An elderly Jack Russell terrier named Skipper was stabbed in the neck after a “joking” discussion about whether his age and health meant he should be euthanised.
The stabber, 43-year-old Raymond Kilgour, who is not the dog’s owner, admitted ill-treatment of the animal at an appearance in the Christchurch District Court.
Judge Tony Couch remanded Kilgour for sentencing on May 31. He remanded the case for a potential restorative justice meeting between Kilgour and the dog’s owner. He ordered no pre-sentence report but made it clear Kilgour would face the claim for $1311 veterinarian treatment fees as part of the sentence.
The incident took place on the evening of July 13, 2017, when Kilgour was drinking with his friend, the owner of the Jack Russell, at the friend’s address in Waltham.
Canterbury SPCA prosecutor Heather McKenzie said the owner jokingly discussed stabbing Skipper to death because of his age and health. There was a filleting knife on the table and Kilgour was playing with it.
About 11.30pm, the owner heard Skipper yelp and saw Kilgour standing over the dog and holding the knife. Skipper had been stabbed in the neck and shoulder area.
The owner arranged help from a friend to get the dog to an after-hours vet who found a “single large linear wound” through the shoulders muscles, reaching the ribs. He needed stitches, management of a drain, pain relief, and anti-biotic treatment for the next 14 days.
Kilgour said the owner had asked him to euthanise Skipper. He did not want to but was persuaded to try it, he claimed. He said he felt really had afterwards and left. The owner disputed that, saying they were laughing and joking and he never seriously requested that the dog he stabbed.
Kilgour’s defence counsel Rupert Ward told the court that Skipper had recovered and was still alive.