October 7, 2021

A Rottweiler Puppy Let Down. Twice.

In June of this year, I wrote about serious failures in the system that let down a Rottweiler-mix puppy named Bane. Bane was tortured and killed at the hands of his owner, Jake Garvin, after authorities repeatedly failed to respond appropriately to the information given to them by neighbours.

Mr. Garvin’s trial has now concluded. While Mr. Garvin will serve prison time for the sum total of his crimes, there are elements to the sentencing that are disturbing to anyone concerned about crimes against animals. Specifically, Mr. Garvin was sentenced to three years for possessing an illegal weapon, but only two and a half years for torturing and killing his dog. 

In 2008, the maximum penalty for animal abuse was raised from six months to five years, but this has not been reflected in sentencing for serious crimes.

In this case, concern about the possibility that Mr. Garvin might commit violence with the illegal weapon weighed more heavily against him than the real violence he had committed against his dog.

Though I understand and am very troubled about the link between violence against animals and violence against humans, I do not accept the link as the most important element in this case. Violence against an animal is a serious crime on its own and it needs to be treated as such.

A puppy named Bane — and all animals — deserve that.

Bruce Roney
President & CEO