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article imageCanadian dog-walker gets 6 months in jail for death of 6 dogs

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 29, 2015 in Crime
A dog-walker from Langley, B.C., near Vancouver, has been jailed for six months for killing six dogs in her care. Emma Paulsen left them in her truck with the windows closed on a very hot day last May.
"We are really pleased, this is probably one of the highest sentences ever handed down under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act," Lorie Chortyk from the B.C. SPCA told media. "This was a devastating situation and we're glad that was reflected in the sentencing."
The gallery in the Surrey, B.C. courtroom, which included many of the owners of the dogs, applauded when Judge Jim Jardine handed down the sentence. Paulsen had pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
Dog-walker lied to owners, police
The case had some bizarre twists as originally Paulsen reported to the police that the dogs had been stolen from her truck at an off-leash dog park when she went into the bathroom. The six sets of owners, the police and volunteers, even Paulsen, began a hunt. This went on for almost a week until a group called got involved and somehow extracted a confession from Paulsen, enabling them to piece together what really happened.
"Upon arriving at the location and seeing her beloved charges deceased, she went into a blind panic at the thought of notifying the families and the possible repercussions," a statement on said last May. "In a complete state of shock and panic, she made a desperate attempt to cover up what had happened and concocted a story to explain the loss of the dogs."
In truth Paulsen was gone from her truck much longer, though it's unclear just how long. When she found the dogs dead she drove to a rural area and dumped their bodies in a ditch. The owners of Buddy, Mia, Molly, Oscar, Salty and Teemo were often in the courtroom during Paulsen's trial.
During the trial some owners said they still feel regret at having entrusted their dogs to Paulsen. One said she felt "betrayed" by the woman she'd trusted to care for her much-loved pet.
Besides a six-month jail sentence, Paulsen has been banned from owning a pet for 10 years and banned from having a job that would include caring for animals. Owners at the sentencing said they were happy the judge took the charges seriously and sent a strong message that cruelty to animals would not be tolerated.
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