Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
An animal law expert says most dog owners historically only get a slap on the wrist for animal cruelty charges.
As far as what, if any, charges might be laid against the owner of a german shepherd that died after being found badly injured in a Kitsilano dumpster, Animal Law Lawyer Rebecca Breder says "There are two possibilities one is provincial cruelty charge under our provincial legislation and the other one is under our federal laws unfortunately you have to prove willful neglect which is you have to prove the intention of the person who committed this crime which is very very difficult to do."
When asked if the owner of 'Captain' would likely get the book thrown at him in court Breder said "unfortunately given how our history has been with our animal law laws or the lack thereof realistically probably not that much. The good side is that at least our animal law cruelty laws have changed in BC we have increased our fines to 75-thousand from 10-thousand, imprisonment from six months to two years."
But Breder says crown prosecutors have yet to push for the full consequences under the law.
"Not to my knowledge not to this extent thats for sure."
Breder says federal animal cruelty charges are also extremely difficult to prove.
"The very good thing about all of this is that there is a lot of public outrage I think this sends a very strong political message to our respective politicians that something has to be done about this and very seriously."
She says people guilty of animal cruelty have historically avoided serious legal consequences.