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BC SPCA will recommend animal cruelty charges against dog walker

A memorial to the six dogs has been installed at the off-leash dog park in Brookswood.  - Dan Ferguson/Langley Times
A memorial to the six dogs has been installed at the off-leash dog park in Brookswood.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

The BC SPCA announced Monday it will be recommending charges of animal cruelty against a dog walker, after six dogs died in her care on May 13.

Dubbed the “Brookswood Six” by many media outlets, the dogs were initially reported stolen from the Brookswood dog walking park by dog walker Emma Paulsen. After a massive search effort and fundraising to assist in the search, on Sunday, May 18, she admitted that the dogs had died after being left in her vehicle on a hot day.

At that time, she said that the dogs had died in Richmond. Their bodies were found in an Abbotsford ditch, before being reclaimed for the necropsies.

The BC SPCA is still completing its report, which will be submitted to Crown counsel within the next few weeks.

Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, said enough evidence has been obtained in the investigation so far to warrant a recommendation for separate charges of animal cruelty for each of the six dogs under the Criminal Code of Canada.

“Obviously the ultimate decision about whether or not charges will be laid rests with Crown counsel, but the preliminary necropsy results and other evidence gathered in our investigation so far supports our recommendation,” said Moriarty.

She said that the SPCA could not discuss further details of the case at this point, but would be submitting its full report to Crown counsel as quickly as possible.

The BC SPCA investigates nearly 8,000 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year, under provincial legislation that gives it the power to do so.

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