This case involved one general cruelty count and one wounding, maiming or injuring a “kept non-cattle animal” count. It involved the abuse of a woman’s cat by her boyfriend. On finding the cat had defecated and urinated on the couch that he intended to sleep the defendant threw the cat against the wall, and then out of a third floor balcony. He then followed it downstairs and continued to abuse it by kicking it. It was also held as a fact that at some point he tried to break it’s neck. The cat was expected to survive.
In count 1, the accused was charged with wilfully and without lawful excuse killing, maiming, wounding, poisoning, or injuring a cat that was kept for a lawful purpose. The court then proceeded to consider the issue of whether the cat was “wounded”. It held that the law allowed a wound to be non-permanent. The court then considered “injury”, and by applying a common sense meaning to the term, found that it was supported by the facts. The court explained that the cat was kept for a lawful purpose, and that any injury caused by the accused was wilful and without lawful excuse. Consequently, the accused was found guilty of count 1 [section 445(a)].
In count 2 the accused was charged with unlawfully and wilfully causing unnecessary suffering or injury to the cat. The evidence leaves no doubt that the cat felt pain, and was injured as a result of the unlawful acts of the accused. The only possible inference from the evidence is that it suffered. Since all the pain, suffering, and injuries were not in furtherance of a lawful purpose, they were, by definition, “unnecessary”. The accused was found guilty of count 2 [section 446(1)(a)].
Source: Case Law