Dog killer says he wouldn’t do it again

Dog killer says he wouldn’t do it again

CALGARY SUN | MARCH 18, 2010
By KEVIN MARTIN

Next time Calgary puppy killer Jacob Rabeau will take the bite and spare the dog, his lawyer said Thursday.

Defence counsel Willie de Wit said Rabeau overreacted when he clubbed to death a Husky pup that was barking at him, but has learned his lesson.

“My client told me ‘in the future I’ll take a bite over hitting a dog,'” de Wit told provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk.

Rabeau, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty in connection with the Aug. 2, 2007, death of Queensland resident Justin Kotulak’s four-month-old pet, Shea.

Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit said Rabeau was urinating in an alley behind Kotulak’s home when Shea approached in what two witnesses described as an excited state.

“The puppy approached the accused in this excited state and the accused believed the puppy was going to nip him, or bite at his legs,” Freiheit said.

“The accused finished urinating and ran to the back of his car with the puppy following him and continuing to bark,” she said, reading from an agreed statement of facts.

“The accused opened the rear, driver’s side door and removed a wooden object, either a two-by-four, or a bat.

“The accused swung the wooden object at the puppy, connecting once with the puppy’s skull,” she said.

Kotulak, noticing his dog had escaped the backyard, went looking for Shea and found him in a grassy area beside the alley.

“Kotulak picked up Shea and carried him into the backyard, where the puppy died in his arms,” said Freiheit, who is seeking a short jail term and up to 18 months probation.

De Wit said his client was initially concerned for his safety, but overreacted by using a piece of wood to strike the animal.

“He acted on instinct and he acted the wrong way,” de Wit said.

The lawyer suggested a conditional discharge, which would mean Rabeau would have no criminal record once he completed probation, would be appropriate.

Semenuk will sentence Rabeau May 7.

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