Newmarket, July 13, 2007 – Jason Green, 32, of Toronto, Ontario pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice, Scarborough on July 12, 2007 to the Criminal Code of Canada charge of wilfully failing to provide suitable and adequate care in the case of a seven-month-old male kitten, since named Leonidas.

The kitten was surrendered to the Ontario SPCA on October 22, 2006 after an investigator attended Green's property to follow up on a caller complaint. The investigator noted that the kitten had multiple injuries, and appeared lethargic and dehydrated.

Immediately, the investigator rushed the kitten to an emergency veterinary clinic, where staff struggled to relieve his severe pain with a series of three powerful pain killers. The kitten, brought to the clinic at 4:30 p.m., remained at the clinic overnight and continued to receive hourly doses of pain killers until 3 a.m. the following morning.

Veterinary examination revealed that the kitten had heat-related trauma to three of his paws, as well as his scrotum, face and tail. In addition, he had lacerations on three of his paws and was dehydrated.

Sadly, due to the extent of the injuries sustained to the tail, Leonidas underwent surgery to have it amputated.

The kitten, named after the famed King of Sparta for his bravery, was adopted by a loving family following his recovery. Leonidas was honoured at an Ontario SPCA Awards Ceremony on June 16, 2007 with the Award for Courage, in recognition of the strength of spirit he demonstrated throughout his long and painful recovery.

"Leonidas is an incredible survivor of a horrific ordeal - he amazed us all with his strength of spirit and will to carry on through some very painful days of recovery. We are very pleased that justice was served in this case, and even more pleased that Leonidas is now living the life of a king," says Hugh Coghill, Ontario SPCA Acting Chief Inspector.

Jason Green was ordered to immediately surrender any animals in his possession to the Ontario SPCA and was given a 90 day conditional sentence, 60 days of which are to be served under house arrest. In addition, Green was forbidden from owning, caring for or possessing any animal for a period of two years, to be followed by a three-year probation period with identical conditions. The Ontario SPCA was granted inspection rights to monitor compliance with the sentencing.

In her sentencing remarks Madame Justice Blumenfeld stated that Green's guilty plea was some acknowledgement that the kitten endured a lengthy period of horrendous suffering without the medical attention that was desperately required.

Photos of Leonidas are available here.

To make a donation to the Ontario SPCA call Cathy at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 322.

To report suspected animal abuse call the Ontario SPCA at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 1, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), your local Ontario SPCA Branch, affiliated Humane Society or police.