Judge to decide the price for killing Oreo the cat

Kamloops Provincial Court is being watched by animal lovers this week as a man charged with animal cruelty for strangling Oreo cat was found guilty of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal.

Steven Seidel, 28, has confessed to killing the animal, a four-year-old black and white unneutered male cat, on March 14, 2013.

He told the court the cat was peeing and pooping around the apartment and his live-in girlfriend Moriah Smith was pregnant.

Seidel and Smith apparently knew enough about cats to determine their poop could be hazardous to their unborn child. But they didn’t know enough, or seek more information, into why the unneutered male was actually behaving that way.

Cats are territorial, especially unneutered males. Oreo was peeing on the items the couple was bringing home for the baby.

Seidel has said they tried to take the cat to the SPCA but were told there was a fee for dropping off an unwanted feline. The society does ask for donations, but it’s not mandatory. They could have also tried the Kamloops and District Humane Society, but obviously didn’t, or they could have found Oreo another home themselves.

The couple was living on income assistance, which begs the question why they had three cats in the first place. They didn’t care to have Oreo neutered, but it’s been reported that Seidel told the court he drank 30 beers the night before and had nine or ten more the morning he killed Oreo.

If money’s so tight, who can afford all that beer?

Perhaps Seidel should have curbed his drinking to provide more for his family, including the furry members. Oreo should have been neutered, which would have helped ease his territorial instincts. The SPCA’s spay and neuter clinic could have done the job for the cost of Seidel’s beer budget for less than a week, given his consumption rate.

Instead, Seidel became angry at the cat for peeing again, grabbed him by the neck and strangled him, then threw his body into a dumpster.

This is a father to be?

While he has expressed regret in court, Seidel has to be held accountable for his actions. Who knows how sincere he is being? A tiny creature that relied on him for love and comfort died at his hand. Seidel needs to learn impulse control and compassion. And to stop drinking.

This case sparked an online petition calling for Seidel to be given the maximum sentence the courts can issue and for him to be banned from owning an animal for the rest of his life.

The B.C. SPCA said the maximum Seidel could get is up to 18 months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine or up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $75,000 on the provincial charge.

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