Niagara Man Who Hanged Family Dog Convicted of Animal Cruelty

Judge Joseph De Filippis of the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines sentenced William Knuff to a custodial sentence of six months and a twenty-year prohibition on owning pets. Knuff pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after he hanged his family dog from the rafters of a garage. Knuff claimed that he hanged the dog due to financial pressures, including the cost of caring for the sick animal. In making his decision, Judge De Filippis said “[t]here is no excuse for what the defendant did” and that “Canadians expect, and the law demands, that animals be properly cared for — even when problems develop.” According to reports, Knuff has been in protective pre-trial custody since the time of his arrest because the nature of the crime puts him at risk of retribution from other inmates.