No jail time for kick that caused dog’s death

Maple Ridge man pleads guilty to killing Tessa, a hearing impaired 13-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever similar to file image.

A Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

A Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

A Maple Ridge man won’t spend anytime in prison for causing the death of a deaf dog who was left in his care by friends.

Provincial court judge Pedro de Couto gave Jeffrey David Symons a three-month long conditional sentence after the 35-year-old admitted to killing Tessa, a 13-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever.

On April 29, 2013, Symons brought Tessa to a Maple Ridge veterinary hospital claiming that she had fallen down some stairs and was having trouble breathing. The hearing impaired dog was pronounced dead on arrival.

During a BC SPCA investigation, Symons admitted he had kicked the dog after she failed to heed his commands. Necropsy reports confirmed that Tessa suffered a ruptured spleen and lacerated liver due to blunt force trauma.

“This is such a sad case of a beautiful and innocent family pet who died violently and unnecessarily,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA. “A criminal code conviction carries significant weight and we are pleased to see the seriousness of this crime recognized.”

In addition to the conditional sentence, Symons also received a five-year ban on owning or possessing an animal and one year probation.

The BC SPCA investigates more than 7,000 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year and is funded by community donations.