A Vancouver man has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for abusing several cats and a mouse that he filmed on video, in what the BC SPCA says is one of the worst animal cruelty cases they've ever come across.
Jordan Lucas, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in Vancouver after pleading guilty. He was also given a two-year ban on owning any animals.
The animal abuse first came to light when Mr. Lucas sold a television to an individual over Craigslist, according to Crown spokesperson Samantha Hulme. Ms. Hulme said the television included an SD card, used to record video, which featured footage of a person abusing a cat and a mouse.
The individual contacted the BC SPCA, which subsequently came into possession of more videos of Mr. Lucas abusing cats.
Ms. Hulme said the cats were thrown against furniture, burned and sprayed in the face with a chemical. She could not confirm whether the animals were killed.
The individual who bought the TV was able to identify Mr. Lucas to police as the person in the video, Ms. Hulme added. She said the videos were made from January to February, 2012.
The Crown and the defence had made a joint submission for a 17-month sentence. Ms. Hulme said the Crown was "content" that the judge issued the sentence it was seeking.
Mr. Lucas was also sentenced to 17 months for an unrelated robbery charge, as well as receiving jail time for several lesser charges. The sentences will be served concurrently and, owing to time already served, will amount to seven months.
Lorie Chortyk, the general manager of community relations with the BC SPCA, said her organization was pleased with the sentence but concerned that Mr. Lucas was only given a two-year ban on owning animals.
"It's one of the highest jail sentences we've received in an animal cruelty case, but we're disturbed with the two-year ban on owning animals because we felt that, given the brutality of the actions, we would have liked to see a lifetime ban," she said, adding that the abuse was some of the worst SPCA constables had ever seen.
"In one case, the torture went on for hours and hours of a little kitten," she said. "It was one of the most sickening cases."
The BC SPCA said it carries out about 6,000 animal cruelty investigations every year.
Ms. Chortyk said constables only investigate cases that are reported – and that far more cases of animal abuse likely occur.