BC SPCA calls sentence for Kamloops dog killer "ridiculous"

By James Peters / Chad Harris
October 18, 2016 - 2:55pm Updated: October 18, 2016 - 3:58pm

KAMLOOPS — The BC SPCA says a sentence handed down to a Kamloops man who beat his family Chihuahua to death with a fence post is "ridiculous."

Christopher Mathes was given a 12-month conditional discharge in provincial court today, along with a one year ban from being in the presence of dogs.

Chief Prevention Officer Marcie Moriarty says the sentence nearly left her speechless.

"I am, with all due respect, appalled by this particular sentence," said Moriarty. "I think it sends a very, very distressing message that this type of action basically has zero ramifications for this person."

Mathes beat the rescue dog after it bit his young daughter.

Moriarty says there are many alternatives for dog owners dealing with behaviour problems.

"There are trainers out there that this person could have approached. In the very least, take a time out if you are going to be losing your temper, or [re-home] that animal. Picking up a two-by-four and beating a Chihuahua over the head, that is not okay. I don't care what the circumstance is."

Moriarty adds she's now worried the sentence will result in a lenient legal precedent for animal abusers.

"It is very worrisome, and I hope that in future cases this case gets distinguished as an oddity because it most certainly should not reflect what in 2016 animal owners' responsibilities are with respect to duty towards their animals."

"It should never be okay to inflict pain and suffering on an animal to deal with that misbehavior. We've come a long way with children, and I thought we had come a long way with animals. To be honest, this sentence - what year are we in?"

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