N.B. man who pleaded guilty to starving dog back in custody awaiting sentencing
A judge has reserved his decision in an animal cruelty case involving a man who left his dog to starve to death over the course of two months in Summerville, N.B.
In January, 27-year-old Kyle Springer pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals. During a sentencing hearing Tuesday, the Crown revealed details surrounding the dog’s death.
It’s believed that Diesel, a Shepherd mix, was left without food and water. Evidence showed a house torn apart by the dog as he desperately tried to find something to eat. The dog’s body was found near a window by the landlords, who were in the process of evicting Springer after he failed to pay rent.
A necropsy found plastic remnants in the dog’s stomach and determined it had died of emaciation and dehydration.
“I was just heartsick over how an animal could just be left there,” explained Stephanie Thornton, one of nearly 100 supporters who turned out for a rally outside the Woodstock, N.B., courthouse.
Springer had been in western Canada when he abandoned the dog and was arrested only when he returned home for the holidays. A video of the mobile home where the dog was discovered has been shared online and seen by hundreds.
“People think these things do not happen in their neighborhood. This stuff happens everywhere. In your neighborhood, to your next-door neighbour down the street — it’s all over the place. It doesn’t end,” said Susan Henley, an organizer of the rally.
The Crown asked Justice Julian Dickson to consider handing down a sentence of five to six months, while the defence is seeking a 90-day sentence to be served on weekends.
“Look, I’m going to have to look at this,” explained Dickson, as he reserved his decision for later in the month and remanded Springer into custody, telling his lawyer he would not consider an intermittent sentence.
Outside the hearing, protesters wanted to see a heavy-handed decision of at least 18 months and a $10,000 fine.
“Where is the precedent going to be set? At some point in time, some judge needs to set a precedent,” explained Henley.
Springer will be sentenced on April 18.
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