leave today to intervene in an important case about sentencing for criminal animal cruelty offences.
In the case, R v Chen, the individual pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog named Cinnamon, after admitting to kicking her repeatedly. Cinnamon was removed from the home, recovered from her injuries, and was adopted into another family. Mr. Chen was sentenced to a 10-year ban on owning animals, and 90 days in jail to be served on the weekends.
On appeal to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the jail term was set aside and he was instead sentenced to serve a conditional sentence in the community, which is commonly known as house arrest. The prosecution was granted leave to have the sentence reconsidered before the Alberta Court of Appeal.
Today, Justice Hughes of the Alberta Court of Appeal granted Animal Justice leave to intervene in the case.
“It is incredibly rare for appellate courts to consider animal law cases, so this case has the potential to become highly influential on animal cruelty sentencing,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Allowing Animal Justice to intervene will ensure that what is best for animals will be thoroughly discussed and considered in this important appeal.”
Animal Justice will make oral and written submissions about what principles judges should apply when sentencing individuals convicted of animal cruelty offences, focusing on the interests of animals and the need to protect them from harm.
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