Charges have been laid against a Duncan man accused of taking part in the torture of a cat, then sharing the photos and video of the incident with the animal’s owner.
Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, appeared in court yesterday, charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal.
Court records show Lemire had previously been charged with assault and uttering threats in 2016. In that case he was found guilty and sentenced to one year of probation.
Two other teenagers, a 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy have also been charged with one count of causing an animal to suffer, according to Cpl. Tammy Douglas with the RCMP.
All three accused have been released from custody on conditions including having no contact with the victim or each other. They cannot consume any intoxicating substances and cannot possess or care for any other pets or animals.
Read More: Cat torture recorded on Snapchat
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP say further charges are being considered against other youth who were involved as well.
The family cat, named Gigi, is only one-year-old and its owners — including Sharline Haglund — say Gigi was drugged, shaved and tossed out a window by a group of teens that included Joshua Lemire.
Haglund confirmed on Wednesday afternoon the presence of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, a synthetic drug that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen, was found in Gigi’s system when she was taken to the vet.
“She’s been sketchy from the drugs and not acting like herself, but it looks like she will be fine. Her hair will grow back, but I’m still shaking after all of this,” Haglund said.
The incident was recorded and send via Snapchat to a Duncan teen in the wee hours of Tuesday morning by a group of people she used to associate with.
It was about 3 a.m. when the videos began arriving showing what looks like the animal being drugged, shaved, and bleached.
The accused have been questioned by authorities and members of the RCMP have photographed the animal for evidence.
A fundraiser set up to help cover veterinary bills has already raised more than $1,000.