Robert Sedore, 46, pleaded guilty in provincial court to wilfully causing unnecessary pain to an animal.
His lawyer, Jay Michi, said Sedore, who has a lengthy criminal history dating back 30 years, is enrolled at Thompson Rivers University and is headed in the right direction.
"I've changed," Sedore told court. "I'm trying to change for the better. It was wrong what I did, and I regret it."
The Crown was seeking a four-month sentence, to be followed by a year-long probation term and a 10-year ban on owning animals.
Provincial court Judge Chris Cleaveley instead handed Sedore a six-month conditional sentence and six months' probation along with the two-year pet ban.
Sedore was charged after a fast-food restaurant employee saw him beating his whimpering pooch at the drive-thru window last April.
Court heard Sedore was in a pickup truck with his pet, described in court as a small- to medium-sized white dog, when he rolled up to get his food.
"When he drove up to the window, the dog was whimpering. Then he hit the dog with his hand," Crown lawyer Alex Janse said.
"The dog continued whimpering and then he put his hand around the dog's neck until it stopped."
The employee wrote down Sedore's licence plate number but didn't call police until the man returned the next day, court heard.
Janse said the worker stalled Sedore at the window and waited for Mounties to arrive.
Sedore was arrested and the dog was seized by the SPCA. It has since been adopted.
Sedore also pleaded guilty to an unrelated theft charge. Last May, he stole two extension cords from a construction site. (Kamloops This Week)
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