We received the following letter written to Judge Marlene Graham after the November 2012 sentencing of Derick Collin Anderson who threw his girlfriend’s 11-week old Pomeranian puppy off a raised balcony and, because he didn’t die from the fall, proceeded to kick the puppy to death. Anderson then placed the puppy’s body in a recycling can and sent a series of texts to his girlfriend, Tamara Graham, telling her he’d killed their puppy, Cujo, and that the puppy’s eye popped out when he kicked him. The incident happened in September, 2010.
Saying that Anderson didn’t pose a significant enough threat to be locked up, the judge ordered him to serve a conditional jail sentence in the community of 10 months, which will include four months of house arrest followed by a curfew. Graham also ordered Anderson to seek treatment for a diagnosed mental illness, intermittent explosive disorder, which led him to attack Cujo, an 11-week-old Pomeranian pup.
Yes, an 11-week old puppy!
The Crown, represented by Prosecutor Gord Haight, had asked for a six- to eight-month jail sentence.
So if this doesn’t enrage you to the laxness in our animal cruelty laws, what does? Myrna Sentes, an animal welfare supporter wrote the following letter to the judge in response to this obvious miscarriage. To date, the judge has not responded.
December 1, 2012
The Honorable Judge Marlene Graham
Provincial Court of Alberta
601 – 5th Street S. W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7
Dear Judge Graham,
On Thursday, November 29, 2012, three members of the DAISY Foundation, Delegates Against Inhumane Suffering Y, were in court for the sentencing of Derick Collin Anderson, who threw his girlfriend’s 11-week old Pomeranian puppy off a raised balcony and because it didn’t die, he then proceeded to kick it to death.
On Friday, November 30th I watched The Fifth Estate on “Hunting Magnotta”. It was very disturbing however, Magnotta, as well as many animal abusers, eventually turn from killing animals to killing people. This is well documented and these people are very sick.
For this reason I cannot understand why time after time the crown in these abuse cases asks for jail time and it is denied by the court. It would seem to me if a proper deterrent were imposed, maybe some of the abuse could be stopped.
Bringing up Derick Anderson’s childhood was nothing more than an excuse: his parents split up; he was abused; he has some kind of disorder. Because of psychiatrists everyone nowadays has some kind of disorder or syndrome. My husband is bi-polar. We’ve been married for 44 years and he manages his mental illness with medication. He has never beat an animal, his wife or his children, who have grown up, gotten university degrees and are loving and responsible. A number of people I know have left abusive relationships, and have raised their own children to be responsible, healthy adults. They don’t make excuses for their past, they live for the future.
Derick Anderson blames his past, his girlfriend, and his financial problems but he takes no responsibility himself. He merely takes his frustration out on an innocent little puppy!
I question his conditional sentence and his supposed “house arrest”. He still can go to work, do his DJ job at night, get food, take anger management courses and see his psychiatrist. He can be out all day and nights, when he works his DJ job. In other words, he has the same kind of freedom as I do. What kind of deterrent is that?
I also don’t believe he is going to change living arrangements with his sister and move out of his mother’s house. Why would he? And his “explosive anger disorder” that he supposedly didn’t know about? There is a reason why he hasn’t seen his children for 11 years!
The animal abuse laws have supposedly changed but they haven’t changed in favour of the animals. Animals are still considered disposable and the courts aren’t doing enough to stop this abuse.
Anderson’s lawyer says he has to do community service; he has to “give back”. How do you give a puppy back his life?
So where do we go from here? If the crown can’t count on the court to take a stand on animal abuse, who will? Maybe we should impose a law that states whatever the abuser did to the animal, that’s what his punishment should be. Or maybe we should just take him out behind the barn and beat the shit out of him! I think that kind of deterrent worked better than any of the laws we have now.
Time and again we go to these abuse court cases only to come away disappointed and frustrated. How many animals have to die before someone takes responsibility and the responsibility, I feel, is with the court system.
Animal Welfare Supporter
cc: Heather Anderson, Founder, DAISY Foundation
KUDOS to this supporter! More people need to step up and speak against this kind of laxness in animal cruelty cases else we will never do right by our animal companions. As has been noted over and again, abuse against animals is a stepping stone to abuse against people. But beyond that, it is cruelty to a living being and should not be tolerated.
STEP UP! Be the voice for the voiceless!
Calgary man avoids jail time for killing puppy