Manitoba

Dog stabber will spend another 15 months in jail for 'senseless,' 'frightening' attack

A man who stabbed a dog in the face through a fence behind a North End home will spend another 15 months in jail and must pay the owner $1,100 in vet bills.

Alex Genaille, 20, diagnosed with FASD and ADHD, defence says

Cooter had to have a surgery after being stabbed in the nose, but was expected to make a full recovery. (Mark Eskow/Submitted)

A man who stabbed a dog in the face through a fence behind a North End home will spend another 15 months in jail and must pay the owner $1,100 in vet bills.

Alex Genaille, 20, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and possession of a weapon. At Genaille's sentencing hearing on Jan. 24, Judge Robin Finlayson called the crime "frightening" and "senseless."

"It is a planned crime, it is  a deliberate crime, and it's a crime which makes absolutely no sense," Finlayson said.

On Aug. 31, 2018, Genaille and a group of friends were walking down a back lane when they passed the yard where the dog, a seven-year-old bull mastiff named Cooter, was locked behind a fence.

Security camera video played during the sentencing hearing shows Genaille wearing a backpack while riding a bike. After the group passes the house, Genaille stops, pulls a mask and gloves out his backpack and puts them on.

He then withdraws a large hunting knife from his pocket, and goes back to the fence, where he stabs Cooter through the boards. The blade cut through the dog's nose and snout, down to his teeth. He needed emergency surgery to close the wound, which cost $1,100, but was expected to make a full recovery.

Police arrested Genaille almost two weeks later. He confessed to police, who asked him to write a letter apologizing to the dog's owner, Mark Eskow.

"I'm sorry I hit your dog. It was mean of me to do that to an animal," Genaille wrote in the letter, saying he was drunk at the time.

Crown attorney Alanna Hall dismissed the letter, saying Genaille has shown a lack of remorse, and asked the judge for a sentence of 30 months. Genaille's defence lawyer Greg Hawrysh suggested a sentence between nine and 12 months.

"Animals are vulnerable creatures. Much like small children, they cannot articulate verbally. There's no question that they experience fear and pain," said Hall.

Finlayson rejected the Crown's recommendation as too harsh, and didn't account for what he called Genaille's significant cognitive impairments.

Genaille has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, ADHD, and has a "borderline IQ," Hawrysh said. Genaille was also apprehended by CFS as a baby and started abusing alcohol at a young age.

"He's embarrassed by what he did, he doesn't understand his actions. He loves animals," said Hawrysh.

After his release, Genaille will be under a probation order for another 18 months. He's also prohibited from owning a pet for 10 years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron MacLean

Online Reporter

Cameron MacLean is a journalist living in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience covering news in the city and across the province, working in print, radio, television and online.

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