Ottawa dog abuser receives precedent setting jail time
June 19, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) applauds the sentence handed down to Steven Helfer today in Ottawa. In September 2013 Mr. Helfter brutally and viciously beat his mother’s dog, named Breezy, in a brazen mid-afternoon attack that horrified Ottawans. Mr. Helfer was charged under the federal Criminal Code of Canada.
“Breezy’s case captured the hearts of Canadians across the country because of the shocking severity of the crime,” says Barbara Cartwright CEO of the CFHS. “Thanks to the hard work of the Ottawa Humane Society, the Crown and the foresight of Justice Ann Alder, Mr. Helfer received 2 years imprisonment, 3 years of probation and is banned from owning an animal for 25 years.”
The court decision is the amongst the strongest sentence handed out in Canada since the penalties section of the Criminal Code of Canada (animal cruelty section) were increased in 2007 and carries to most jail time.
“The sentence is significant to all animals that are abused in this country because it raises the bar which is woefully low. But the bar needs to continue to increase until the punishment truly fits the crime” says Ms. Cartwright.
Since the 1980’s the CFHS has championed strong and effective animal cruelty laws.
“Canadians care deeply about animals and want those who abuse them to be appropriately punished.” says Ms. Cartwright. “Sadly, society is often let down by our archaic laws and inadequate sentences. They continue to demand change evidenced by the fact that there are five different private members bills seeking to amend the animal cruelty section of the Criminal Code of Canada.”
About the CFHS
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is a national organization representing humane societies and SPCAs in Canada. Founded in 1957, the CFHS works toward positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.
- 30 -
Contact: Kim Elmslie, Communications and Advocacy Manager, 613-224-8072 ex. 12, firstname.lastname@example.org