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Remorseful cat killer sentenced to house arrest
By Tony Blais
First posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:52 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:04 AM EDT
An Edmonton man who protected his elderly cat from a hard-to-kill “Terminator” cat when he bashed the animal with a flashlight, shot it with a BB gun and stomped on its head avoided jail Wednesday.

Vernon Joseph Blandin, 49, was handed a six-month conditional sentence to be served in the community after earlier being convicted of killing an animal without lawful excuse and causing unnecessary pain or injury to an animal.

Provincial court Judge Fred Day rejected the Crown’s call for a jail sentence of 15 to 20 months after accepting a psychologist’s conclusions that Blandin can be managed in the community and he does not pose a risk of further animal cruelty.

Day called it a “difficult” decision and reiterated what he said at the time of conviction, which is that Blandin is not a “monster” and he was simply trying to protect his own cat and then wanted to end the animal’s suffering after believing he had mortally wounded it.

In his Oct. 2, 2015, reasons for conviction, Day said he “might” have found Blandin not guilty if he had stopped right after repeatedly bashing the cat on the head with a flashlight, after it had come into his inner-city home and attacked his elderly cat.

But he ruled Blandin went over the line during the June 27, 2013, incident when he later used a BB gun to shoot the cat in the head and then dropped it on a cement pad and “stomped” on its head.

Blandin was ordered to be under house arrest, except when working, and he must go for treatment and counselling for psychological issues and anger management. As well, he is prohibited from consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.

Day declined to issue a pet ban.

Crown prosecutor Christian Lim had sought a jail sentence with probation to follow and a 25-year pet prohibition.

“Two cats fighting did not require such lethal measures,” said Lim, calling Blandin’s actions “barbaric and monstrous” behaviour.

“He went overboard with his actions,” Lim said. “This was obviously a horribly painful death.”

Blandin told court he doesn’t condone what he did, but said he was only trying to protect his cat — his “only friend” — and didn’t have enough time to make a rational decision.

“I don’t like what I did, but I did it to save my cat’s life,” he said. “This is not something I would ever choose to do. I am sorry.”

At trial, Blandin testified he had grabbed a large flashlight and “swung for the fences” by hitting the intruding cat in the head as hard as he could and then scaring it out a window.

After looking outside and seeing the cat standing and staring at him, Blandin said he decided to shoot it with his BB gun. He then went out to dispose of the animal and found it still alive. He said he then again hit the cat in the head with a flashlight, put it in a bag and stomped on it

Despite his effort to protect his cat, Blandin said he had to give her up after he was charged — she went to new owners on a farm.

“She’s not my cat anymore.”
Remorseful cat killer sentenced to house arrest | Canada | News | Toronto Sun