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Man who hanged horse due in court

May 31 2012

A Brentwood Bay man convicted of cruelty to an animal is to appear in court this morning on a charge of breaching his probation.

On March 30, David Whiffin was fined $7,500 after being convicted of cruelty to an animal for failing to provide enough food to Jalupae, a 27year-old horse, in June and July 2009. Victoria provincial court Judge Sue Wishart also banned Whiffin from owning animals or birds for five years.

The Crown is now alleging that between April 2 and April 5, Whiffin was living in Saanichton with a miniature horse, dogs and geese while prohibited by the court order.

Originally, Whiffin was also charged with killing his horse when he hanged it using an excavator. However, Wishart found he killed the animal humanely and acquitted him on that charge.

When she sentenced Whiffin and his co-accused, Clayton Cunningham, Wishart said she was concerned Whiffin and Cunningham had not learned from the experience. Before she imposed sentence, Whiffin stood and said he did not realize he was responsible for the horse. He also complained he had not been given a chance to speak and had been treated unfairly.

"My hope is that by imposing these sentences on Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Whiffin, they will understand if you own an animal, or are the caretaker of an animal, you are obligated by law to provide appropriate care to that animal," Wishart said.

"If you are unable, for any reason, to provide appropriate care for the animal, surrender it to the SPCA, give it to someone else or, as owner, have it euthanized. What you can't do, is let the animal suffer, as occurred here."

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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