Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A Dark day for Dog respect in New Brunswick
The judgment came down today on the Minto New Brunswick man who killed his pomeranian dogs by smashing a hammer on the back of their heads - killing them rather than giving them up to the NB SPCA who were trying to seize them because he was going to be charged with negligence.
He was found not guilty of animal cruelty to all the dogs he actually killed because the judge decided that since he smashed them on the back of their head and rendered them unconcious - they didn't actually suffer. The only cruelty charge he was found guilty of was for the dog who lived - Ronald - the 9 year old pomeranian who's in the photo in this post. He was also found guilty of not giving adequate water to 3 other dogs. He's not allowed to have or breed any animal for a year - I personally hope he never has another animal again - because he obviously was not able to take care of the animals he had - which was the genesis of all this trouble - and why the NB SPCA was at his property in the first place. Such a tragic story.
He was fined a total of $550.
Was this an adequate conviction for such a crime against so many animals? Compared to other convictions that we've seen recently, it's pretty much on par - but it definitely shows the inequality between the court system and popular culture - and really one needs to catch up with the other. Hopefully, really - our generation and the next is going to do something about it, because it needs work.
I'm not talking about moving companion animals out of the property category - but simply attaching more penalty to cruelty - everyone by now agrees that anyone who harms an animal will move pretty easily over to humans - so why is it so difficult to change the laws to toughen up cruelty legislation? What conglomerates would suffer? Who would lose money if cruelty legislation was better written? To me it's a win-win situation.
Here's an article that came out tonight -
N.B. man acquitted of animal cruelty in dog deaths
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | 3:55 PM AT
A Minto man has been acquitted of animal cruelty charges in connection with the deaths of five Pomeranian puppies.
Keith Barton killed the dogs with a hammer in April 2008 when SPCA officers went to his kennel to seize his 13 dogs.
Judge Patricia Cumming found Barton not guilty of cruelty in killing his five dogs but she did, however, find him guilty of injuring a dog.
At the provincial court in Burton on Tuesday afternoon, the judge said during the trial that the evidence showed the dogs were rendered unconscious when they were hit with Barton's carpenter's hammer and therefore they did not suffer.
In the case of one dog, named Jake, who survived, Cumming found it likely that it did suffer pain. The judge found Barton guilty of injuring the dog in contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada.
When Barton testified in November he described the day he killed his dogs as "the worst day of my life, when I had to do that to my babies."
Barton also faced three charges under the provincial SPCA Act of failing to give proper care to his 13 Pomeranians. Cumming ruled Barton failed to give water to these animals and she fined him the minimum of about $120 on each case.
When the sentence was handed down in the provincial court, Barton silently bowed his head.
He did say that he was willing to pay the total fine of about $550 immediately.
The judge gave him a conditional discharge, with the condition that he cannot own a dog or pet for the next 12 months.