06/06/2014 01:27 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT

Court told suspect in Calgary animal abuse case needs further mental assessment

CALGARY - Several animal rights activists were in court Friday at an appearance for a man accused of torturing and killing a dog and a cat he found online.

Nicolino Ivano Camardi, 19, of Calgary faces charges of wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal.

Camardi's hands were shackled as he was brought into the prisoner's docket.

He was arrested last month and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Court was told an additional 30 days are required to complete the mental review to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

The Calgary Humane Society began investigating in January when a starved dog was found dead with tape around its muzzle. A dead cat was found in the same area a week later with green painter's tape covering most of its face.

An examination at a veterinarian's office determined the dog suffered chronic malnourishment before its death. The cat had been strangled and had injuries to its head, tail and hind limbs.

"I want to see justice done because of that poor dog and that cat. What they went through is just unbelievable," said Heather Anderson from the Daisy Foundation, a group that fights for stiffer penalties for animal abusers and aids in the rescue of abused animals.

"Someone's got to be their voice since they don't have a voice."

Camardi is to return to court July 7.

The Crown has indicated it will be proceeding with the most serious version of the charge, meaning a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Investigators say the animals were obtained on Kijiji and methodically abused.

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