06/12/2013 07:36 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Man who beat dog to death gets 6 months in jail, lifetime ban on owning animals

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver man who admitted to beating his dog and leaving it for dead in a dumpster has been handed a 60-day jail sentence and a lifetime ban on owning animals.

Brian Whitlock, 26, will be out of custody in seven days after credit for time served and will spend three years on probation because of the assault on his two-year-old German shepherd, named Captain, last July.

In April, Whitlock pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal after his dog was found wrapped in a bloody blanket.

Animal lovers cried in the gallery during his trial and formed a group called Justice for Captain.

On Wednesday, provincial court Judge David St. Pierre scolded people who threatened Whitlock after his arrest and questioned why courtrooms are often empty when people, especially children, are victims of crime.

Marcie Moriarty, spokeswoman for the SPCA, said she's pleased with the lifetime ban but was hoping for more jail time for Whitlock, who suffers from a mental illness.

"We are disappointed with the 60 days, obviously," Moriarty said. "I think that the Crown's recommendation of six months did take into account the mental health aspects of this case."

Court heard Whitlock tried to kill the dog because he believed it had been poisoned or cursed and that he didn't feel safe around the animal.

Despite various medical records that indicate Whitlock has been diagnosed with, and was being treated for, psychosis and schizophrenia at various times over the last year, a Crown lawyer said the man had exaggerated his psychotic symptoms to doctors in the past. (News1130, The Canadian Press)