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Explanation of Categories in Case Law Database


  • Killing: Results in death of animal
  • Abuse: Positive act of harm that does not lead to death
  • Neglect: A negative act of ignoring the animal or failing to meet its needs, that is not better classed as abandonment or hoarding
  • Abandonment: Self-explanatory; the animal has been abandoned completely
  • Poison: Self-explanatory; the animal has been poisoned. There is a specific provision in the Code
  • Hoarding: Self-explanatory; large numbers of animals are kept under inadequate conditions
  • Dog Fighting: The act of encouraging aiding or assisting in the baiting or fighting of dogs (or dogs with any other animals); generally dealt with under s.445.1(1)(b)
  • Cock Fighting: Encouraging aiding or assisting in the fighting of cocks; generally dealt with under s.445.1(1)(b)
  • Other: Doesn't fit under above categories or is unknown


  • Cat: cat, kitten
  • Dog: dog, puppy
  • Rodent: mouse, rat, gerbil, hamster, chinchilla, etc.
  • Fowl: chicken, goose, turkey, hen, rooster, duck, etc.
  • Pig: pig, sow, piglet, boar, etc.
  • Horse: horse, pony, mare
  • Donkey: donkey, mule, ass
  • Sheep: self explanatory
  • Goat: self explanatory
  • Cattle: cow, calf, bull (may cover other large farm animals when species not mentioned in case)
  • Rabbit: rabbit, bunny, hare
  • Bird: pigeon, dove, cockatiel, parrot, budgie, finch, etc.
  • Reptile: snake, lizard, turtle, etc.
  • Primate: chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, etc.
  • Fish: self explanatory
  • Water mammal: dolphin, whale, seal, walrus, etc.
  • Wildlife (local): squirrel, racoon, groundhog, deer, beaver, fox, skunk, etc.
  • Exotic: tiger, elephant, lion, llama etc.
  • Other: All other animals that do not fit under the above categories

Legal Issues

  • Willfullness: The mens rea standard
  • Necessity: The definition of unnecessary in s.445.1(1)(a)
  • Suffering: The definition of suffering in s.445.1(1)(a)
  • Ownership/care/control: The definition of owner and custody and control under s. 445(1)(a) and (c), and s.446(1)(b)
  • Suitable Care: The definition of suitable and adequate care under s.446(1)(b)
  • Abandoning in distress: The definition of abandoning in distress under s.446(1)(b)
  • Lawful purpose: The definition of animals kept for a lawful purpose under s.445(1)(a)
  • Maim/Wound/Injure: The definition of kills, maims, wounds or injures under s.444(1)(a) and s.445(1)(a)
  • Encourage/Aid/Assist: The definition of encourage, aid or assist under s.445.1(1)(b)
  • Common defenses (more specific issues may be listed, as follows)
    • Legal excuse
    • Legal justification
    • Color of Right
    • Mistake of Fact
  • Procedure (more specific issues may be listed, as follows)
    • Warrantless seizures: exigent circumstances
    • Warrantless entry/searches
    • Charges: How crown charges for acts or omissions related to animals under the criminal code (indictment vs. summary, charge per animal vs. 1 charge and asking for higher sentence due to # of animals etc.)
    • Pre-trial disposition of animals: Under s.490.01, for example
    • S.8 Charter: unreasonable search and seizure
  • Sentencing: for animal cruelty offences (more specific issues may be listed, as follows)
    • Prohibition orders
    • Restitution orders
    • Imprisonment
    • Fines
  • Provincial cases: (more specific issues may be listed, as follows)
    • Due diligence
    • “Distress”
    • Sentencing
    • Costs
    • Pre-trial disposition
    • Exemptions
    • Procedure
    • Disposition of Animals
    • “Adequate” (providing adequate care)
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