An SPCA photo of Jalupae released in 2009 after the horse was starved and hung on a Brentwood Bay property.

Two men guilty of causing horse to suffer in hanging case

Clayton Cunningham, David Whiffin to be sentenced at later date

Jalupae the horse was left to suffer by starvation, a judge found Tuesday.

Judge Sue Wishart found two Brentwood Bay residents, Clayton Cunningham and David Whiffin, guilty of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, as well as improper care of feeding. The case stems from the emaciation and death by hanging of Jalupae, a 27-year-old Appaloosa gelding.

The two convicted men immediately left the Victoria Law Courts after the verdict was handed down.

“There is no doubt that people were shocked and horrified to learn how Jalupae died,” Wishart said in her judgment.

Five people in the courtroom cried as the verdict was read.

Jalupae died as a result of being hanged from a rope tied to an excavator, on Sept. 15, 2009.

Stephen Oulette, a friend of Whiffin, who was present when the horse was hanged, told the court during the trial that the horse’s neck snapped and the animal died within a half-second.

The guilty verdicts, however, do not stem from the horse’s death.

Wishart said the facts that led her to find the men guilty of causing unnecessary pain and suffering are the same as those in the charge of improper care – the convicted men failed to feed and properly treat the elderly horse, causing it to suffer. Throughout the summer of 2009, SPCA officers, veterinarians and people responsible for Jalupae’s care told both Whiffin and Cunningham on multiple occasions the horse’s teeth were in poor condition, meaning the animal couldn’t swallow hay.

Veterinarians told both men – Whiffin, who owned the horse and the property involved, and Cunningham, who was in charge of caring for Jalupae and two other horses on the farm – Jalupae needed to be on a special diet that was far easier to swallow than hay. In addition, the horse’s teeth needed to be floated, or filed. Whiffin said he didn’t want to pay for the dental care or for the special food.

The vets, as well as the SCPA constables, offered euthanization options for the horse. The officers ordered that Jalupae either receive proper care, or be euthanized.

On Sept. 15, Cunningham looped a rope around Jalupae’s neck, while Whiffin worked the excavator, jerking the bucket to snap the horse’s neck. The animal was taken to a hole Whiffin dug earlier, and buried.

The SCPA officers Erika Paul and Lynsay Bailey did not ask for the body to be exhumed, though Whiffin offered the action. Therefore, there is no proof as to how Jalupae died, Wishart said.

Amanda Sather, a member of the activist group Justice for Jalupe, was in the courtroom during the verdict, becoming emotional while the judgment was read.

“It was what we were expecting,” she said of the verdict afterward. “What matters now is the sentence. That means everything. It sends a message to other animal owners.”

The men’s sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read