Woman charged in dog deaths to plead guilty

The woman facing animal cruelty charges in the deaths of six Ladner dogs earlier this year is expected to plead guilty next month.

Dog walker Emma Paulsen is facing several charges under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, including killing or injuring an animal, causing unnecessary pain or suffering of an animal, failing to provide adequate care to dogs and mischief.

Paulsen’s lawyer appeared in Surrey provincial court on her behalf Wednesday afternoon. Asking for the matter to be set aside until Nov. 12, he told the judge she planned to enter a guilty plea at that time.

Paulsen initially reported the canines stolen from her truck while it was parked at a Langley park in May. A massive search was launched by volunteers and the dog owners across parts of Brookswood near the park. It later came out that the canines – Buddy, a Boston terrier; Mia, a pit bull; Oscar, a Rottweiler-husky mix; Molly, a blue heeler-shepherd cross; Teemo, a Bouvier poodle cross; and Salty, the dog walker’s own border collie – died after allegedly being left in the back of her truck on a hot day.

The dogs were later recovered from an Abbotsford ditch.

The maximum penalty in the case is a $75,000 fine, up to five years in jail and a ban on owning or having custody of animals for a period of time determined by the judge.

Jennifer Myers, whose dog Buddy was one of the six that died, was on hand for Wednesday’s court appearance.

“We feel better,” she said. “I don’t think you can ever feel good.”

Myers added that she feels the guilty plea is “very appropriate.”

– Jessica Kerr is a reporter for the Delta Optimist

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