R v Larouche, [2001] OJ No 6226 (ON Ct J)

The accused, Mr. Larouche, was charged with wilfully causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by beating it, contrary to Section 446(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada. One witness observed the accused repeatedly punch a 16-month old dog that had been barking in his backyard. Another witness saw the accused punch and kick the dog. The accused denied that he beat the dog. The first witnesses was the subject of a complaint by the accused to the Humane Society because she laid traps in her garden to catch his cats. The other witness only reported what he saw two months after the incident.

The court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the beating occurred and resulted in unnecessary pain, suffering or injury; given the absence of any investigative evidence at the time, and the absence of any follow up as provided by the provincial statute regarding animals thought to be in distress. Additionally, the court would not convict because procedures contained in the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act were not followed regarding the investigation of this complaint, and it was not appropriate to resort to the Criminal Code under such circumstances. Therefore, the accused was found not guilty.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Ontario

Topics: BeatingBurden of ProofCatscriminalcrueltydogevidencePunchsufferingtrapsunnecessary sufferingwelfarewitness

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