Crown counsel has approved several charges of animal cruelty against Lower Mainland dogwalker Emma Paulsen. The BC SPCA filed a report recommending the charges against Paulsen in May after six dogs died in her care. Paulsen initially reported the dogs stolen on May 13, sparking a community search for the missing animals, but later admitted that the dogs had died after she left them in her vehicle on a hot day. Paulsen has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
“Every charge that we recommended – and really, every possible animal cruelty-related charge that she could have faced – has been approved,” says BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty. “We could not be more pleased.”
- Section 445(1)(a) – pertains to the killing of an animal
- s. 445.1(1)(a) – pertains to causing unnecessary suffering, pain or injury
- s. 446(1)(b) – neglecting to provide adequate food, water or shelter
- s. 9.1(1) – failing to protect and animal from circumstances that are likely to cause distress
- s. 9.1(2) – causing or permitting distress
- s. 140(1)(c) and 140(2)(b) – with intent to mislead, caused a peace officer to enter or continue and investigation by reporting that an offence had been committed when it had not been
If convicted, Paulsen faces a maximum fine of $75,000, up to five years in jail and a ban of owning or having custody of animals for a period of time determined by the judge.
The BC SPCA investigates nearly 8,000 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year and is funded by community donations. To find out how you can help, visit spca.bc.ca/support.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.