Bestiality nets Moncton SPCA dog walker 2 years' probation

A Moncton SPCA volunteer, who pleaded guilty last week to bestiality involving dogs, has been sentenced to two years of supervised probation and banned from being around dogs.

Anthony Volgmann previously pleaded guilty to bestiality and corrupting morals

A Moncton SPCA volunteer, who pleaded guilty last week to bestiality involving dogs, has been sentenced to two years of supervised probation and banned from being around dogs.

Anthony Volgmann, 30, volunteered as a dog walker and performed sexual acts with the animals while they were in his care between January and September last year.

He then posted images of the bestiality on the internet, resulting in a second charge of corrupting morals by making such images available to the public, a Moncton provincial courtroom heard Friday.

Judge Jòlene Richard described Volgmann's behaviour as "deviant" and "perverse," and said he obviously suffers from underlying psychiatric issues.

She ordered him to undergo a mental health assessment and to attend psychological counselling, saying she hopes he gets the help he needs and won't reoffend.

Volgmann, who was found fit to stand trial last month following a psychiatric assessment, was quiet throughout the proceedings as a couple of his supporters looked on.

The judge, who had previously adjourned sentencing, said she spent a lot of time considering the case.

She said there is limited case law available, but that jail time is normally reserved for cases where violence is involved.

Still, deterrence is needed, she said, noting the case has caused public outrage and concern.

She gave Volgmann a suspended sentence and two years of probation with several strict conditions.

Volgmann cannot own any dogs, work or volunteer with dogs, or go to places dogs might be, such as dog parks, dog shows, animal shelters and veterinarian offices.

The judge also ordered Volgmann not to own or access computers or smartphones with online access, except if at work or under supervision.

Some of the mitigating factors she considered in sentencing, she said, were that Volgmann co-operated with police, pleaded guilty, had no prior adult record and has family support.

Richard also took into consideration that he suffered humiliation as a result of media coverage of the case.

The sentencing follows a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence.

Volgmann, who is unemployed and lives with his grandmother, also agreed to forfeit the electronic equipment seized by police during the investigation.

RCMP were alerted about the case by a woman with the American SPCA who found pictures of a man performing sexual acts with dogs posted on a bestiality website, the court heard.

The woman told police the man was an active member of the site and had posted a variety of items.

Officers seized cameras, memory cards, a laptop, hard drive and a USB drive that contained pictures of Volgmann performing sexual acts with dogs, as well as closeups of dog genitalia.