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article imageB.C. man pleads guilty to beating dog, putting it in dumpster

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 10, 2013 in Crime
Vancouver - The 26-year-old was charged with one count of animal cruelty after beating a two-year-old German Shepherd and leaving the dog in a Vancouver dumpster. "Captain" later died.
Brian Whitlock appeared in a Vancouver courtroom yesterday and pleaded guilty to one charge of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code. He is due back in court in June for sentencing.
The dog was found on July 18, 2012 after neighbours heard cries coming from the dumpster. CTV reports the two-year-old emaciated dog was wrapped in a bloody blanket, covered in feces and unable to walk. Despite efforts to save his life, Captain went into cardiac arrest the next day and died. Had he lived, there was a chance he would have been unable to walk.
On July 27, the BC SPCA announced they recommended to the Crown that the person responsible be charged with animal cruelty charges under the Criminal Code. Prosecutors later accepted the recommendation and in early December, Whitlock, who owned Captain, was arrested and charged. He made his first court appearance on Dec. 7, 2012.
Lorie Chortyk, a spokeswoman for the BC SPCA, said, "I think were just very, very, relieved and pleased that the charges were finally approved. This is a very serious case, and we really hope the courts take it as seriously as we do."
After Captain was found, protests and vigils were held in Vancouver and letters and emails poured in to the BC SPCA from all over the world. A "Justice for Captain" campaign was launched to petition the federal government for tougher animal cruelty laws.
After the guilty plea was entered, Marie Moriarity of the SPCA, said, "We're definitely pleased that he pleaded guilty, this was a case that touched so many people's hearts. A guilty plea shows that we put together a strong case for the Crown. It shows that [Whitlock] is taking responsibility and it avoids the turmoil that can happen with a trial."
Whitlock faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning an animal.
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