Alberta Woman Found Not Guilty of Causing Distress to Aging Cat

The Alberta Court of Justice has found Cheryle Baker not guilty of causing or permitting an animal to be in distress, contrary to section 2(1) of Alberta’s Animal Protection Act. The issue in this case involved the appropriate care required for a geriatric animal, whose distress was caused by the natural process of aging. The Crown alleged that the accused’s failure to consult veterinary medical advice as various age-related deteriorations, including weight loss and refusal to eat/drink, in her cat Tom’s health which occurred caused or permitted Tom to be in distress for nine months before she ultimately had him euthanized. Expert testimony conflicted regarding the cat's condition, but the court ultimately concluded that the accused was not aware of Tom's distress and took appropriate action once she became aware.