08/30/2013 21:21 EDT | Updated 10/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec man gets 4 months for beating puppies

A man in Quebec’s Eastern Townships has received one of the stiffest jail sentences ever handed down in Canada in an animal cruelty case.

Jimmy Marchand will spend the next four months behind bars after pleading guilty to negligence and beating his two puppies.

Representatives from the SPA, a Quebec animal protection agency, went twice to Marchand’s home in Windsor, Que. in 2012.

Both times, a puppy was taken away from the home showing obvious signs of abuse, one of them so badly beaten it had to be put down.

Ewa Damianovitch of the Humane Society International said the sentence is good, but could be better.

"Considering how the Criminal Code is written and how old it is -- it hasn't been updated since 1892 -- it is a good sentencing," she said.

"In Quebec, the harshest sentencing for animal abuse was six months jail time, a lifetime prohibition of owning animals, a fine and probation as well," she continued.

Cathy Bergeron of the SPA said she hopes Marchand’s conviction will help change people’s behaviours when they realize they can go to jail for hurting animals.

Lawyer and animal rights expert Lesli Bisgould said it’s extremely difficult to get offenders sentenced in cases like these.

“Unless you have eyewitnesses who are willing to see it through, there’s already limitations that prevent charges from moving along,” she said.

She said animal cruelty has to be treated more seriously in Canada because violence against animals is sometimes a precursor to violence against people.