Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OHS applauds guilty plea following sentencing in cat cruelty case

June 10 , 2009
For immediate release

The Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is applauding Monday's guilty plea following the sentencing in the case of a kitten that was beaten, strangled and had its tongue sliced with a knife.

Jesse Duhaime, 30, was originally charged in December of 2007 after his girlfriend brought the cat to the OHS seeking emergency medical care. The four-month-old kitten had to be humanely euthanized due to the extent of its injuries.

In court on June 8, Mr. Duhaime plead guilty to the two counts of animal cruelty and other charges against him. He was sentenced to an 18-month probation, during which time he’s required to seek treatment for mental health issues, five months in jail and a 10-year prohibition from owning, having the custody or control of animals. He's also forbidden from residing at the same premises as an animal during that time.

Recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada now allow for more than a two-year prohibition on owning animals, and the introduction on a ban on living with animals for those charged with animal cruelty offences.

"While we had hoped for a lifetime ban on owning animals in this case, the 10-year ban is precedent setting for us," said OHS Inspector Miriam Smith. "Hopefully it will send a strong message about the consequences of abusing animals."

The OHS has noted an increase in the number of animal cruelty cases involving mental health issues in recent years.

Although legally mandated to enforce the animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario SPCA Act, 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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