The Ottawa Humane Society is calling for tougher sentences for animal abuse after a judge handed down a suspended sentence and one year of probation to a student who broke a cat's spine after he threw it against the wall.

Bruce Roney Ottawa Humane Society

Ottawa Humane Society Bruce Roney said the sentence sends the wrong message about animal abuse. (CBC)

Foreign student Bassey Okokon, 23, was charged after he threw a 7-month old cat named Braveheart against a wall on Feb. 11, breaking the cat's legs and spine. The cat was later euthanized.

Okokon pleaded guilty on Nov. 15 and the judge sentenced him to a year's probation and 20 hours of community service.

The Ottawa Humane Society had been calling for up to 18 months in jail.

"This sentence means there is no justice for Braveheart. It sends the message that animal abusers won’t be punished for their actions and that is unacceptable,” said Ottawa Humane Society executive director Bruce Roney.