Community prison sentence for Saskatchewan. man who killed his ex’s dog

Judge Donna Scott called Travis Dauvin’s response to being bitten by Jake, an 11-pound Maltese, an ‘overreaction’.

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A Saskatchewan man who admitted causing the death of his ex-girlfriend’s dog will serve a six-month sentence in the community, with conditions, followed by a 12-month probation order.

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The conditions imposed on Travis Mark Dauvin, 33, include anger management and personal counseling as directed by his supervisor, 120 hours of community service and a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless authorized in writing prior.

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He must also pay his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Buggs, $2,680.

In August, Dauvin pleaded guilty to killing Buggs’ Maltese Jake in his Thode, Sask. at home on May 17, 2020.

Dauvin said he threw Jake into a clothes rack after the dog bit him as he tried to pick him up. Buggs, who was not in the room at the time, later found Dauvin trying to feed Jake, who was lying unresponsive on the bed. She immediately took Jake to the veterinary hospital, where he died.

The court heard Dauvin threw Jake hard enough to cause four broken ribs, a punctured lung and bruising around his neck and chest.

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Delivering her sentencing decision in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Friday, Judge Donna Scott called Dauvin’s response an “overreaction,” noting that the 11-pound Maltese posed no real threat to him and that d other non-violent responses were available.

Melissa Buggs and her late dog, Jake.  (Melissa Bugs)
Melissa Buggs and her late dog, Jake. (Melissa Bugs) .jpg

Crown Attorney Aaron Martens argued that Jake’s suffering was ‘entirely avoidable’, suggesting either three to six months in prison or nine to 18 months to be served in the community, in addition to probation, 120 hours of community service and a ban against Dauvin. to own a future animal.

Defense attorney Jillian Williamson argued Dauvin should be given a conditional discharge – which would leave him with no criminal record – because he took an online anger management course and was previously punished by losing his job and being harassed on social media after his accusations were reported.

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The court also heard that Dauvin is a volunteer with significant family and community support. Some of the 12 letters of support provided to the court outline her animal rescue history and claim her behavior towards Jake was “out of place”.

However, Scott noted that Dauvin is still in court after pleading guilty to injuring another ex-girlfriend’s dog, before killing Jake. Sentencing on this matter is expected in October.

Animal welfare is seen as a barometer of how a person treats people, Scott said, citing case law.

“Animals are so much more than just animals, and people who can harm a voiceless innocent animal are a danger to our society. Animal abusers must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, and I am glad that today we took a step in that direction,” Buggs said in a written statement.

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Scott said prison sentences for animal cruelty usually involve premeditation and repeated abuse over a period of time. Conversely, she said a discharge would not reflect the seriousness of the offense and would be contrary to the public interest.

Suspended sentences strike the right balance between punishment and rehabilitation, she said, telling Dauvin he could be jailed if he violated his terms.

As part of his sentence, Dauvin cannot own or be in “exclusive possession or control” of an animal for three years. Scott said this formulation allowed him to live with his current partner’s support dog, but he could not be alone with the animal.

She judged that Dauvin was in a position of trust with Jake when he was dating Buggs, as the agreed facts indicate that the couple lived together in his home and both were involved in Jake’s care. The court heard they had a new dog until their relationship ended in February 2021.

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Scott told the court she drew “no inference” from the fact that Buggs remained in a relationship with Dauvin for nine months after Jake’s death. Buggs told the StarPhoenix that she was initially suspicious of what happened, but wanted to believe Dauvin when he suggested her dog fell down the stairs.

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  1. Jake died after one of four broken ribs punctured his lung on May 17, 2020. (Melissa Buggs)

    Saskatchewan. man pleads guilty to animal cruelty in dog death and awaits sentencing

  2. Melissa Buggs and her late dog, Jake.  Photo provided by Melissa Buggs.

    Saskatchewan. man faces animal cruelty charges involving his ex-girlfriends’ dogs

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