Animal cruelty charges laid in Alberta

Two people are facing numerous animal cruelty charges after Evansburg RCMP launched an investigation into allegations of mistreatment of horses on a rural property.

RCMP said in a news release today that Patricia Lynn Moore, 48, and Ross Andrew Atkinson, 50, of Parkland County have been charged after 65 horses and six dogs were removed from their property.

RCMP said Moore has been charged with 63 counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals contrary to section 446(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

Atkinson has been charged with three counts of permitting and/or causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to animals under the same Criminal Code section.

“I can tell you that in my 11 years of policing, this is the most significant number of animal cruelty charges I have seen personally,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Warren.

Warren said RCMP received a complaint Dec. 12 from an individual regarding the condition of the animals on the property. They had received reports the horses were being starved.

After being removed, RCMP said the 65 horses and six dogs were alive but in varied states of health. They were taken to appropriate locations for care and medical treatment where required.

The Alberta SPCA, brand inspectors, the Sangudo Veterinary Clinic and Parkland and Lac St. Anne counties helped RCMP with the investigation.

Moore remains in custody and is due to appear before a justice via telephone in Stony Plain Provincial Court this morning. The justice will determine whether she will meet bail conditions, Warren said.

Moore is expected to have a court appearance Jan. 14.

RCMP said Atkinson has been released from custody after a bail hearing and will also appear in court on Jan. 14.

RCMP is advising the public that it’s not seeking donations. Arrangements to care for the animals have already been made.

It said the public should be aware of any potential fraudsters seeking to benefit from this incident.

“I want to say thank you to the members of the public for their concerns and their information so we were able to partner and lay charges,” Warren said.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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