CALGARY – An Alberta man has pleaded guilty to using Kijiji to find pets, then methodically abusing and dumping their bodies in an alley with their mouths taped shut.
Nicolino Camardi, 19, who has been in custody since he was arrested in May, was facing two charges of wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal.
The Calgary Humane Society began investigating Jan. 9 when a starved dog was found dead with tape around its muzzle. A dead cat was found in the same area a week later with green painter’s tape covering most of its face.
An examination at a veterinarian’s office determined the dog suffered chronic malnourishment before its death. The cat had been strangled and had injuries to its head, tail and hind limbs.
Crown prosecutor Gord Haight read an agreed statement of facts into the court record saying the animals were a two-year-old Husky named Shadow and a six month-old domestic short-haired kitten named One Tooth and that both were severely malnourished.
The attacks on the animals often occurred when Camardi, who was addicted to crack cocaine, would get angry about issues such as house soiling or making noise.
“Due to the lack of adequate and proper food, Shaw became progressively more malnourished, and toward the end of her life became increasingly weak and lethargic,” said Haight.
“A few days before Shadow died, the accused taped her muzzle shut with clear medical tape. Shadow was too weak from starvation to resist.”
Camardi also kicked and punched the cat.
“The accused, in an effort to stifle her cries of pain, applied painter’s tape all over her mouth and nose,” said Haight.
The prosecution asked for a pre-sentence report and a psychiatric assessment of Camardi before sentencing.
“The Crown will be seeking considerably more time than the seven months the accused has been in custody,” said Haight.
“Because of the abject horror of the crime, a psychiatric review is necessary.”
Defence lawyer Jack Kelly argued that Camardi had already been in custody seven months and should be given “enhanced credit” for the time he has served. He said the Crown was seeking a “unique” sentence for his client.
Justice George Gaschler set the sentencing issue over to Dec. 18.
Several animal rights activists were in court. Many brushed away tears as the graphic details were read aloud.
“He’s more than a sick person. He’s evil,” said Heather Anderson from the Daisy Foundation, a group that fights for stiffer penalties for animal abusers.
“I don’t think that there was a dry eye in any of us. You’d think by now I would be immune to this, but I can’t believe what he did, I can’t believe it.”
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