Emma Paulsen, the B.C. dog walker who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the deaths of six dogs in her care, has been sentenced to six months in jail.
She can also not own an animal for 10 years, and has a lifetime ban on caring for any animal in a paid capacity.
The audience in the gallery of the Surrey provincial court broke out in applause after Judge Jim Jardine handed down the sentence on Wednesday morning.
"I was very relieved," said Jennifer Myers, whose dog Buddy was one of the six dogs that died.
"I mean it can't take away what [the dogs] went through, but at least it shows that yes, it was serious and the judge took it that way," she said.
When the dogs went missing in May 2014, Paulsen reported they had been stolen from the back of her pickup truck.
Police later learned the animals died from heat stroke while shut inside Paulsen's truck.
'Coverup' key to sentencing decision
Some of the owners of the dogs that died cried in court Wednesday as the judge described how Paulsen initially lied to them, police and the public.
The judge called the owners' victim impact statements "difficult to read." They told how they missed their pets horribly and felt guilty for hiring Paulsen.
"My wife and I don't have children. Oscar was our boy, so we lost our boy," Paul Grant, whose husky-Rottweiller cross died in Paulsen's truck, said after the sentencing.
The judge was clear Paulsen's lying, and lack of apology or apparent remorse, was key to his decision.
"Paulsen did not intend to harm the dogs," Jardine said when he was giving the reasons for her sentence. "[But] she was trying to cover up her wrong-doing."
Paulsen told the court she had nothing to say before her sentence was delivered.