Calgary man Robert Nicholson gets year in jail for killing ex-tenants’ family dog

Robert Nicholson was charged with killing an animal without lawful excuse and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in 2015. Obtained by Global News

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

A Calgary man was sentenced to one year in jail plus 18 months of probation for killing his former tenants’ family dog.

Robert Nicholson was also handed a five-year ban on owning animals Tuesday.

He had pleaded guilty in November to one count of causing harm to an animal.

“I’m very happy the judge did not listen to his whining about that he has ADHD and that that’s the reason he did this horrific thing,” said Heather Anderson, of the Daisy Foundation animal advocate group. “I wish it would have been a lifetime ban but I guess five years is better than nothing. And let’s hope someone keeps an eye on that and that he doesn’t have any animals in his possession.

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“I’m afraid if he had gone to that house that day and this family would have been home…what would he have done to them? I don’t even want to know.”

WATCH BELOW: Thu, Nov 10: Horrific details of the slow and painful killing of a family dog last year in Calgary were detailed during a sentencing hearing for Robert Nicholson, who admitted to killing his friend and former tenants’ dog, Chevy. WARNING: Details are graphic and viewer discretion is advised. Nancy Hixt reports.

Click to play video: 'Sentencing decision reserved for Calgary man who slaughtered tenants’ family dog'
Sentencing decision reserved for Calgary man who slaughtered tenants’ family dog

Chevy, a female Border Collie cross, was killed March 23, 2015.

Nicholson, 36, had sublet the main floor of a Renfrew house to Joe Hossay and his wife and kids.

Nicholson went into a rage and broke down the door to the Hossays’ suite, according to an agreed statement of facts.

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READ MORE: Sentencing decision reserved for Calgary man who slaughtered tenants’ family dog

Court heard that Nicholson chased Chevy around the house, into the backyard and the garage. Nicholson then struck Chevy with the blunt end of an axe, causing a skull fracture.

When that didn’t knock Chevy unconscious, court heard that Nicholson stabbed him twice in the throat with a knife. But that still didn’t kill the dog.

Chevy ran from the garage but then Nicholson attacked her again — attempting to cut the dog’s throat. The knife was too dull.

WATCH BELOW: A 34-year-old man has been charged in an animal abuse case. A dog was found buried in the back yard in the community of Renfrew.

Nicholson went back into his home and obtained a serrated knife, then went back outside and cut through Chevy’s neck.

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The vet who later examined Chevy said there were both stab and “saw” marks in the dog’s neck.

Chevy died from blood loss from the cut to her jugular and carotid veins.

Prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood told court the dog was “murdered in a violent, savage manner” and described it as ‘‘stark, unmitigated terror.”

The doctor estimated it took at least ten minutes for the dog to die and said the dog would have been gasping while the attack continued.

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