A cat who was violently bludgeoned on Christmas Day 2006 is getting justice at last.
After eluding authorities in locales around B.C. for more than three years, David Wayne Canaday was finally arrested on an outstanding warrant at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in Nelson earlier this month.
Canaday pleaded guilty to a Criminal Code charge of animal cruelty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, fined $50, prohibited from having animals for 10 years and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment and receive any counselling recommended by a probation officer.
"It's been a long haul," said Erika Paul, the BC SPCA special provincial constable who investigated the case. "Now, hopefully Canaday will get the treatment that is necessary to prevent him from hurting another animal."
On Dec. 25, 2006, Canaday was spending the holidays in Duncan with a family and their female cat, Goober. While the family was out visiting relatives, Canaday beat Goober with a broom handle. He then called the family at the home of the relatives to report that Goober had had an accident. The family arrived home to find their pet sprawled on their bedroom floor, covered in blood. They rushed her to the vet, but her injuries were so extensive that she had to be humanely euthanized.
Paul says it was obvious to her when she visited the home that Goober did not have "an accident."
"There was blood spatter throughout the house, there were claw marks on the walls and windowsills and there were large holes in the walls that appeared to have been made by the broom handle," said Paul. "It was quite obvious that a violent struggle had taken place."
Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA's general manager of cruelty investigations, called the case horrific, but is pleased with the sentencing outcome.
"We've seen individuals sentenced to jail for cases involving multiple animals, but this is the first time an individual has received this type of sentence for a case involving a single animal," said Moriarty. "We're thrilled the courts recognize the seriousness of the offence and also, through the prohibition on having animals and the court-ordered counselling, the need to keep animals safe from Mr. Canaday in the future."
Although the offence occurred in Duncan, the court file was transferred to Penticton, where Canaday was expected for a court appearance in December 2007. When he didn't show, a warrant was issued on Dec. 17, 2007.
He was finally arrested at the scene of a car accident in Nelson, coincidentally, by a former BC SPCA cruelty investigator who is now a police officer.
For more information, read our official press release.
You can help the BC SPCA rescue and protect animals like Goober and bring their abusers to justice, by supporting the Heroes Fund for Animal Protection. Please donate today.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.