The B.C. SPCA is recommending Langley dogwalker Emma Paulsen be charged with six counts of animal cruelty, following the deaths of six dogs left in her care earlier this month.

Paulsen initially told the owners of the dogs that they had been stolen from the back of her pickup truck while she was using the washroom at a Langley dog park.

But a few days later she allegedly told a private investigator hired by the owners that the dogs had died of heatstroke in the back of the truck when it was parked in a Richmond parking lot.

B.C. SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said in a statement released on Monday that enough evidence has been obtained in the investigation to warrant a recommendation for separate charges for each of the six dogs under the Criminal Code of Canada.

“Obviously, the ultimate decision about whether or not charges will be laid rests with Crown counsel, but the preliminary necropsy results and other evidence gathered in our investigation so far supports our recommendation,” said Moriarty.