03/20/2014 11:25 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Cat strangling could mean jail for Kamloops man

A Kamloops, B.C., man has been found guilty of three animal cruelty charges for strangling his cat to death with his bare hands last year, and throwing it into a dumpster.

Steven Seidel, 27, was convicted for the Criminal Code offence of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal.

He was also found guilty of two charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, but those two charges were stayed in light of the first conviction.

Seidel faces up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine and could receive up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

He was arrested last year after an investigation by the B.C. SPCA. Chief enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty says the judge's verdict sends a strong message.

"This was a absolutely unacceptable and quite horrific case of an individual strangling a defenceless cat," she said.

"More and more the courts are taking these cases of animal cruelty seriously. The Crown is bringing these cases forward, arguing strongly that no behaviour that causes pain or suffering to an animal is acceptable."

Animal rights advocate Leanne Pentney says it was tough sitting through testimony detailing the abuse of the cat named Oreo.

But Pentney says it was all worth it to hear the judge deliver a guilty verdict on all three animal cruelty counts.           

"I was very elated. I felt a bunch of emotions swarm over me, like yes finally justice. Finally somebody has seen that animals do suffer."