Communiqué de presse – Pour diffusion immédiate
Montreal, March 15, 2023 – Nearly a year ago, the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division was alerted that an individual had thrown a cat from his balcony after knocking her unconscious. The 9-month-old cat’s body was found lying in the snow on the individual’s property by the City’s animal patrol.
Animal protection officers from the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division immediately launched an investigation and, over the following months, gathered the necessary evidence to have Montreal Municipal Court’s Direction des poursuites pénales et criminelles lay criminal charges. Part of the investigation was covered in a J.E broadcast on the TVA network.
Today in Montreal Municipal Court, the accused, Marc-Antoine Côté of Montréal, was sentenced to 16 months in prison—one of the harshest animal cruelty sentences ever handed down in Quebec.
Repeated Violence Against Several Animals
The investigation showed that the cat had been beaten, and post-mortem examinations confirmed that the animal had been thrown from a certain height. It was also established that she had suffered fractures and injuries in the past. This was not the first time that the animal had suffered abuse.
In the course of the investigation, another incident involving the same individual, this time concerning a dog, was reported by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). The investigation conducted by the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division revealed that the young cat was not the individual’s only victim. The man had also seriously injured his dog, causing the latter’s death. The animal’s body was found in the trash.
Following the investigation and laying of charges, the Investigations Division arrested the individual, with the SPVM’s assistance, in October 2022.
Charges and Sentence
On November 17, 2022, the two animals’ owner, a man in his twenties, pleaded guilty to two counts:
– Wilfully and without lawful excuse killing a cat on or around March 7, 2022.
– Wilfully and without lawful excuse killing a dog on or around September 24, 2022.
The defendant, who has been in custody since his court appearance, was sentenced today to a total sentence of 16 months’ incarceration for both counts. A 3-year probation, including 2 years with monitoring by a probation officer, was imposed.
He is also prohibited from owning, having custody or control of an animal or living in a place where an animal is present for life.
Animal Cruelty: A Criminal Act with Real Consequences
Thanks to witnesses who care about animal welfare and the animal protection officers from the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division, the accused is serving one of the most serious sentences for animal cruelty in Quebec.
“The suffering inflicted on the animals in the accused’s care is tragic. The Investigations Division is proud of the work done on this case and hopes that the message is clear: anyone who breaks the animal cruelty laws will have to face the legal consequences of their actions,” warns Alain Tessier, Director of the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division.
Source : Montreal SPCA
Montreal SPCA public relations officer : Jeanne Beauchamp, public relations account manager, tök communications, 514-535-0326 | ext. 201, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you witness an incident of cruelty or neglect of an animal, please report it to the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations Division at 514-735-2711, ext. 2230, or fill the form on SPCA website. In an emergency, call 514-735-2711, extension 0.
Animal abuse or neglect can also be reported to the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation by calling 1-844-ANIMAUX (1 844 264-6289 ) or by filling the form on their website.
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montréal in 1869, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now better known as the Montreal SPCA) was the first animal-welfare organization in Canada. The SPCA has come a long way since its beginnings and is today the largest animal-protection organization in Québec, speaking on behalf of animals wherever there is ignorance, cruelty, exploitation or neglect.