A convicted animal killer with an “escalating criminal history” has been released into the Vancouver area, causing the B.C. Corrections Branch to take the rare step of issuing a public warning.

Kayla Bourque, 23, pleaded guilty last year to wilfully killing animals, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose in an incident linked to the deaths of her family dog and cat.

The former Simon Fraser University criminology student was sentenced to eight months in prison last November, but had already been in custody for six months.

Police have only said she'll be living in the Metro Vancouver area, but haven't indicated exactly where.

Officials warn Bourque has committed violence against both animals and people in the past, and is considered a high risk to re-offend. She is alleged to have previously fantasized about killing people, and a judge had referred to her as a "psychopathic and narcissistic ... sexual sadist."

The Corrections Branch issued the rare warning Monday to assure the public that Bourque will be closely monitored by both B.C. Corrections and the Vancouver Police Department.

"Ms. Bourque has served her sentence and she's now going to be subject to a stringent, three-year probation order as directed by the courts," said B.C. Corrections spokesperson Marnie Mayhew. “I appreciate people’s concern and that’s exactly why we’re issuing this notification.

“Certainly if there’s any breaches of her court-ordered conditions, we can submit a report to the courts and as a result of that she can be returned to custody.”

Bourque will be subject to 46 court-ordered restrictions, including bans on:

  • using computers, unless searching for work under supervision
  • owning weapons
  • using social-networking sites
  • attending any post-secondary courses
  • associating with anyone under the age of 18
  • visiting places where minors might be present, such as schools, parks, swimming pools or playgrounds
  • a lifetime ban on owning animals

Also among her conditions is a strict curfew, meaning that she can only leave the house between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

She cannot begin any close or intimate relationships without advising those involved about her criminal record, and must participate in any psychiatric assessments and counselling programs as ordered by her probation officer.

“Quite frankly, if she scratches herself somebody will know about it. They’re incredibly restrictive,” said SFU criminology professor Robert Gordon, who taught Bourque.

Authorities became aware of Bourque's crimes last March after one of her friend’s voiced concerns about some of Bourque’s comments.

The tip resulted in a search of Bourque's university residence, during which police seized a laptop, three USB storage devices and a binder containing depictions of sexual homicide, dismemberment, serial killers and a tortured cat.

The public is urged to call local police immediately if they see Bourque violating any of her conditions. She is described as five feet four inches, 130 pounds and slender, with brown eyes and black hair.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Hurst