So what’s next for Habermehl?

So what’s next for Habermehl?

Press Release | June 15, 2013

Robert Habermehl, animal abuser, outside Calgary courthouse


Robert Habermehl tries to avoid media by raising a briefcase as he leaves the Calgary Courts Centre April 30, 2013 in Calgary, Alta. Habermehl was charged in 2009 with causing an animal distress under the Animal Protection Act and a Criminal Code charges for injuring a cat. Jim Wells/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

Robert Habermehl tries to avoid media by raising a briefcase as he leaves the Calgary Courts Centre April 30, 2013 in Calgary, Alta. Habermehl was charged in 2009 with causing an animal distress under the Animal Protection Act and a Criminal Code charges for injuring a cat. Jim Wells/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

The D.A.I.S.Y? Foundation wants the press to be aware that on Monday, June 17th at 9:00 a.m., Robert Habermehl will be in Calgary court. Habermehl was charged on November 27, 2009 for physical abuse after a cat in his care, Minnie, was found so severely injured that she had to be humanely euthanasia.

This has been a long and trying court case. We’re hoping that Mr. Habermehl’s “heart attack” will have no impact on the sentence the judge planned on giving him. This guy has been trying to weasel himself out of a conviction, and now a sentence, for almost 4 years. He has cost, and continues to cost, the tax payers a lot of money.

The D.A.I.S.Y? Foundation has dealt with several people who appear to have mental issues, but Mr. Habermehl ‘takes the cake’. He has even threatened the judge; i.e. “You’re going to be sorry if you put me in jail.” He thinks the case should be thrown out of court because “everybody thinks I’m a monster and I’ve suffered enough.” What about the suffering of Minnie, whose intestines were hanging out, and Melanie Manning, his girlfriend at the time, who has suffered with the guilt of not leaving Robert soon enough and witnessing Minnie’s intestines hanging out and then the loss of her beloved pet.

He’s made a mockery of the justice system. We’re surprised he hasn’t been charged with contempt of court and/or uttering threats. This is a dangerous man who needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. He should be jailed and given therapy.

Once again the D.A.I.S.Y? Foundation wants to thank you.


Sample Letter to the Judge

Sample Letter to the Judge

Sample letter to the judgeSeveral people have expressed an interest in writing letters to the judge(s) presiding over animal abuse and cruelty cases, however they do not know what to say.

To follow is a sample that you can either use as your own (be sure to address it to the correct judge and add your name at the bottom) or use to help you write your own. This letter is addressed to Judge Fraser who handles a lot of  the animal abuse cases:


Honourable Judge Bruce R. Fraser
Alberta Provincial Court
601 – 5th Street SW
Calgary, AB  T2P 5P7

Dear Judge Fraser:

In light of another horrific animal abuse case in Alberta, it’s time to use your power to prosecute these abusers to the fullest extent of the law; by sending them to jail.

The amount of pain and suffering that is inflicted on vulnerable, powerless, animals shows that these abusers are capable to going one-step further – harming innocent human victims. The sentences handed down by judges are inadequate and will do little to stop abusers from re-offending.

Now is the time to use your authority to make Alberta a safer place for animals and people alike.

Yours truly,
[ your name here ]


You can copy the letter above and paste it into your email or download a copy here. Our thanks to Myrna for writing this for us.

And remember, we are their voices because it certainly seems that a lot of people are not hearing it when the animals speak.


Fine in cat killing

Fine in cat killing

NADIA MOHARIB | Calgary Sun

Delivering a deadly kick to a young cat earned a Calgary man a fine of $1,800 [plus $270 for the victim fine surcharge], community service and a two-year ban on owning animals.

But in a joint submission, Darren Ronald Lesy was given an exception to see the golden retriever, named Harley, allowed to live with him and his wife although the dog’s care and control will be the responsibility of his spouse.

Lesy, who was 23 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance and was sentenced Wednesday.

In the April 27, 2007, attack, the cat named Sage died after being kicked in the head.

Court heard Lesy was angry at the cat’s inability to control her bowels – after bathing Sage, he discovered fecal matter on her fur prompting him to launch his violent attack.

He had bathed the cat after she urinated inside a Rosehill Dr. N.W. home.

He took Sage to the vet but it was too late for viable resuscitation efforts and the two-year-old cat died of trauma to the upper cervical spinal cord.

Lesy pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit said such cases typically lead to jail terms but this case has several mitigating factors including Lesy having no prior criminal record, taking the cat to a vet, pleading guilty and taking it upon himself to get counselling.

While she said “he meant to kick the cat … he didn’t mean to kill her.” She said it was a “one-blow situation with a quick death.”

In addition to the hefty fine, he faces six months probation, must do 50 hours community service, and, other than the exception for Harley, is prohibited from owing an animal for two years.

Judge Gerry Meaher, who is bound to accept the joint submission by the Crown and Lesy’s lawyer David Mohr unless he felt it was unreasonable, said it was fitting.

“This was not intentional,” he told the court.

“It was very reckless with very unfortunate consequences.” Brad Nichol, an animal protection investigator at the Calgary Humane Society, said the sentence was acceptable.

“It was a violent act and incarceration was certainly on the table,” he said outside court.

“I agree, there were mitigating factors. I don’t think he is the picture of the accused we usually see, it was a bad decision.” He said it is not unusual to see existing animals allowed by the courts to stay in a home where someone convicted of such a crime lives and “time will tell,” whether Harley-the-dog is at any risk of similar abuse.

“Past behaviour can be a predictor of future behaviour,” Nichols said.

“Time will tell.”

A group of animal rights activists, including some with young children, were in the court – a mainstay at most cases before the courts involving animal cruelty.

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Feces led owner to fatally kick cat

Feces led owner to fatally kick cat

CALGARY SUN | MAY 21, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN

Anger over his cat’s inability to control its bowels led a Calgary man to fatally kick the feline, a court heard Monday.

Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit said Darren Ronald Lesy kicked his and his girlfriend’s pet, Sage, two, after bathing the animal the morning of Aug. 27, 2007, and discovering fecal matter on her.

“I’m not sure whether the cat defecated at that point, or had feces on it,” Freiheit told provincial court Judge Gerry Meagher.

Freiheit said Lesy was bathing the cat after it had urinated inside their Rosehill Dr. N.W. residence.

“Mr. Lesy saw the fecal matter, became mad and kicked at the cat,” she said.

“The kick made contact with the cat’s head.”

Freiheit said although Lesy kicked at the animal, he didn’t intend to kill Sage.

“It’s not the Crown’s position that Mr. Lesy intended to cause the death of the cat,” she said.

Freiheit said Lesy reported the animal at first seemed okay, but her condition began to deteriorate and he rushed the feline to a veterinary hospital.

“The cat at that point was already dead,” she said, adding a vet made an unsuccessful attempt to revive the pet.

“The cause of death was trauma to the upper cervical spinal cord,” Freiheit said.

Lesy, 25, pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge of causing damage or pain to an animal through willful neglect.

The offence at the time carried a maximum sentence of six months.

While more recent legislation has increased the maximum to two years, Lesy is entitled to be sentenced under the Criminal Code as it was in 2007.

At defence lawyer David Mohr’s request, Meagher ordered a presentence report be prepared by probation.

Lesy, who remains at liberty, returns to court on Aug. 4, when sentencing submissions will be made.

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Woman charged with animal neglect over injured, abandoned Doberman pup

Woman charged with animal neglect over injured, abandoned Doberman pup

CALGARY HERALD | MAY 5, 2010
By Deborah Tetley

Photograph by: Ted Rhodes, Calgary HeraldCharges have been laid against a woman six months after a Doberman puppy was found critically injured and abandoned in a blood-covered kennel outside a vet hospital.

The woman faces one Criminal Code charge of abandonment or wilful neglect of an animal in distress. She has also been charged under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta with causing or permitting an animal in her care to be in distress, Calgary Humane Society officials said Tuesday.

“Public support for this puppy was incredible,” said executive director Patricia Cameron. “Our animal protection investigators did a huge amount of work on this case and it truly demonstrated that Calgarians will not stand for animal abuse and cruelty or neglect.”

The dog, which is now eight months old, has been renamed Mike by the foster family who has been caring for him since he was found last November in the parking lot of Calgary North Veterinary Hospital.

He was underweight, dehydrated, had a broken leg, a head injury and required surgeries. At the time, officials said he’d been abused.

Since then, he’s made a remarkable recovery, Cameron said.

“Despite what was clearly a horrible ordeal, Mike is still ready to trust, to love and to enjoy life,” she said.

A Criminal Code conviction could mean a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $5,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals, the humane society said.

Cynthia Guan, 22, of Calgary, is to appear in court May 27.

The founder of the DAISY Foundation, which received a donation to put up a $10,500 reward for information leading to an arrest, said she’s happy someone has been charged.

“This case was sad,” said Heather Anderson. “I am excited about the arrest and hopeful the evidence sticks.”

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Animal rights group calls for changes in the law

Animal rights group calls for changes in the law

CTV CALGARY | FEBRUARY 9, 2010

Three separate cases involving animal cruelty were before the courts in Calgary on Tuesday.

One of the cases involved Bradley Bergman. The 56-year-old plead guilty to tying a noose around the neck of his girlfriend’s dog and threatening to hand and gut the animal.

While the cases were going on inside, The Daisy Foundation held a demonstration outside. “As far as the law goes, because this was his property, he’s probably going to get away with it, because of the property law in Canada – that animals are considered property – which is ridiculous,” says Heather Anderson, a member of the animal rights group.

Also in court on Tuesday was Donald Ainsworth. He pled guilty to animal cruelty for beating his dog with a flashlight – an assault that left the animal blind in one eye.

The third case involved a man accused of beating to death a four-month-old puppy. This case has been set over.

“It just goes to show how many cases are really happening in this county. And when you consider these are the cases going to court, what about the ones that didn’t have enough evidence,” says Anderson.

The Daisy Foundation says changes are needed to Canadian law so animal abusers are given stiffer sentences. The group is lobbying the federal government to pass Bill C-229.

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Calgary-area sheep owner says teen attacker’s sentence too lenient

Calgary-area sheep owner says teen attacker’s sentence too lenient

Youth must pay fine, serve community

CALGARY HERALD | OCTOBER 22, 2009
By Gwendolyn Richards; Calgary Herald, Photograph by The Gazette/Marie-France Coallier

CALGARY – A sentence of probation and community service for a Strathmore teen who attacked a sheep– injuring it to the point it had to be put down–doesn’t fit the crime, says the animal’s owner.

The youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was ordered to perform 50 months of community service and pay restitution of $607 to owner Mel Smart.

Smart, who has been to all of the teen’s court appearances since the June 2008 incident, said she expected nothing more from the sentence considering the limitations of youth court guidelines, but is still disappointed.

“I certainly don’t think beating– resulting in the death of an animal–versus probation is any way, shape or form equal,” she said Wednesday. “I always hope that some sort of justice is going to prevail. But, unfortunately, the way the youth court system works in Canada, that’s not going to happen.”

Smart had loaned her herd of about 300 sheep to the Strathmore Agricultural Society to help maintain its grounds last summer.

The animals were behind a two-metre high, chain link fence when four teens entered the area and harassed the animals. The youth used a hockey stick to beat the sheep.

Smart said one ewe had to be put down due to extensive injuries, and more than a dozen others were injured.

Four teens were charged with trespassing and one faced the second charge of injuring cattle.

He pleaded guilty to the second charge in Strathmore provincial court. The trespassing charge was withdrawn.

According to Smart, the judge blasted the teen, who was under probation at the time of the incident, and adjourned court to allow the youth and his family to make arrangements to get the money for restitution so it could be paid that day.

Animal activist Heather Anderson said she was surprised the teen pleaded guilty and saddened the sentence did not reflect the brutality of the crime.

“Every bone was shattered,” she said. “She had to lay there until she was found.”

Anderson, who created the DAISY Foundation, said cases like these indicate there is a need for tougher penalties for animal cruelty.

“There’s no difference between animal abuse and people abuse and it has to stop,” she said.

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