Jail time, lifetime animal ban for Captain’s owner Brian Whitlock
Published Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:18AM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:40PM PDT
Brian Whitlock, the Vancouver man who admitted to beating his German shepherd with a baseball bat before leaving it to die in a dumpster, will serve jail time for the vicious attack.
Two-year-old Captain was found covered in cuts, bruises and puncture wounds in July 2012 by Kitsilano residents who heard his cries. A vet who treated the malnourished dog said it would have likely been left quadriplegic had it survived.
On Wednesday, a B.C. Provincial Court judge sentenced the dog’s 26-year-old owner to 60 days in jail, far less than the six-month sentence Crown prosecutors were recommending.
With credit for time already served, Whitlock will spend just seven more days in custody for his dog’s death.
He has also been ordered to serve three years’ probation and has been banned from owning animals for the rest of his life.
Animal activists in the gallery, disappointed in the sentence, let out audible gasps as the judge handed down his verdict.
Whitlock’s lawyers had asked for a non-custodial sentence, saying mental illness was a factor.
Two psychiatric evaluations after the incident yielded opposing results. The first said there were no signs of mental issues, but another concluded he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
While pleased with the ban on owning animals, the BC SPCA would have liked to see Whitlock serve more time for the assault.
“It’s disappointing. But with the mental health setback and the precedent of other decisions, the judge’s hands were somewhat tied,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief enforcement officer for the BC SPCA
During his sentencing hearing, the court heard that Whitlock told police he thought Captain had been poisoned, and shut him in a separate room because he became fearful of the animal – and said it was acting very unusual.
Whitlock didn’t take the dog to the vet or the SPCA because of the cost, the court heard, and instead said it was his responsibility to “deal with the dog.”
He lured the dog near him with a piece of meat, and then smashed it over the head four times with a baseball bat. He wrapped the dog in a blanket and carried it to a dumpster outside his home, where he threw it in and walked away.
A baseball bat with fur on it that matched Captain’s DNA was seized from Whitlock’s home a month after the dog’s death, in addition to chains and a walking stick.
Whitlock told police he killed the dog as quickly and humanely as possible, and that Captain was the best dog he ever had.