SPCA 'glad' for 4-month prison sentence in puppy death

SPCA 'glad' for 4-month prison sentence in puppy death

A Vancouver Island man has been sentenced to four months in jail for fatally beating a four-month-old puppy.

Robert Carolan of Duncan is also banned from owning animals for 10 years after being found guilty on Jan. 11.

The SPCA says a necropsy shows the mixed-breed puppy named Dux suffered blunt force trauma to its head and right rib and probably died because the rib injury prevented it from fully inflating its lungs. 

Marcie Moriarty, the chief prevention and enforcement officer with the B.C. SPCA, said Monday she was "glad" the puppy's owner received a jail sentence, but he probably should have received a longer one. 

"This is a statement that in British Columbia, if not elsewhere across Canada, we are actually seeing jail for individuals who intentionally harm their animals," 

Carolan claimed that the puppy had accidentally drowned in the bathtub when he stepped out for a cigarette.

Moriarty said SPCA officials are starting to see the courts giving more jail time in animal cruelty cases, with sentences of up to two years.

The strong punishment is particularly appropriate not just because of the harm to the animals, she said. "There is a link between violence against animals and other types of violence." 

In addition to his jail time Carolan faces three years probation.

With files from Sarah Towle.