Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ottawa man charged with cruelty against girlfriend’s cat

March 19, 2009
For immediate release

An Ottawa man faces three charges of animal cruelty after a cat belonging to his girlfriend needed emergency medical care for a fractured jaw and other head trauma.

Investigators from the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) charged David Cain, 38, following a lengthy investigation to determine the cause of the cat's injuries. The animal, a two-and-a-half-year-old black and caramel cat named Petunia, was brought to an Orleans veterinary clinic in October by the owner, Mr. Cain's girlfriend. The cat required care for a fractured jaw, trauma to the back of the mouth, and bruising around the eyes. A veterinary examination confirmed that the animal's injuries were the result of blunt force trauma to the head area, and not the result of an accident or fall. The cat underwent surgery to repair the jaw and was released. After consultation with the owner, staff reported their findings to the OHS investigations department.

"Sadly, animals are often defenceless victims in domestic disputes," said OHS Inspector, Miriam Smith.

When OHS investigators questioned the owner, she claimed that her boyfriend had caused the cat's injuries. The investigators eventually made contact with Mr. Cain at the end of November, where they were referred to his lawyer.

A meeting with Mr. Cain's lawyer took place in December, and following discussions with the Crown Attorney's office, OHS investigators proceeded with charges on February 23, 2009.

Mr. Cain is charged with three counts of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code of Canada, including causing an animal unnecessary pain, injury and suffering. He is expected to appear in court on March 30. Although Mr. Cain faces maximum penalties of a $10,000 fine or five years in prison, it's rare these sentences are handed out.

Although legally mandated to enforce the animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada, the OHS does not receive any government funding or funding from any animal welfare group to perform this essential work.

For media inquiries, contact:
Tara Jackson, Communications Manager
(613) 725-3166 ext. 261

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