Animal cruelty charges may be laid against Emma Paulsen, the dog walker alleged to have dumped the bodies of six dogs in a ditch in Abbotsford, B.C., after she reported them stolen from the back of her pickup truck.
RCMP confirmed on Monday that the animals apparently died while enclosed in Paulsen's vehicle, while it was parked in Richmond, and said that they are looking into possibly laying public mischief charges.
On Tuesday, spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has taken over the investigation and that animal cruelty charges may be laid.
Chortyk says necropsies will be done to determine how long the dogs were left in the vehicle, noting the temperature was as high as 25 C last Tuesday, when Paulsen allegedly left the dogs, including one of her own, in the truck.
Dogs reported stolen
Paulsen initially told police and the dogs' owners that she left her vehicle to use the washroom at a Langley dog park, and when she returned the dogs were gone.
That sparked a search by the dogs' owners and the Petsearchers.com agency, which was initially hired by the dog owners and Paulsen to find the missing pets.
Alesha MacLellan, who runs the agency with her husband Al, said there was something not quite right about Paulsen's story, so they had a long conversation with the dog walker.
"There was more to the story than met the eye, based on some things we had heard during the investigation, and [Al] went today and met with her and she basically made a confession as to what had actually happened," said MacLellan.
"He made sure that following the conversation she went to the police station to make full disclosure of all the details so the families could be afforded some closure in this situation."