An Island man was handed a six-month sentence for causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.
Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, was sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 5, by Judge Brian Harvey, with John Blackman, Crown counsel, and Chris Churchill, defence, entering an joint submission.
Citing an agreed statement of facts, Blackman said a dog, a Malinois shepherd, had been in the care of Giroux in the Nanoose Bay area, north of Nanaimo, in December 2019. The dog was taken to the vet that Dec. 24 with breathing issues and was subsequently found to have injuries to its internal organs and its penis.
Video surveillance played in court showed the dog yelping numerous times and according to the statement of facts, Giroux had beaten the dog. It suffered from a burst bladder and extensive bruising in its abdominal cavity. The dog’s pancreas and surrounding tissue were severely inflamed and bruised and its liver showed signs of severe trauma.
It was the vet’s opinion that a powerful blow to the dog’s abdomen led to the bladder injury. In addition, the blow was likely to have caused bruising and bleeding in the dog’s penis. It could have died if it had been brought to the clinic 20 minutes later, the vet said.
Subsequently, the B.C. SPCA and RCMP initiated an investigation. According to a pre-sentence report and psychological assessment, Giroux attributed his actions to a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the fact he smoked marijuana at the time, which he has since quit.
It was also revealed, during Harvey’s ruling, that Giroux suffers from depression and anxiety in addition to the ADHD. Adjustments were made to Giroux’s medication, which seemed to have helped him “tremendously,” however, Harvey said Giroux is still classified as a moderate-to-high risk for family or intimate partner violence and low-to-moderate risk of further harm to animals.
The dog recovered from its injuries, Blackman told the News Bulletin.
The joint submission called for three months’ probation and a 25-year ban from owning animals. Giroux was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution and will be required to complete 150 hours of community service within 18 months after his release from jail.
Giroux had initially been charged with bestiality, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge, entering the guilty plea on Feb. 16.
Neither Blackman nor Churchill wished to comment after the hearing.