WARNING: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing
EDMONTON – The 19-year-old who admitted to stealing his friend’s pet cat in February before mutilating and cooking it was sentenced on Tuesday.
In July, Zachary McKinnon pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. At the time, he told court that he stole his friend’s cat and stabbed it repeatedly. He and two other teens then cooked parts of the animal in a skillet over a fire in the Mill Creek Ravine.
When fire crews responded to calls about a fire in the ravine, they found the remains of the cat and bloody scissors.
The Edmonton Police Service said the cat had been the family pet for 15 years.
“[The cat] was like my brother basically. It was like losing a brother. It’s like I’m missing half of myself without him,” said 19-year-old Derek North, who remembers getting the cat from a farm when he was three.
Court heard McKinnon told a friend he wanted to kill a cat because he was “bored.” Two of the teens had gone on the Internet to learn how to drain blood from a cat to cook it.
The Crown was seeking two years in prison and two years of probation. The Defence was asking for a sentence of between six and nine months.
It claimed McKinnon didn’t initiate the attack, but rather stabbed the animal to put it out of its misery.
During the hearing, McKinnon addressed the family, saying: “It is my responsibility to learn and show remorse and to not cause pain to others.
“I wholeheartedly ask you to accept my apology. I am truly, truly sorry.”
North said he wouldn’t be able to do that.
Wednell Mack Mah, 18, and a 14-year-old boy who can’t be identified were also charged with animal cruelty in connection with the case. Mah’s trial is scheduled for January.
Global News reporter Eric Szeto was in court covering the case Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter here: