10/28/2012 12:50 EDT | Updated 12/28/2012 05:12 EST

Man sentenced to 6 months in jail for stabbing dog

A Quebec man faces the stiffest sentence related to animal cruelty the province has ever issued.

Geoffrey Laberge was sentenced to jail for six months after he pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty.

Laberge beat and stabbed his his three-year-old dog in August 2011.

Veterinarian Lissa Altschuler said emergency workers from the SPCA rushed the animal to veterinary clinic but didn't think he would survive.

"[He] had a very elevated intercranial pressure. [He] had three distinct stab wounds on the head, and [he] had a very, very low temperature," said Altschuler. "I had seen horrific things, but I had never seen such deep stab wounds to such a lovely dog, that did not deserve it, who was cowering in fear. It was just – it was a tragic thing to see… what humans can do to something that innocent."

Alanna Devine, the SPCA's director of animal advocacy, said Quebec has never seen such a stiff sentence imposed in this kind of case. She said this sends a message to the public that "animal cruelty is being taken seriously."

In July, Quebec was put near the bottom of the Animal Legal Defence Fund's rankings of Canadian animal protection laws.

The U.S.-based organization called Quebec the "best province to be an animal abuser" for the second year in a row.

The report stated Quebec failed to increase penalties for cases of animal abuse, including fines and jail time.