A Manitoba couple set to be sentenced on Thursday in one of Manitoba’s worst cases of animal hoarding will need to wait a little longer to learn their fate.

Rescued dog

One of the rescued dogs looks on from a kennel at the Winnipeg Humane Society, shortly after being rescued in 2010. (CBC)

Peter Chernecki and his wife, Judith, pleaded guilty in April 2013 to seven counts under the Animal Care Act. The Crown and defence lawyers presented their sentencing arguments at the courthouse in Winnipeg on Dec. 3.

The sentencing has been put over to Feb. 26 at the request of the Cherneckis' lawyer, who asked for more time.

The Crown is seeking thousands of dollars in fines for the Cherneckis and a five-year ban on owning animals, as well as four months in custody for Peter.

Prosecutors also want the couple to cover the costs related to caring for the seized dogs.

The couple's lawyer, Jay Prober, is calling for probation.

Peter Chernecki

Peter Chernecki and his wife, Judith, insisted at a court hearing in January that they cared for the animals and saved them when no one else wanted them. (CBC)

The charges stem from the July 2010 discovery of dozens of abused and malnourished dogs at the couple's property in Gull Lake, about 90 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

At first, the number of dogs reported was 61 but that was later increased to 64.

Many of the animals were wounded, covered in feces and severely malnourished. At least 34 of the dogs had to be euthanized after they were seized because they were in such poor condition.

The dogs were kept in two buildings with no windows and were never allowed outside, according to officials with the Winnipeg Humane Society.

In 2010, Peter Chernecki told CBC News he and his wife were trying to help out stray animals that had been abandoned at the local landfill.

He and his wife repeated those claims at the sentencing hearing last month. Judith said the dogs were loved and "ate better than some people eat" while in the couple's care.

She said she believed they were saving dogs nobody wanted and said there was nowhere to take the animals. 

The Winnipeg Humane Society took in a number of the dogs and sent some of the surviving animals to a well-known dog shelter in the United States called DogTown.