Sunday 17 September 2023

6.5 years in jail, the longest Canadian sentence for animal cruelty

Aleeta Raugust. Image: Screenshot from video.

A young woman, living in Calgary, Canada, Aleeta Raugust, told police that she deliberately bought kittens through an online marketplace called Kijiji between 2018 and early 2023 with the intention of killing them, videotaping the killing and watching them to entertain herself. She also placed the bodies in public places to watch the reactions of those who saw them.

She underwent a psychological assessment before sentenced and was described as an impulsive psychopath with no remorse.

Her mother said that if she is released from prison that she will commit more horrific crimes.

The prosecution at her criminal trial requested an 8-10 sentence but the judge - arguably too soft - said that he did not want to give her the maximum sentence allowable under Canadian law to ensure that the sentence wasn't "crushing for a youthful offender."

She was 26 years of age in March of this year. She pleaded guilty to 9 charges involving animal abuse as well as a charge of threatening to damage property. She tended to burn down her former residence.

The news media headlines are that a Calgary woman tortured and killed cats. I don't have details about the torturing but she did video her cruelty towards the cats. I think it is better that we don't have to read a horrendous description of what she did but rather leave something to the imagination.

It is certain that she was horrendously cruel but without any remorse or sensitivity towards the animals. Arguably, she is more in need of psychological treatment then she is in need of an extended punishment but perhaps she requires both.

The previous longest sentence of animal cruelty in Canada was three years. Clearly, for many animal advocates, three years is far too short. But historically judges are reluctant to give extended sentences to those convicted of animal cruelty because animals are devalued in my opinion.

So, this 6.5-year sentence is the longest ever handed down to a criminal convicted of animal cruelty in Canadian history.

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